It's pouring with rain here tonight but I can still hear the church bells in the town ringing in Christmas. (It's 11.45pm.) They go wonderfully with the sound of raindrops falling on the roof.
We've had a very quiet Christmas Eve. I baked this morning, sausage rolls (can't have Christmas without those) and a peach and mincemeat pie. For the first time in years we're not having a turkey or a chicken on Christmas Day but a joint of roast beef instead and pork on Boxing Day. My two daughters will be here for both days with the eldest's husband and grandkids. The grandson is too young at fourteen months to have any idea what's going on but the grand-daughter is seven and *very* excited. She and I are a bit of a team so I'm looking forward to a lot of fun over the next couple of days. I firmly believe that Christmas is a time for children (of all ages) and this little titbit from Alan Titchmarsh's Fill my Stocking is one of my favourites:
"A friend of mine tells me of the time she went to her small son's nativity play, at the local school one afternoon in the week leading up to Christmas. There had been much in the way of preparation. Costumes had been cobbled together, all the angels had been found wings and the customary dolly had been wrapped in swaddling clothes. Emotions were running high.
When the great day arrived, the parents sat down in the audience to watch the performance. All went well until Mary and Joseph arrived at the inn and Joseph knocked on the door. It was opened by the innkeeper.
'May we come in?' asked Joseph.
'No!' replied the innkeeper abruptly and closed the door in their faces.
The Little boy playing Joseph looked around him nervously, then knocked again. The innkeeper opened the door once more and glowered at Joseph. 'What do you want?'
'I am Joseph and this is my wife, Mary. She is expecting a baby. May we come in?'
The innkeeper shook his head vigorously. 'No, you can't!'. The door was slammed again.
Joseph was getting more and more alarmed now and banged on the door until the scenery shook. As the door was opened he asked pleadingly, 'If there is no room at the inn, perhaps we could stay in your stable?'
'No, you can't!'
'Because I wanted to play Joseph!'"
Several people commented about my brother who I mentioned in my previous post. The news is that he will have to have an operation to replace his faulty heart valve. We hoped it wouldn't be necessary, he's disabled as it is and even being in hospital is difficult for him, let alone having to go through a major operation. But there you go, it *is* necessary and his quality of life will be much improved once the op is done. Thanks to all for your kind thoughts.
I'll be back after Boxing Day no doubt. I may even have finished The Beekeeper's Apprentice by then! It's an excellent read, great fun, but my time for reading has been severely limited this past week so my Christmas ghost story anthology, borrowed from the library, has had to wait.
Have a great day tomorrow and let's offer up a few prayers for more peace in the world. We could certainly do with it.