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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Season of peace ...Happy Christmas ...

Happy Christmas 

I've always found it fascinating that the English and German soldiers had a ceasefire at Christmas in 1914, sang Silent Night and played a game of football. It struck me more this year on the centenary. Again, I ask, why so much fuss in the world over the 25th of December, so important a feast that it would cause the war to cease even for a short time.
When we have a birthday, isn't it true that we do something to celebrate. And sometimes we might make more of an effort  - when it's a "special"  one, 21st, 40th, 60th, for instance. We feel the need to mark the fact that we were born, that we live. So, with the 25th of Dec, we also mark a special birth, the most special birth in History, when God Himself was born into the world and became man.
And that is why people can't help themselves . We all feel the need to live this very special time.
We have rich food, give presents, get together for parties and generally make merry.
Our house this year was no exception. I told you in an earlier blog how we were preparing for the family to come and have Christmas with us.
Well, today,  the first moment of relative peace has descended as we said goodbye to my son, the last of the visitors . I cooked him a nice meaty dinner with the left over meats, warming it all in an onion gravy and serving with mashed potatoes, mashed swede and peas. We followed that with warmed up Christmas pud and custard ( I had cream, can't help myself). Husband and son enjoyed it enormously. I was a bit sad as we said our goodbyes, waving him off with the sky blue in the background,  knowing that it would probably be the last time Christmas happened in this house.
Although we had twenty one people for dinner, there was a calm atmosphere that I was most grateful for, due mainly to the preparation and planning done beforehand. We didn't have to vacate the lounge to accommodate the eating area,as we had in previous years. The table was set up days before - such a good idea.
How did the three meats work out you might ask. And no we don't have a catering oven or an aga. We cooked the meat and then kept it wrapped and sealed while we spent another couple of hours using the oven for the potatoes , parsnips and heating the yorkshire puddings. And, guess what, when we came to cut the meat it was as hot as if it had just come out of the oven.  So with all this, along with cabbage, carrots, broccoli and three different gravies the time came to dish up. We had decided, for practical reasons that we would plate up and serve as opposed to having multiple dishes on the table. And therein you have the "stressful" five minutes while five of us frantically plated twenty one dinners before they got cold. Phew !!!!
that was not easy. But it was delicious and everyone enjoyed it.
Wine, fruit juices, Christmas pudding, cheesecake, custard, cream etc etc..... Another Christmas dinner over for another year.
After dinner and after singing Away in a Manger round the crib, we have the opening of "secret santa" presents - always an interesting event. This time the children (who'd had their morning presents earlier) had their own, where they all spent (with parents help in some cases) £2 on a little gift for one of their cousins ( or brothers or sisters, depending on how the names fell) . It was a pleasure to see how keen they all were to see what everyone had and whether or not the recipient of their particular gift was happy with it.  It was a all very impressive.
The adults also had their secret santa with a £10 limit. Amazing what some got for their money...
Family games take us through to the evening ... A great day  xxx
Happy Christmas ...

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