This Christmas was the first ever Christmas that my sister and I slept past 8am . We woke at a gasp inducing 10:30am which would have been unheard of a few years ago. I remember so clearly at getting genuinely agitated and annoyed that my older brother had slept a moment past 9am and forcing him out of bed, accusing him of wasting a precious hour of Christmas. It just goes to show what getting older does to you I suppose, I would never have dreamed of sleeping past 9am if my Grandmother would've been with us this year but she is with her sister (my great aunt) .The hours have slowly creeped up and the Christmas spirit has hastily seeped out! For the first time ever there was no excitement, not one tiny butterflies flutter in my stomach, not one ounce of spark in my weary eyes. I dread to think of myself as this shallow but it may have purely been down to the fact that I knew every single gift with my name on it under the withering tree, but like I said I'd hate to think of myself as that shallow so I'll settle with my excuse being a combination of the absence of any family elders and generally growing up.
Once the gathering of gift giving was over time ticked by tediously, we received a few phone calls from family dotted about the country but even they sounded less cheery than usual. The only thing we did which was remotely like a ritual was the Christmas lunch, everything else seemed very half-hearted, unplanned almost. Well my Mum did say to me that morning " what shall we do then" it was the first time I realised that our input was actually valued , we normally just follow the routine, but with no guests there was no routine. I was so thankful when my sister set up Skype on her laptop. I sound sad but let me explain. My Mums brother moved to Australia about 30 years ago and he has only seen us twice since we've graced this planet. If the time difference isn't tricky enough,my mum and uncle are both deaf aswell which doesn't help a great deal when it comes to keeping in touch, a simple phone call could take upto twice as long going through Typetalk, especially on Christmas day.
For the first time in 8 years we were able to see my uncle and he was able to see us. The last time he saw us in the flesh was when we were 10 years old and now we're nearly 18 so I think you could say we changed in the most drastic way you ever do in your life(I'm surprised that he didn't mistake me for my brother, with my new short barnett!).Astonishingly he was able to distinguish between my sister and I , as if he'd seen us everyday for the past year. My mum and uncle we able to sign to each other and the webcam managed to pick it up well, normally there are all sorts of problems with the difference in bandwidth and the quality of the video, but no this was perfect. We all gathered around the laptop like you see on those infernal adverts, but it's just like that, I wanted to cry. Although we were thousands and thousands of miles away, we'd never felt so close. It's moments like this where I push my hang ups about technology to one side and truly embrace the wanders it can do, my main question was why didn't we do it before? but it was Christmas day and I certainly won't be forgetting that first Skype experience anytime soon.