The Start of Christmas
I pulled up to the school five minutes before school was dismissed. It didn’t take the kids long to get out. The boys screamed out, “aunty!” running towards me. I help them with their bags and get them settled in. The girls arrive some seconds later and we head for home. Arriving at home the children had something to eat then started their school work. I set them up in the library while they did their work. The next few days went buy the same, making lunch, picking up Bi-Gino’s children. The weekend came and went by in the blink of an eye, we had some pre wedding preparations for the Hindu ceremony that took up most of our time. It is now the day before Christmas Eve and the craziness is about to start.
It is the last day of work at the office, they have a small party for the staff. Mom’s four brothers and sister are arriving this evening, my dad has three brothers uncle Ish, Vish and Rav and two sisters aunt Maya and Priya they arrive tomorrow. Nish and her family arrive later Christmas day as they share the day with Brad’s family.
For tonight my uncles and aunts will stay at our home and move to Mr. Clarence’s home tomorrow. The cottage has all the single male cousin as Izzy, Yash, Sergio, Tyler, Charlie and Veer claimed the pool house. The female cousins have one of the bedroom downstairs and my eldest cousin on my dad’s side Yash and Veer’s eldest brother Jeev and his family he is one year older than Nish, married with three children all boys will be staying in the bigger master guest suite. We have three bedrooms still available plus the den.
The limos did the airport pick ups, as Gi had the office party the first flight arrived at seven the other at nine. The ladies were in the living room having tea, the cousins and uncles were in the family room watching television when Gi got home at 10:15pm, he kisses my forehead then greets all the family members. He drops his bags in the office joining the crew in the family room for a few before heading up to shower, we call it a night some time after eleven.
I ensure everyone is settled in before heading to our room. Gi was just getting out of the walk in. Hugging me, “hey wife everyone settled in their room?”
I look at him with raised eyebrows, “wife?”
He kisses my neck, “yes wife. It is just a few more days until it’s official, I am not marrying anyone else but you.”
I tiptoe to reach his forehead kissing him, “I love you babe can’t wait until it is official.” I use the bathroom get changed for bed joining Gi. Snuggling into his arms he sings ‘keep on loving you.’
Our alarm goes off at it’s usual time six, we get set for our workout. We decide to go for a run this morning, Gino and Bi joined us. After our hour run Bi has three parties today Gino and Sian are helping her. Their children will stay over at our home since all the siblings and their families are arriving today with the exception of Nish. Finishing our run we get home shower, change and head downstairs half of the family was already up the others were still in their rooms.
Gi and I quickly grab breakfast, we were heading to the airport to pick up Andi and his family. I drive Andi’s SUV and Gi is in his, arriving at the airport they were already at the curb when we pulled up. Some of their luggage was loaded into Gi’s vehicle, we part ways stopping off at my old home first.
Arriving at the house we knock on Mr. Clarence’s door, Mrs. Clarence greets us, “Ambi! Giovanni! Hello merry Christmas come in the taxi will be here shortly to take us to the port.”
Gi and I, “merry Christmas have a wonderful trip. Thank you again for allowing us to use your home. You sure we can’t drop you all?”
Mr. Clarence joins us, “Amberline, Giovanni hello merry Christmas, do have a wonderful holiday and enjoy the wedding.”
Gi, “thank you Mr. Clarence. Sorry you will be missing it and I feel hurt you did not allow us to take you all to the port.”
Mrs. Clarence joins, “Ambi I put clean sheets on the beds. All the towels are clean. I just have a few in the dryer the refrigerator has some stuff in there use what they want and toss anything that is expired.”
I reply, “thank you Mrs. Clarence. Will do.” we were talking when the taxi called from the gate. Walking out Gi helps them with their bags while I lock up. Gi and I wave goodbye to Mr. & Mrs. Clarence, wait for them to drive off before we head for home dropping Andi’s luggage off first.
First to arrive are Sergio, Dani and Danielle with their families along with Uncle Ish and his family so both limos had to do this pick up. Jeev is the only cousin that has not met Gi, between both engagements Gi met all the others. We pull into the garage and are getting out when the limos pulls up emerging from both vehicles 24 people in total. One limo takes my uncles and aunts to our old house while the other heads back to the airport to pick up my dad’s two sisters and other brothers and their families.
Sergio, Veer and Yash takes their luggage to the pool house, they have already made the pool house their home, everyone else joins us in the main house. Once inside the children make their way into the media room we did not put in the cinema style seating yet, we had it set up to look like a ginger bread house. Gi shows everyone to their rooms.
Once settled they rejoin us downstairs, I was sitting next to mom on the sofa in the living room when Jeev walks in sitting on the armrest squeezing the life out of me, “princess who gave you permission to get married?”
He continues, “and to make matters worst I did not approve of the dude. Aki, Yash, Veer and Izzy are a let down to the Murlani name. I am the eldest, I have the final say how could they do this without my approval?”
Gi clears his throat standing up he extends his hand to Jeev, “I am the dude they approved. Giovanni Wyson.”
Jeev loosens his grip on me, gives Gi a look over scanning him from head to toe. He stands walks up to Gi turns to Yash and Veer, “you all approved of him?”
Yash and Veer, “Jeev will you just hug him already. It’s a done deal the wedding is in a few days.”
Jeev hugs Gi, “welcome to our family bro. If you think those guys are tough you don’t want to mess with me. Take care of our princess or else.”
Our home grows louder and louder as more guests arrives. Gino has mom’s two sisters and Bi’s parents. Andi has mom’s two brothers and dad’s other brother. Gi’s maternal grandparents are also staying at Gi’s parents, one of dad’s sister is with us, their children are staying in the hotel. Mira’s dad, Elena’s and Alexi’s mothers are siblings, they rented a house for them. Mira’s parents her two brothers and their wives, they both have two children each and Elena’s and Alexi’s parents, they both also have two brothers each, none of them married they join the single guys in the cottage. Some of Nira’s, Reggie, Anish and Brad’s family are attending the wedding but will get here later Christmas day. They are all staying at the hotel which is fifteen minutes from our home.
It’s an Italian tradition to attend midnight mass on Christmas Eve everyone who arrived for the wedding is attending. At 9pm everyone goes off to their respective places to get ready for church. I hope there is room in the church for all of us. Once in our room I shut the door letting out a sigh, “how are we going to survive the next couple of days?” I say to Gi
Gi hugs me kissing my forehead, “the biggest part is over they are all here and they all in their respective places.”
We shower and get dressed for church the ladies in different styles of red dresses and the men in black suits with red ties. We managed to fit everyone in all the vehicles, arriving at the church there were a few pews available that we filled in no time I attempted to count all the members that made up our crew but I stopped counting after ninety something. Gi and I are seated with Aki, Samara, Yash, Alexi, Izzy, Elena, Veer, Charlie, Tyler, Jeev his wife Shreya and the nine children. Gi and I had Abi and Ash during the service, they wanted to play with us. The service was beautiful the singing and skits were well performed. Though growing up in a Hindu home back home we attended church especially for Easter and Christmas, it was pure nostalgia being in church tonight. After the service everyone goes off to their respective places to reconvene at our home tomorrow for lunch.
Arriving back at home Abi was still awake and fussing, he wanted to stay with Gi and I. Gi gave in and keeps him, I guess we know who the strict parent will be. We get ready for bed with Gi singing ‘all I want for Christmas is you’