December 23, 2013

Getting up early yesterday morning afforded me the time to wander around my house, rejoicing in the loveliness of our Christmas tree and the beautiful snow storm outside. 

After all my worrying and fretting, somehow it's all decorated, village up, holiday shopping finished and presents wrapped, packages mailed.  The "roast beast" for our annual Christmas movie night is in the crockpot and my children are all safely home with plans to bake cookies all afternoon in anticipation of tonight's time together.  Christmas officially starts for us on December 23, when we celebrate a traditional British feast of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, and roasted Brussel sprouts/potatoes and pancetta, followed by Wassail punch and our favorite cookies as we watch It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol (with George C. Scott as Scrooge.)  We have watched them for so many years that it has become "participatory theater" kids say the lines along with the actors.  Think Rocky Horror Picture Show, without the Bic lighters!  Every time poor little Tiny Tim says "God bless us, every one" they all roar with laughter.  Tomorrow night we will attend the candelight service at our church, and then watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  True to form, while I listen to the sweet song at the end (Welcome Christmas) with a few tears in my eyes at the purity and simplicity of the song and its meaning, my kids are busy holding hands and pretending to be Whos.  Oh well, I love them anyway.  That's what I get for having actors in the family!
Yesterday's snowstorm left us with no worries about having a White Christmas!
But inside the house was warm, quiet and beautiful so early in the morning:

And the villagers went on about their business--travelers waited for the train at Victoria Station, a quartet cheerfully played Christmas carols, worshippers attended a candlelight service at St. Martin in the Fields (unlike our local churches, which were closed due to the snowstorm) and the Queen was in residence at Buckingham Palace (note the Union Jack is flying over the palace):

And for a brief moment in time, the magic of Christmas hung in the air...

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.
--Christina Rossetti

1 comment:

  1. Your tree looks marvelous, as does that amazing village! Even the snowstorm is beautiful! Merry Christmas to you and all your family, Martha!