Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Cumbrian Christmas

It's that time of year again. Christmas! Or rather, Advent. I love the build-up to Christmas; I love the decorating, the baking, the buying of presents, and all the events that we have for school and church. Christmas concerts and nativity plays (this year at the primary school it is 'Christmas with the Aliens') and mince pies and mulled wine.

Here at the Vicarage we have a few of our own special events. The Thursday before Christmas we host the village's weekly 'pop-in' at our house; basically, it is a morning with coffee, cake, and chatting, finished off with some Christmas carols. I enjoy having people over and it also helps me get the house clean for Christmas, the kind of kick in the pants this reluctant housekeeper needs. We also have the Youth Group Christmas party next week, which involves a Yankee Swap (also known, I think, as a white elephant??) and lots of iced sugar cookies.

Next week there is a carol service at the Lifeboat Station down at the beach, and on Saturday my daughter is playing Christmas carols with the school band at the local castle (can castles be considered local? Well, we have one and it's twenty minutes away.)

So much busy-ness and fun, but amidst all that I try to find a moment or at least a second or two to be quiet. This December I am reading The Greatest Gift  by Anna Voskamp, who is the author of the bestselling book 1,000 Gifts. I'm enjoying a chance to reflect on the meaning of Advent and Christmas amidst the chaos of our household--the latest concerns/arguments being who gets to put the star on top of the tree (every year we put a note in the box of decorations saying whose turn it is, and every year the note mysteriously disappears) and who gets to eat the first chocolate in the Advent calendar. It's December 3rd and no chocolates have been eaten because this issue has not yet been resolved.

Do you look forward to the Christmas season? What do you like in particular? To celebrate I will give away one copy of my novella A Yorkshire Christmas (Kindle only, I'm afraid!) to someone who comments or sends me an email telling me something they like (or don't like!) about Christmas.

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