Another busy Christmassy sort of day - Thursday Coffee Drop In, then after lunch, speaking at a local ladies group. It was a bit Delia Smith, a bit Blue Peter, and a bit Thought for the Day - I gave them food ideas, gift ideas, ideas for children and read some poems. They were an incredibly appreciative bunch and particularly responded to the poems
Like this one...
CHRISTMAS THANK-YOUS [Mick Gowar]
Dear Auntie, Oh what a nice jumper. I’ve always adored powder blue, and fancy you thinking of orange and pink for the stripes. How clever of you!
Dear Uncle, the soap is terrific. So useful and such a kind thought and how did you guess that I’d just used the last of the soap that last Christmas brought?
Dear Gran, many thanks for the hankies. Now I really can’t wait for the flu. And the daisies embroidered in red round the ‘M’ for Michael. How thoughtful of you!
Dear Cousin, what socks! And the same sort you wear—so you must be the last word in style, and I’m certain you’re right that the luminous green will make me stand out a mile.
Dear Sister, I quite understand your concern—it’s a risk sending jam in the post. But I think I’ve pulled out all the big bits of glass, so it won’t taste too sharp spread on toast
Dear Grandad– don’t fret, I’m delighted. So don’t think your gift will offend. I’m not at all hurt that you gave up this year—and just sent me a fiver to spend
When I got home, Bob had set up a speaker under the stairs and plugged in his I-Pod. We have had Christmas music non-stop for three hours - and still no repeats! Everything from Bing Crosby to Maddie Prior to Kings College Choir...
I have decided I love all the red-ness of Christmas [must stop singing 'The Red Flag' whenever I hear 'O Tannenbaum' though, people may think I am a closet Communist!]
I have wandered round the house taking random shots of red things.
A lovely candle, and the staircase garland
Peace sign, and stockings ["hung by the mantle with care.."]
Quilted Christmas Placemats - made twenty five years ago!
The lighted garland which hangs in the sun-lounge - so pretty and twinkly.
And even if the fig tree has lost all foliage it can be dressed in red, gold and silver!
Cousin Gillian gave me a load of sticks with Santas and Stars on them. I have no idea what they are for - I think they were once part of a display in Wilkinsons where she works - but I stuck them in an ancient wine carafe
Here is the Joy sign, along with the Spice Star Liz brought back from the German Christmas Market last year.
The bell is from Oberammergau.When it is wound up, it plays the tune "Silent Night"
It was a gift from my dear friend Eileen in London. She visited Oberammergau with her late husband back in 1970. She has no children - so gave the bell to us -to pass down through our family as an heirloom. I treasure it!
Christmas needs IKEA biscuits, and hot chocolate and marshmallows. How did I acquire so many Red Christmassy Mugs?Mr Van Meuwen kindly sent me his catalogue, so I turned it into a Christmas Tree using this site from the Readers' Digest
Kind American friends, aware of the fact that I go over the top with my decorations, have given me a Genuine Martha Stewart Towel - and a gloriously kitsch Christmas Jumper. [The kids at school love it, even if in makes my own daughters shudder with embarrassment!]
I have started to display the cards in the glass panels of the doors - and put my roundel on the front door.
The last poem I read this afternoon was by Ron Klug, and American 20th Century Poet.
I am very fond of this one.
Joseph's Lullaby [Ron Klug]
Sleep now, little one.
I'll watch while you and your mother sleep.
I wish I could do more.
This straw is not good enough for you.
Back in Nazareth I'll make a proper bed for you
of seasoned wood, smooth, strong, well-pegged.
A bed fit for a carpenter's son.
Just wait till we get back to Nazareth.
I'll teach you everything I know.
You'll learn to choose the cedar wood,
eucalyptus and fir.
You'll learn to use the drawshave, axe and saw.
Your arms will grow strong, your hands rough - like these.
You will bear the pungent smell of new wood
and wear shavings and sawdust in your hair.
You'll be a man whose life centres
on hammer and nails and wood.
But for now,
Sleep, little Jesus, sleep.