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The days are accomplished!

December 24, 2013

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.,24.12.13-1

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,,24.12.13-2

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!),24.12.13-3

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.,24.12.13-4

25 Comments leave one →
  1. December 24, 2013 4:46 pm

    Merry Christmas to you, too! I was also listening to the same service just now, here in Kansas… beautiful tree!

  2. Caroline permalink
    December 24, 2013 5:12 pm

    I have so enjoyed discovering Dancing Beastie this year. Thank you for sharing so much of your life in a Scottish Castle, all the ups and downs, the joys and wonder. And now your lovely festive photographs. All best wishes to you and your family. I too have just listened to nine lessons and carols. I am wrapping stocking presents, and my sons ( aged 34 and 28! Christmas joys and rituals continue…….) decorating the cake in their special way. Have a Happy, peaceful, and cosy Christmas!

    • December 30, 2013 7:49 pm

      I’m very glad you discovered DB, Caroline! Thanks for your interesting and supportive comments over the past few months. I hope you had a lovely Christmas.

  3. Toffeeapple permalink
    December 24, 2013 6:00 pm

    We must all have been joined by that programme! Happy Christmas DB, to you and your family.

    • December 30, 2013 7:50 pm

      It’s pleasing to think of so many of listening ‘together’ on Christmas Eve. Happy New Year!

  4. Lorraine permalink
    December 24, 2013 7:01 pm

    Wishing you and yours a joyous Christmas and a healthy, happy 2014!

  5. December 24, 2013 7:27 pm

    I was listening to the service from King’s as I wrapped presents this afternoon – a peaceful and restorative interlude in a busy day.
    Happy Christmas to all at Castle Beastie!

  6. December 24, 2013 7:41 pm

    Gothic or not – the stags look just right! Gorgeous tree. Time for carols soon, but wanted to stop by and wish you and yours the Merriest Christmas

    • December 30, 2013 7:52 pm

      Thank you, Philosopher Mouse, and thanks for following DB so faithfully. Happy New Year!

  7. boyd hussey, (Douglas Ontario Canada) permalink
    December 24, 2013 7:52 pm

    and to you also.

  8. December 24, 2013 8:40 pm

    Thanks, DB, and Christmas blessings to you and your family also. I love the festive antlers. 🙂

    • December 30, 2013 7:53 pm

      Thank you. The antlers, I must admit, are one of my favourite bits of decoration!

  9. December 24, 2013 11:14 pm

    A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!
    I have now looked up a recording of this to listen to as a break from news of the weather related woes in our area. Our Christmas festivities have been cancelled due to family not having power (possibly for a week!) and no car after a tree branch pulling hydro wires fell on it. At least they are safe.

    • December 30, 2013 7:54 pm

      So sorry to hear of how badly your family has been affected by these awful storms, which have been much worse on your side of the pond, I gather. May I wish you a happy New Year instead, and hopes for warmer days to come!

  10. December 25, 2013 11:57 am

    Merry Christmas to you and your family in Castle Beastie! Love the atmosphere that the photographs convey – and absolutely love the antlers with the baubles! Thank you! I have decked the Christmas trees with a few vintage tea strainers that I have just recently acquired, I’m so fond of them. 😉
    Heidi xx

    • December 30, 2013 7:55 pm

      I am intrigued by the thought of vintage tea strainers decorating a Christmas tree. That makes baubles on skulls look quite ordinary! Good on you.
      Happy New Year when it comes!

  11. hmunro permalink
    December 27, 2013 8:00 pm

    I hope your Christmas was even lovelier than your beautiful photos suggest — and I wish everyone at Beastie Castle a very happy, very healthy year ahead. xx

    • December 30, 2013 7:56 pm

      Thank you, Heather. Not sure where you were for Christmas, but I hope it was blessed and beautiful, and I wish you and yours a very happy New Year! xx

  12. December 29, 2013 8:27 am

    Hope you all had – and are having – a lovely time together.
    We were intending to go up the hill to collect pine branches but the gale was so fierce that I vetoed it in case we were felled by falling branches.

    • December 30, 2013 7:57 pm

      Thank you, and the same to you. Christmas decorations are probably not worth dying for, I agree! We managed to get out in a brief lull in the storms.


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