Can’t say that the Christmas period has been all that fantastic this year, considering the fact that I’m working straight through and the number of associated public holidays are nothing more than scraps here and there, never mind the fact that Chantelle is spending each and every day, seven days a week, in the hospital feeding Jessica, with me stopping by for a visit every second day or so.

Nevertheless, we did end up spending a marvellous Christmas 2010 in the company of family and friends, kicking off proceedings with Christmas Eve hosted at Claire and Riley’s pad there in Newlands.

Father Christmas hats were the order of the night, complemented by an excellent showing of Claire and Riley’s culinary skills, delighting us with a fantastic array of pre-supper snacks and then the scintillating main course of gammon and chicken, slowly roasted to perfection on the Weber braai.

The cat who plays like a dog was as entertaining as ever, but more importantly the realization that the Lotter clan are completely useless when it comes to the concept of Secret Santa was hilarious! Still, presents were forthcoming for all (I got an axe with garden gloves!) and as a whole, we spent a wonderful evening together as a family, with Mom, Dad, Ryan, Claire, Riley, Chantelle and myself all accounted for! :)

Christmas Lunch on the other hand was taken back to the traditional setting of Mom and Dad’s pad in Bellville, though Claire and Riley couldn’t join us as they had to entertain Riley’s side of the family this year around. Luckily though, their places were quickly filled by the addition of Granny Sedge and the Montgomery Clan who joined us for a very relaxed and enjoyable summer Christmas feast, featuring a huge spread that was guaranteed not to allow anyone to go home hungry!

Being such a beautiful summer’s day outside, the meal took place under Dad’s back patio area, and of course, the men quickly moved to make use of the sparkling pool in what was very warm circumstances.

And of course, what Christmas would be complete without a visit to my very special little redhead daughter in the NICU, and so I joined Chantelle at the hospital to spend a last little bit of Christmas with my child firmly in my arms!

As for the annual hall, with the introduction of the Secret Santa impacting heavily on the amount of loot collected, I still walked away with some awesome gifts that included Terry Pratchett’s latest book offering in its full hardback glory.

Hopefully my wife appreciated the metal garden bird and necklace Jessie and I sourced for her! ;)

Merry Christmas and season’s greetings to you all. I hope you enjoyed this festive season 2010!

(P.S. We rounded off the Christmas long weekend with an awesome visit with the Grandparents and Jessie in the NICU, followed up by a “first time visiting our stronghold” visit from Wayne, Candice, Karl and Trish on the Monday, complete with cricket watching and Ooskus fish and chips to round everything off. Oh, a little Little Fockers rounded off the perfect weekend for Chantelle and myself, just in case you were wondering!)

(P.P.S: For Christmas Eve pictures, click here. For Christmas Lunch pictures, click here. For the rest of the pictures, sorry, didn’t take any! :P