Hello everyone! We had a lovely Christmas Day celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus, once we had got over some stresses! The day started with a gentle celebration as we came too, together, both to our surprises we awoke early, so we did open a few presents and had a glass of champagne to accompany our smoked trout; our traditional Christmas breakfast! Then I decided to walk to Church for the Christmas morning service expecting it to be shorter than normal, but unfortunately it was the normal length of a little more than an hour, which meant that I was home at 12.30pm, just ¾ hour before our guests were to be arriving! Suddenly the peaceful start evaporated and we both felt stressed, wondering how we could be ready in time. I rang my daughter Beth to tell her to delay her, her partner and his son’s arrival, which she was quite happy to do, especially as they had got behind in their preparations. Now I could lay the table and make the final preparations for the meal. My beloved became more relaxed and we were relieved to have enough time to prepare for lunch now later at 2.20pm, rather than 1.30pm. Everyone felt more relaxed thank goodness.
Our lovely special large chicken was cooked to perfection by my beloved with his special roast potatoes and parsnips with steamed vegetables. We had a break before we enjoyed some Christmas pudding with white sauce and brandy butter, except for Mahmood’s son Sina, who preferred a chocolate cake. After our welcome meal we began to open a few more presents and exchange gifts, only missing Cathy who after a long wait had reached Barcelona to spend 3 nights there with her partner Ken to celebrate Christmas. She and Ken arrive tomorrow to have their Christmas celebration with us.
I am sure little Joseph, at about 5 weeks old is too small to appreciate Christmas this year with his lovely parents Kate and Luke, as much as he will next year.
I love to get stocking presents for my daughters and of course my beloved and I buy things over the whole year, so that a few have accumulated over the time. My beloved can be over faced with them all at once, so he has opened some on Christmas Day, some yesterday and will open the last ones today. We will open up Cathy and Ken’s presents when they come tomorrow, so for us the celebration is continuing. We are so fortunate with all we have and it is important not to forget those who have so little, struggling with extreme poverty, life threatening illnesses, homelessness or addiction to drugs or alcohol.
This morning I led the service and I talked of how Jesus was born on Christmas Day but must not stay in the manger for us, but be born in each of us afresh each day, so that we can be clothed in Christ’s nature; loving and accepting all we meet and sharing His unconditional love with all we meet. Only as we live close to Jesus can we have strength to grow in our faith, remember Jesus was willing to learn from the teachers at the temple in Jerusalem, in fact he was so fascinated as a boy of 12 that he lost track of time, and failed to notice that his parents had set off for Nazareth. It is easy to be absorbed in something and not notice the time. He was then obedient to his parents as he returned with them.
I went to the church dressed in 2 outfits of clothes, including a large padded coat, a cardigan of my beloved over my more festive outfit. I also wore boots, sunglasses, gloves and a hat, so that I could remove the outer clothes, as part of the children’s talk. In fact no children came, but I still did the talk. I pretended I was depressed after the anticipation of Christmas, all the presents opened and everything over and I had overeaten. I then removed the excess clothing and told them in fact that I was still me under the extra clothes, but that I was not really depressed, as Christmas was not over; in fact we remember the birth, but Jesus can be born each day anew in our lives, when we give our hearts to him, and learn to live with him, loving and accepting all we meet, remembering to treat everyone as we would wish to be treated. We need the accepting and loving eyes of Jesus as we meet all those in need of his unconditional love. May you all realise that Jesus loves you as you are but loves us too much to leave us that way. This is the day that the Lord has made and I rejoice and am glad in it.