Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope you've enjoyed good food, rest, fun, family, and whatever else makes this season a blessing for you.
Between the rain and high winds on Christmas eve, and frankly, my appalling organisation on Christmas day, we didn't make it to Mass. I did make sure we said happy birthday to Jesus at dinner though.
All in all, it was a good day. The kids loved their presents. Gareth is particularly taken with his accordion and Postman Pat van. Molly is loving tucking her new babies into their bunk-beds, but she got a bit mad when Gareth tried to play with them. She yelled 'No! My babies!' My 2 and a half year old is already a momma bear.
My mum and step dad dropped by in the morning, and the twins were delighted to see them. I think my step-dad enjoyed the accordion almost as much as Gareth. The two of them were happily taking turns playing it, dancing around, and generally having a grand old time. My sister came by later with some little gifts for them. A small blackboard and chalk for Gareth to draw on, and one of those sets of pretend, dress-up jewellery for Molly. Unfortunately the necklace won't go over her head, and there's no way of opening it. It's not going to waste though, she put it on one of her new dolls and said 'Princess Baby!'
Dinner was just the 4 of us. I made roast pheasant with chestnut stuffing, roast parsnips, braised red cabbage, home made cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy. It was delicious, although I think I overcooked the pheasant slightly. My husband loved it, and said it was the best Christmas dinner he ever had. Except for Gareth having a little mashed potato, the twins didn't eat it all. It's always slightly disappointing when you lovingly prepare a meal and they reject it, but I reminded myself that they're toddlers, that Christmas is a strange and exciting day for them, and that these were new foods. As we know, new food and toddlers don't go together even on the most mundane of days.
Children have always been the focus and delight of Christmas, ever since that most perfect child, born in imperfect circumstances on that night so long ago. Every child's joy at the magic of that day, is a reminder to all of us at the importance of wonder, and delight, hope, and the anticipation of good things.
God came to us, as a little child. Living symbol of hope, and delightful anticipation. Remembering that birth each year as we do, and seeing the innocent wonder of our own loved and imperfect children is a yearly gift that never grows old, or stale or boring. It is the gift that comes without wrapping, and it's the best one of all.