Nathan found the comradery in this family was charming. Everyone teased and laughed, joked and played. The fun continued once dinner was finished, the table cleared and the dishes either stacked or in the dishwasher.
Daniel suggested they play a game they’d just tried recently at a dinner party called Hummers. When everyone quickly agreed he explained how the game worked. They formed pairs or teams and someone would distribute common song titles to each participant with at least two people having the same song. They couldn’t reveal the name to the others. Participants hum their song with the intent of finding others humming the same song. Since Jim was currently odd man out, he wrote down some song titles, two of which were quite obscure, just to throw some fun into the proceedings.
While they were gone, Sarah, Jake and Daniel had brought in and placed a ten-foot tree directly in front of the window. Together, they began decorating, pulling out favoured decoration, with explanations all around about why it was amusing, important or just plain silly. As they worked together, they hummed their song and between chatter, joking and humming, they managed to decorate the tree, learn more about each other, and finish the game.
When the tree was decorated, they all stood back in an arch to delight in their accomplishment as cameras appeared and they took pictures of it and then of evryone around the tree with a camera on a pedestal. The only one missing was the little one who’d retired to bed right after dinner dinner.
Sarah suggested rum and egg nog and her home-made eggnog (always a massive hit) had the entire family racing to the kitchen hoping to find out what her secret ingredient was. However, knowing her families penchant for learning her trade secret, she’d made a pitcher earlier that afternoon while everyone was otherwise involved so her secret was still safe and she held her glass high, smiling broadly as she returned to the front room. Everyone had a drink in hand and settled down to watch (what else) a Christmas movie. Since everyone had a favourite, a title was pulled from a hat and that became the first movie in the marathon.
Emma sat cuddled with Nathan. She’d watched him sereptiously all night. He’d become quickly involved and appeared completely relaxed and comfortable which touched and pleased her. She squeezed his hand and although he continued chatting, he squeezed hers back. It hadn’t been lost on Emma that her father also watched Nathan carefully. She knew her father well. He’d find an excuse for them to go off together and either grill her, or fill her in. Probably both.
Having expected a little discomfort, especially considering the reason for their gathering, she found none. Everyone seemed accepting of the situation. That didn’t mean there wouldn’t be questions, her family was all about curiosity and being in the know. Who could blame them, it was part of the reason she’d become a journalist in the beginning. Emma loved to delve into ‘mysteries’ about love, life, happiness and what made the world tick and why people were the way they were.