We've had a lovely week so far, we've visted a reindeer parade, been to a carol concert in a cathedral (child 3 was singing) and have done more Christmas baking. The mince pies have been baked and frozen and the ruby red cranberry sauce is all jarred up ready for the big day.
It was child 3's carol concert in the cathedral, it was beautiful! the setting was perfect and the mix of choirs from different schools, all of different age groups were uplifting. It was an opportunity to stop and let the spirit of Christmas sweep over, reminding us that Christmas is not just about gifts and spending vast amounts of money. The chair of the local council spoke from the pulpit about the 500 children currently in care in our county. Not all these children can or will be adopted, some will be in long term foster care as they are probably too old or too damaged to be adopted. We have one of these children and by next Spring he will be ours and no longer classed as a child in care. It makes me sad to think that there are more children just like our number 4 who will probably be safe this Christmas, but will they be off to visit Christmas events, baking Christmas goodies possibly not and they certainly won't be with their families celebrating a time of family together.
I listened to woman's hour earlier this week where people talked about Christmas and the family politics. As a family, certainly on my side we are so lucky that we don't have to worry, there have never been any demands as to how we spend Christmas, my brother and sister have families of their own and live a 3 hour drive away. It's easier for them to stay at home, although if they wanted to come we have the space and certainly the food to cater for them all. We get together through out the year and talk on the phone or we email or Facebook, now in the era of social media staying in touch is really really easy. As my parents and aunt are local they will come here, it's much easier than us traipsing with the children and presents to theirs and it's so much less stressful. So we will have a houseful, I just keep reminding myself that it's just a big roast dinner and I find that I don't worry any more. Mum usually helps out with a ham, some nibbles and some mince pies and my Aunt will bring some very nice wine.
Our child 4 will be spending his first Christmas with us his forever family, he will take part in Christmas Eve mass, drinks with friends, he will help hang the stockings and put out the milk and mince pie for Father Christmas and a carrot for Rudolph, maybe scatter magical reindeer food in the front garden. We will keep an eye on NORAD's Santa watch via the internet and then a reading of the nativity story and 'Twas the night before Christmas" before being tucked up in bed. It will no doubt be an early morning, stocking gifts will be ripped open to a cacophony of excited voices shrieking with delight. Christmas music will fill the air as will the scent of toasted panettone and the turkey roasting away. The aroma of mulled cider will pervade each room as will the spices from the Christmas pudding. Corks will pop, door bells will ring. More gifts, toasts, crackers snapping. Lunch will be a noisy wonderful affair. Maybe followed by a noisy board game and a walk with the dog. More gifts, then for those, (the children usually) tea and then it's time to curl up in front of the fire with the Quality Street tin to watch Doctor Who.
A house full of noise, laughter, food, family and love. Perfect!