Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas should be softly spoken

Christmas Eve is settled and quiet - a time for reading by the fire and watching the last of the seasonal films on my list. Well, it's quiet until we head for the glorious church service, complete with brass, stings, a wonderful kettle drum, and of course the splendiferous Buzard pipe organ. Then we'll sing loud, loud, loud, hug old friends, marvel at the greenery and candles, and gather at the altar for the Eucharist.

Before the service, grown-up Kate will gather in the aisle with friends who used to toddle, clomp, and skip with her down the aisle in angel wings or shepherd's robes when they were small. They all look very adult now, and you have to bore deep in your memory to picture them fiddling with their halos or battling each other with the shepherds' staffs.

Then home for a fine supper, always some kind of seafood. This year, my famous dishwasher-baked salmon. (Don't laugh - I learned this at a cooking class. Put the salmon fillets, butter, dill in oven bags and close tightly and place in a shallow pan. Place pan on lower racks of dishwasher and let it run through the whole cycle, wash and dry. No soap, obviously. It will be perfectly, moistly steamed and very yummy.) Asparagus and scalloped potatoes and lots of odds and ends of pies, cheesecakes, and cookies complete the meal.

Ooh. And one other thing. I'm making "Smoking Bishop" (mentioned in A Christmas Carol) as our warm drink. Here's the recipe I'm using. The oranges, cloves, sugar, and red wine have been enjoying each other's company in an earthenware jug for almost two days now (and it smells potent but divine). All I'll have to do is add the port and heat when we get in from the Christmas Eve service tonight.

One and only one present will be opened by each of us after supper; the rest, tomorrow morning. And tomorrow, we make the rounds. Christmas lunch at my sister's - which will be sort of sad since it will be the last at her house for a while. (After 28 years in the Atlanta area, she and hubby are moving to California in 2006.) Then dinner with my step-daughter's family. It'll be a full day - full of food, family, laughs, and love. Tiring, but we'll all feel oh, so blessed.

Then quietly, quietly I'll settle back by the fire, read parts of A Christmas Carol, all of A Child's Christmas in Wales, and the second chapter of Luke one more time, vowing to hold the feeling of the season as long as I can throughout the coming year.

Children's dreams can not be broken
Life is but a lovely token
Christmas should be softly spoken,

All through the night.

Merry Christmas one and all.


Tamar said...

Merry Christmas, MaryB

Anonymous said...

The "Smoking Bishop" sounds wonderful. Have to try that sometime. Merry Christmas, softly spoken and gently worn, to you and yours MaryB.

petercmoore said...

Mary Christmas, Merry,

I guess you're just settling into your afternoon. We've just finished a very late lunch (started at 4pm, lasted 'til 7pm) and now for the traditional 4 hour snooze in front of the telly.

All the very best of the season to you.


MaryB said...

Thanks Tamar, Winston, and PT for the wonderful Christmas messages. Hope you all had the type of celebration you most wanted.

And yes, Winston, the Smoking Bishop was divine - all of us Cratchits thoroughly enjoyed it!