Unusually this year, I didn't get any requests to take services on Christmas day itself, and I decided not to join a local congregation for a service, but to take time out at home to say the Office of the Day, and then be fully present to the family, for a change. It was lovely to take part in the shared exercise of preparing Christmas dinner, for the most part doing the washing up, and organising the amazing array of wines, brought or bought - a couple of the best dated back to our summer birthday celebration, kept in anticipation.
Clare was up early getting the huge turkey in the oven, organising and keeping everything on track, making the brandy sauce and preparing the Christmas pudding as she always does so brilliantly. Kath prepared veggies and our traditional vegetarian Christmas chestnut casserole, which everyone loves. Owain, our resident roast expert, took charge of gravy, checking the bird, heaving it in and out of the oven, finishing and carving. Rhiannon laid the table.
It was a superb Christmas dinner, to relish at a leisurely pace with a series of different wines to share - Cava, Bardolino Classico, Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Chateuneuf du Pape, Rioja. It sounds a lot, but taken at the right pace over eight hours, everybody was happy, nobody got drunk, and we all sat down together in the evening and watch the DVD of 'Elf', and laughed together with delight.
A happy family day, the sort worth living for.