Saturday, 24 December 2016

Thoughts on Christmas Eve . . .

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The Christmas mornings of all of my childhood were colored in the same way throughout my growing up years . . . whispered hushing as tiny feet tiptoe into the living room . . . a room all aglow with nothing but the lights from the Christmas tree. The sun is not up yet. Carols are playing. The magic has arrived. What was once bare floor just the night before, is now awash with a seeming multitude of gaily wrapped shapes and lumps beneath the tree. The magic has begun.

The excitement is so tangible you can almost cut it with a knife . . . tempered with grownup yawns from parents who didn't quite get as much sleep as they would have liked, and having had to awaken far much earlier than they had hoped. But the feeling is catchy and they are soon just as buoyant as we are . . .

They have now had their energy boosted with mugs of steaming hot coffee, the elixir of the gods . . .


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The next little while is filled with oohs and aahs and sounds of glee . . . and ripping paper, thank yous and wows. In the kitchen mom begins to make some noise as she starts to fry our eggs for breakfast . . . but little brother already has a barley candy toy hanging out of his mouth . . . he will have no appetite for eggs, or toast or anything else.

Always there is a colouring book for each and a new box of crayons, and a bowl holding a tangerine, some hard candy, soft creams, ribbon candy and perhaps a chocolate and a nut or two. The other gifts vary from year to year and age to age, but they always please, even if they are not always the things you had on your list. We are filled with gratitude regardless . . . and happy with what we have.

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We spend the day wearing our best clothes whilst we colour and play . . . father snoozes in his chair . . . and mother busies herself in the kitchen pulling together the Christmas Feast. The lights still twinkle . . . the music still plays . . . father snores . . .

It is not long before the air is punctuated with the smell of Roasting Turkey and stuffing . . . and little tummies begin to grumble in anticipation of what is to come.

Tender turkey . . . awash with mom's special gravy . . . mounds of fluffy mashed potatoes, carrots . . . peas . . . stuffing that we all love and can't get enough of. As many times as I try to duplicate it now as an adult . . . it somehow never, ever tastes as good as the memory of hers does . . . we eat and we eat . . . mincemeat pie and fruit cake, Christmas cookies.

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We eat until we feel like we will never want to eat again . . . but a few hours later, we are at it again . . . after an afternoon spent in play and fuss . . . we dine on turkey sandwiches and potato chips and possibly a date or feather square . . . a moist slice of fruit cake, and then we settle in to watch something on the telly together. The Queen's message is long gone, having been devoured much earlier in the day, tonight is the time for Andy Williams, Red Skelton . . . Bing and Frank . . . and Danny Kaye.

It is a simple time, filled with simple pleasures and joys . . . family and a deep abiding gratitude for the greatest gift of all. Our hearts are tinged with it . . . our minds are bathed in it . . . can you feel it?

 

It's love. And it's ours. And it's true.

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)  And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)  To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

I can never read those passages of scripture without feeling a warm feeling in my heart.  This is Christmas.  Merry Christmas one and all.


From Our Home to Yours 

 

 Cooking in the English Kitchen today, a delicious breakfast/brunch dish.  Scrambled Eggs Benedict.  Deliciously simple, and yet so elegant.

Have a safe and wonder filled Christmas Eve and Christmas.   He is the reason for the season.  Don't forget . . . 

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And I do too!


11 comments:

kate hazlehurst said...

Hi Marie. Thanks for the trip down memory lane! Strangely I have always preffered Christmas eve to Christmas day, although it is now tinged with sadness as it would have been my wedding anniversary. My daughter has continued the tradition that my husband used to do and I get a beautiful bouquet every Christmas eve, she is so sweet.

Lots of love to you both and have a wonderful peaceful Christmas xxx

Marie Rayner said...

What a sweet daughter you have Kate. You are blessed. Merry Christmas. Love and hugs. xoxo

Suze said...

Good morning Marie.

Kate your daughter is a wonderful gift.

Christmas in Australia is often very hot. Some people do the whole hot meal thing. Others choose to do seafood. Our family falls into the earlier group. When it is about 40 and humid it is not fun. Our meal was always so very late. I preferred boxing day as it was generally at home. My parents never did the fruit in the stocking thing. Someone had made my brother and I these huge cotton socks with out names on them. Mum would often have to fill the sock with blown up balloons and other mad party stuff.

When my children were little we did things a little differently. They had Christmas plates and always woke to croisant, a small carton of juice and a movie to entertain them until everyone arrived. I was often vary tired as I did many night shifts back then.

This afternoon I heard the sweetest little girls choir. There were only six and they stood in a triangle. All wore the same white dress, jazz shoes and a halo. They sung Jingle Bells and they did it well. There was aven a precise little harmony on the go. Their choir mistress had them so well trained. They even stood the same way. So sweet and special memory was made for me.

Today I was able to buy a heavily reduced turkey crown. I came home and put on the air conditioning and promptly roasted it. I was making gravy and mum insisted she had some gravy to add to it. So in it went as there have been many little altercations during the day. I was told my gravy tasted very weird. It hadn't before the addition. The addition turned out to be unsweetened and frozen apple sauce. I went to the movies after that as I needed a break.

It is one short hour until midnight. I will wish you a joyous Christmas Eve. God bless you and keep you.

La Table De Nana said...

A beautiful trip down memory lane..God sure gave you an amazing memory..every commercial worth watch..every minute on the radio..of course spotify..Christmas..

these next days are busy..the important thing is LOVE:)x

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

The Christmas story never grows old and brings such tidings of good news to all. It's a simple Christmas here at my house. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!

Marie Rayner said...

What a treat that group of little girls must have been Suzan! How very wonderful! It is already Christmas for you now. May it be filled with pockets of joy despite the heat and aggravations. Xoxo

Thanks
Monique! God willing I keep it! I would hate to have dimentia or Alzheimer's! Must be awful. Happy Christmas! Xoxo

God bless you and have a Merry Christmas Pam! Xoxo

Deb said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours! I love this Christmas memory andI have loved reading your blog this post year! God bless you with a happy, peaceful holiday and much love and happiness in the new year!

local alien said...

Kala christouyenna and kronia polla. May you have peace and happiness and a wonderful Xmas day. Best wishes to you both

Angharad said...

Merry Christmas and Joyeux Noel from Canada

LeAnn said...

Dearest Todd and Marie, Wishing for you and Todd a joy-filled Christmas. I have grown to love you so much and pray someday we meet. I love reading your posts and there are so many times you have lifted my heart, brightened my day and inspired me to be a better person. You are one of the most creative people I know and I love all your ideas. We are a like in so many ways and I know that if we met we would just chat away as friends forever.
May you have a wonderful Christmas celebration. May your heart and home be filled with the peace and love of the Savior.
With much Love, LeAnn

Marie Rayner said...

Merry Christmas Deb! I have enjoyed your visits! God bless your day! xoxo

Thanks Linda! Merry Christmas and God bless! xoxo

Merry Christmas Angharad! Stay warm and safe! xoxo

Merry Christmas Leann and Roger! Thanks so much for your lovely comment. I too, hope that one day we will meet in person. I am sure Todd and Roger will be sitting there gawping because it will seem like we have always known each other. Kindred spirit friends. Love you! xoxo