I believe I do have a timeline of events that you might find informative.
Because of a need to finish some eggs they had, Jerry suggests that they have pancakes. Hilla is reading a book and absent-mindedly agrees.
Before she realises what she has done, Jerry retrieves and blows a kazoo to initiate a family ritual. Hilla tries to change her meal choice to omelette, but the children are already rushing into the room and it is too late.
Jerry and the children play out a rehearsed chant in which he acts as The Keeper of the Cakes of Pan. Myra is The Flour Sifter, Benji is The Egg Man and Deborah is The Tosh Chronicler.
Hilla, still reading her book, doesn’t join in the chanting in her role as The Flipster. Benji begins to protest, but Jerry (still in character) defends The Flipster’s right to silence.
Although she doesn’t join the chanting this time, Hilla does not want her lines removed from the ritual. She likes it sometimes.
Jerry is celebrating his “unofficial” 8th birthday with Uncle Newt, with whom he is living during the war. His “official” birthday will be in December, when his parents are home on leave.
After first hearing Jerry’s latest poem, for which Jerry is paid his standard ha’penny, Uncle Newt gives him his birthday presents.
Jerry opens a gift to find a kazoo, which Uncle Newt admits he had just found at the back of a drawer.
Uncle Newt encourages Jerry to blow the kazoo, which cues Newt to deliver a “paean of praise” that he has written for Jerry. The paean tells of Jerry’s accomplishments and good deeds while living with his uncle.
Unbeknownst to Jerry, his mother, Vanessa, has taken leave from her war service, so that she can visit. She arrives in the room as Uncle Newt is finishing his paean. She delivers the final word: “Surprise!”
The Nightingale family are celebrating Christmas with a family friend, Monty James.
Patrick opens a Christmas cracker. He reads the joke, but sets his hat aside without putting it on.
His son, Oswald, and daughter, Gally, both protest that he should wear the hat. Even his wife, Lettie, points out that Mr. James is wearing the hat that he won from his own cracker. Patrick is unmoved and does not wear his hat.
Oswald opens his cracker next and is excited to find a kazoo inside. After requesting permission from his father, Oswald attempts to put on his own hat, but it rips as he is doing so.
Gally blames the rip on the large size of Oswald’s head, but suggests that Oswald should take their father’s unused hat. Patrick refutes the idea, saying that Oswald should have taken better care of his hat.
Seeing an opportunity to lighten the mood, Mr. James seizes Patrick’s hat and rips it. The family laughs as Patrick then rips Mr. James’ hat and Gally rips her mother’s one.
Patrick describes this round of hat ripping as “fun in its proper place”.
As the laughter dies down, Gally tells Oswald to let their dog, Toby, out.
At the end of the meal, Patrick reveals to the children that Mr. James is known for his ghost stories, and that he has kindly consented to tell them one now.