A buffet seems to bring out the best in people. Not sure why but as soon as they glimpse the prawn cocktails they are seized by a single terrifying thought, " WILL THERE BE ENOUGH???
We made our way past the bain- maries to the queue that was twitching nervously and darting glances at the platters and located our table. Close to the stage and Santa's throne with dramatic uplighting but a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong way from the food. A waitress told us that all the tables would be going to the buffet in an orderly manner and that she would let us know when it was our turn. At least that's what I think she said but it was hard to hear over the noise of the people stampeding towards the food. She sighed and said, " Go." So a couple of us made the trip over whilst the others stayed behind on child minding duty. The nice waitress brought Jack and Scarlett a cupcake so they wouldn't miss out and Jack started on his immediately. I loaded a plate for Jack and myself because at these things you don't just take a couple of asparagus spears and a devilled egg and think you'll just pop back for more in a while. The laws of the buffet state that you must load your plate to full capacity and if that means the prawns are nudging the hot turkey and the pavlova, then so be it. I returned to the table where things were progressing as normal on any Christmas day. We pulled our crackers and mostly donned those paper hats and read those awful jokes and Scarlett got a whistle in hers which she proceeded to blow with great enthusiasm. Craig inhaled his meal and raced off to pick up Chelsea and S ended up with two little people taking turns eating baked pumpkin and morsels of turkey. For awhile things were almost peaceful (except for some table placement brouhaha next to us) with wandering carollers and plenty of cupcakes. Craig returned with Chelsea who looked gorgeous in a new frock. Jack and Scarlett started playing on Santa's stage and still the food was being replaced by the buffet fairies. Jack got very close to the lights that were creating the dramatic effect behind the stage and I whisked him away but unfortunately Scarlett managed to touch them (you would question the wisdom of placing hot lights on the floor near Santa's stage) and Craig had to quickly put her hand in a jug of iced water but she still ended up with some little blisters. A manager was summoned who acquired some blisters of his own and the lights were duly removed.
Children started gathering and sitting nicely in front of the stage and then Santa appeared and the neat little group turned into a mosh pit. We couldn't see Santa anymore just the mob of tweens standing over him demanding loot. Jack was more interested in yet another cupcake but Chelsea boldly headed into the crowd to get Scarlett's present from Santa. Dad reappeared after a lengthy absence (the queue for the desserts was worse than the mains) with some sweets for everybody. Jack sucked the chocolate off a profiterole and put it back on the plate for someone else to finish. So thoughtful. After the mob had cleared I strolled over to get Jack's present (he was too busy feeding chocolate cake to Thomas the Tank engine) and Scarlett had her photo taken with Santa. Then we left for the traditional post Christmas lunch nap, though I think we ended up going to the rockpool with all the other mums and dads of toddlers.