I took Saturday off from being a G. L. C.* to concentrate on being part of my family for a change, and it was lovely. This time last year there had been a fair bit of emotion about the place as we prepared for the last Christmas in our old house...which being old and pretty, with huge fireplace and flagged floors, lent itself rather well to the season. Even as we have settled down here, "How will Christmas work?" has been a recurring question and anxiety for all of us, I think. So it seemed only fair to halt the mad scramble through Christmas services and carol outings to focus on this for a while. It was, I have to say, a huge success. We found a supply of Christmas trees on a small-holding just outside the town, where we had to wade through the obligatory mud carrying the tree in the time honoured fashion...The spot we chose for it at home worked as well as we'd hoped....We even managed to find the essential recordings of carols from Kings to play while decorating it...and the fairy lights worked after only 2 return trips to HomeBase (yes, that's traditional too ;-) )
Now, suddenly, our rather neglected sitting room feels like the centre of a home again. I realised how much I'd been missing us just spending time together...it's too easy to lose that, in this job where there are so many other human contacts all day long that you barely notice failure to engage properly with your nearest and dearests. Recently the teenagers have spent most of their time crammed into G's small bedroom, where computer and tv both reside, while I'm largely in my study and A. and the youngest have the sitting room to themselves.I don't think this has been symbolic of more alarming disintegration, though it does show how these things could happen all too easily....but now it feels as if we are back together.
Yesterday, all the singers of the household did the obligatory visit to old people's homes in the parish...musically unremarkable, but very satisfying to be doing together...and last night we walked home from the 9 lessons and carols under the clearest of frosty skies,- together.
I think it might be time to thank that family of mine again for all they do to make the rest of my life manageable...
*Good Little Curate