What does Christmas mean? Family? Friends? Church? Jesus? Presents? Food? Pretty lights? Over the years all these things have taken a turn.
This year for me it has been about Stillness.
Our Christmas Eve didn't go to plan, we usually go to the same cinema watch a Christmassy film and then go to the same restaurant. We arrived at said cinema to discover the film had sold out (we hadn't thought of booking as in previous years films have never been full!). We ended up having to go to another cinema to watch a different film, that turned out okay, when we came out no restaurants were taking new sittings. We ended up going home and getting take out pizza, that would have turned out okay, except we rarely have take out pizza and it upset my stomach! It was nice to see the children excited and I was very surprised when we went in the kitchen before bed and found this
My lovely husband was working on Christmas Day, it has happened in the past but this is the first time the children are aware of it. This made me totally rethink our day. Food was definitely not going to feature any importance, we had a special breakfast with lovely fresh pastries before any present opening, but that was the only meal we all at down together for. For the rest of the day, I put a selection of nibbly food out on the table and we grazed through the rest of the day (the children did eat rather a lot of chocolate).
My mum had gone up to the East Midlands to spend time with my brother and his family (something I had to instigate to get a break). My niece is physically closer and not in a secure unit this year so we were able to arrange for her to be brought over for a couple of hours. She didn't want to come to church so we went to the 9.15 service which was lovely. Sadly we had to leave before the communion to be home in time for our niece.
A very nice care home worker came a little too early to pick her up as we were having a go at using the girls new pom pom makers, but he very kindly was happy to sit and chat with my husband and son while we finished what we were doing.
After she left, so did dear husband. We ended up watching a lot of television! My daughter and I did decide to start a project with her pom pom makers though, did you see the wreath in the first photo in this post? It was full of plastic ornaments, but in common with my door wreath which you can see in my previous post we decided to fill it with pom pom's
So all in all it was different. It was quiet. It was peaceful. God was there with us, it feels as though we were able to keep the real meaning of Christmas at the heart of our day. I am now determined to celebrate the Christmastide season and not just leave Christmas behind now that the 25th has passed by. I haven't decided what we will do, I know it will be quiet, but I hope we can keep it Christ centred.