Twas the night after Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, because the entire family was piled onto the sofa in the lounge to watch some poor-quality festive television.
BFBS is lovely, but the quality of its television usually leaves you with an evening selection of second-rate animated movies (Open Season was this week's pick) or last year's reruns of Eastenders.
Thank the lord for Christmas specials.
How very unfortunate that this one had to be Downton Abbey.
The oldest child of the pack, a seventeen-year-old ensonced at the back of the room with a book (she'd been pointedly ignoring a peculiar science fiction movie featuring men with silly haircuts, the Judoon's awkward cousins, and a woman who spoke what she thought might be Elvish) slipped in her bookmark and slunk over to take up her customary perch on the sofa's arm.
"Oh look, it's the Downton special!" said her mother.
"Eh, why not," said their aunt, "better than World's Strongest Man again."
The seventeen-year-old looked quizically at the screen as her father battled with the convoluted remote control. "Didn't someone or rather die on this program not long ago?"
"Lady Sybil, yes. But never mind - it's Christmas, it'll be a happy episode!"
"Tell that to the Merlin fans," muttered the seventeen-year-old.
"Pardon?" Her mother looked around.
"And did we not watch Doctor Who last night? Man-eating snowmen and drops from great heights - very cheery stuff that!"
"Oh, come on Charley, it's Downton! It'll be lovely."
"Harrumph," said Charley - for that was who it was - as she slithered into the sofa and adjusted her youngest cousin so that she could see.
Forty-five minutes, a birth, several vicious rows, two heartbreaks, and a high-speed car crash later, her mother stood up and looked at the television, hands on her hips, looking mildly disapproving.
"Oh," she said. "That was . . . unexpected."
Charley stood up and brushed herself off, and went back to her corner.
"Christmas," she muttered.