Thursday, 29 December 2011

Family, fun, food and festivities. And turkey.

Thankyou, God.

What a lovely Christmas it's been. A few wonderful smiley days full of family, food and fun and it's been noisy and tiring and very happy.  I didn't want it to end. 

Christmas this year had all the components that make an occasion memorable. We were up early but not frighteningly early on Christmas day and the children opened their stockings and we saw the beautiful sunrise that was a special present from you. We played Christmas music and had breakfast and went to church and we celebrated the baby born in a stable in Bethlehem two thousand years ago. We lifted our Happy Birthday to you in carols and songs and prayers and fantastic organ music.

Christmas dinner made the table groan; Kevin the Turkey did us proud - a feast indeed. We set fire to the cognac on the Christmas pudding and pulled crackers and wore party hats and the children argued over the little plastic presents (Katy was most put out that her cracker present was a set of screwdrivers. She eventually negotiated a swap with Grandma who had a plastic gonk on a spring. I'm not sure that Grandma was particularly thrilled with the set of screwdrivers but she put a brave face on it). 

Presents, games, drinks, twinkly Christmas tree lights, laughter and thanks and smiles and mountains of wrapping paper. It was a wonderful day and I know how blessed we are. I know how much we have when so many have so little. I'm very, very grateful.

What I've loved most about this Christmas was that we had fun. We were all together and we played games and laughed and we enjoyed ourselves. I like that it was about people. I like it that you were here amongst us. Not everyone sitting round the table invited you but I did, and you came for me and I appreciate it. I know so many people would have been sitting round similar tables in dining rooms all over our country and I know that we were blessed to get on so well with each other, to have so much fun and to enjoy each other's company as we did. I have a great family. 

I've loved watching the children's faces as they opened presents and I'm thankful that they actually seemed to be excited with each one rather than shredding the wrappings and then dropping the gift to ask for another as we've had on occasion, to my embarrassment. We've spent time setting up racing tracks for matchbox cars (just like we did when I was small - some things never change!) and I've loved watching Elizabeth carry her doll round and feed it with the toy bottle with a special kind of tenderness. A fleeting sort of tenderness, granted, as she then dropped the doll on it's head when she saw that another game was being set up.

It's been lovely. I wish our family lived closer to us so that we could see them more often, but then perhaps it wouldn't be so special. Thankyou for the way that the children are getting on better and better as they grow up a bit. Elizabeth is in awe of her nine year old cousin and it's been a great way of getting her to try new items on her plate at mealtimes - if he likes it, then the chances are that Lizzie will too! The children have been tired out at bedtime, slept well and not been up too early in the mornings.

Thankyou, Father, for the many many blessings this Christmas. Thankyou for all of it, from the stockings and the sunrise to the fun and laughter. For family and good health and plenty to eat and the excitement and joy of the children. It hasn't gone unnoticed that you gave us so much to enjoy.


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