Thursday 25 December 2008

a little different this year

our family - that's 3 sisters and me, 2 parents and our japanese lodger (a lovely 20 year old girl) - celebrated Christmas day yesterday because Mum worked today. Instead of the traditional Christmas Dinner, we had cashew nut roast, morrocan style stew, roasted vegetables, coriander flavoured cous cous and... because 'it wouldn't be Christmas without them', some brussel sprouts thrown in for good measure! It was delicious, and nice to feel sort-of-still-healthy even though we were full. Uno, articulate, 'Mama Mia', a village walk were principal features with Canadian port and german stollen thanks to travelling sisters as a nice end to the day.

And today, we-minus-mother went to St Aldate's church where they had organised Christmas dinner for anyone who was going to be alone, or without a home on Christmas day. I thought we were going to be helping serve, cook, clear, etc (which i would have found easier!) but we actually just ended up hanging out with the people who had come, making them feel welcome, etc. Which if I'm honest doesn't come so naturally for me, especially when most of the guests were middle aged men, but challenges are good for us, no?! And in the end it was pretty fun. A good meal, some classic team games and a bit of Wallace and Gromit to finish off. It was nice to be doing something a bit different, especially as Christmas day often ends up feeling like the "same old thing" and pretty excessive and we end up not actually appreciating all the great gifts that God has given us. I felt overwhelmingly blessed looking across the room at my beautiful sisters and Dad talking to a whole variety of people. So many people must end up spending this day of 'peace and joy' alone. I hope I always keep my doors open to those people, no matter where i am living. And i hope i never take for granted the people around me, because life is not certain - we don't know what tomorrow will bring. SO today i say THANK YOU.

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