The days are accomplished!
In the busy last hours before Christmas Day, I am taking a few minutes to listen to the live Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge. For me, as for many Brits at home and abroad, the first notes of a boy treble singing ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ signify the opening of Christmas.
This morning we set our face to the wind and walked through the woods, collecting windblown fir branches and stiff holly. I have sent the boys off upstairs to set the greenery across tables and pictures: the banisters are already entwined with the entire contents of a bag of old tinsel which they found in a cupboard.
The Christmas cake is iced: my first ever attempt at a Christmas cake, so I hope it’s all right: it certainly has enough whisky in it to keep everyone merry! The big fir tree in the drawing room is decorated,
and the old skulls of red deer stags in the hall are hung with baubles, adding a rather weird gothic touch to the decorations. (I was asked for a picture of this, so here you are!)
The days of waiting and preparation are coming to a close. In the sixth lesson of the service, we hear from St. Luke ‘that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.’ A new life: a new beginning.
Thank you for visiting Dancing Beastie this year, and may you have a merry and blessed Christmas.