Julia's father arrived here yesterday evening and has generally providing assistance as we move the furniture around and get further shopping in. Tomorrow morning Julia's sister and family will be arriving in time for lunch -- so we'll be feeding 7 people (rather than the 13 that we feared we might get when we first made the offer and before her brother's family decided they'd rather be in Spain).
Feeding 7 people is, comparatively, a doddle. However, preparing the house to put up 7 people overnight is a little more complicated -- when we have friends overnight we can make them wait until everyone else has gone to bed and then make them sleep on the floor in the lounge, but apparently we can't do that with family so we've had to arrange five proper bedrooms, repurposing the study and conservatory, and stacking all the junk which normally lies about the house into leaning towers of cardboard boxes in the garage. There have had to be extra shelves made, and real carpentry with proper dowelled joints. Yikes.
Now, however, everything is prepared for the oncoming onslaught and we've been collapsed in front of Captain Mainwaring's Brother on the telly. Later, Julia's father (who has declined the chance to participate in my nonconformist nonsense) will be heading out for Mass, and later still I'll be heading out for a nonconformist midnight (but with an Anglican at the helm, we're not proud).
I hope you all have a very merry Christmas, if such a hope fits well with your tradition, and I'll see you all on the far side.