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Merry Christmas! 2023

Merry Christmas to you all! Didn't it feel as if everyone put their Christmas lights up really early this year? We put our tree up on 3rd December, and felt quite behind the times. Still, that was the day it snowed, so at least it was seasonal. After that it poured with rain for the rest of December.

As if to compensate for the early Christmas lights, the school term insisted on running up to the 22nd. The boys were barely staggering in for the final weeks. I had a very busy last week at cafe (record takings!) so I was pleased to reach the end, too.

Plus, I'd rashly booked in new carpet to be fitted on the 21st. That meant taking up the old stair carpet and the one in Toby's room, painting all the skirting boards, and clearing out Toby's furniture. Then replacing it all in time for Graham's mum to occupy the spare room the next day. It'll be fine, I said.

out with the old...

Well, it was. With grateful thanks to Graham's friends Rich and Simon, who came over on Wednesday evening and helped us pull up carpet and move a bed, and to my parents, who came over on Thursday and helped trim the doors and put Toby's room back together. And the new carpet looks lovely.

...and in with the new!

We fitted in our usual traditions: the Illuminations at Lichfield Cathedral, and the Christingle service at Findern church. Graham sang in the choir for the carol service at our church. I pushed small children in roughly the right direction at the nativity service. There was a mix-up with the angels, and a last-minute panic about the innkeeper, but Herod put on an excellent show of evil plotting.

with Graham's mum at Lichfield Cathedral

I made a Christmas cake, of course. I loved this pudding design I found - very simple and effective.

Christmas Day felt like lots of cooking, but in a relaxed kind of way. Breakfast was cinnamon Christmas bun, inspired by this Waitrose recipe. Definitely one to remember! Vegetable soup for lunch, and the full turkey dinner later on. Graham's mum was here for several days, and my parents came over for Christmas day, so we had seven of us round the table.

Christmas breakfast table

Toby and Theo voted this one of the best Christmases for gifts. This was partly because they both got a phone. But also new clothes, Lego sets, Amazon vouchers, and much more. We spread out the present opening over the day, at their request, and they were very appreciative of everything they got.

And so were we. After a difficult year, and with so many people around the world still struggling, it was a blessing to have a safe, healthy, friends-and-family-filled Christmas time. And a good rest.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.


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