Christmas is an important family season, so we celebrate on the day with the greatest of gusto.

It is, however, a bitter-sweet celebration as we've never managed to get all our 7 children around the table together on the 25th December. Paul & I have been married before, & our off-spring are from other marriages, so the two families have loyalties to other people.

My children swap their Christmas seasons between me & their father (who lives 2,000Km away). They've been doing this for about 15 years. Fortunately, their dad sometimes comes to visit us on the day so that our family can have Christmas together. We all get along very well.

The Davies boys don't 'do' Christmas with family at all & haven't since 2003. It's not their scene.

Still, the family seems to celebrate Christmas three times a year. It's wonderful!

First, there's the new tradition of Christmas in July when the Davies boys are invited to come to Brisbane. There are no gifts or anything, but it's a great way to get all 7 off-spring & their partners around the table at a time when people can get here. It's the only time of the year that they do. They came in 2007, but, now that they have to finance their own fares, it may be different from 2008.

Then, there's an extra Christmas event in late November every year the Sue Yek off-spring go north. It's often combined with Paul's birthday. We all have a great meal & swap gifts then.

Lastly, there is the actual Christmas season in all its glory. It's always at home (though in 2007 we had thought of going to Laurieton to Paul's family, but that didn't eventuate as Paul's father had just had bypass surgery). Sometimes, it's with my sister, Genevieve, & her family coming for breakfast & then another sister, Lisa, & her family coming for lunch & a sleep afterwards.

Every year for about 25 years, I have posted off a Christmas family newsletter. For the most part, the early newsletters recount the Sue Yek children's childhood & how they have grown & matured each year. The more recent ones tell the year's story more from the 'Paul & Felicity' point of view with a smattering of kid news.

Many early newsletters were originally hand-written. I'm gradually getting them into electronic form (without editing them) & will add them to the side list for viewing.

In the meantime, I invite you to take a peek for yourselves & then share 'the year that was' in a picture slideshow.

There really has been a lot of love, happiness & laughter in my life!

Lots of love to you all at Christmas