Christmas morning is usually a struggle against tiredness to get started after several busy days and short night's sleep, but with a ten o'clock Mass with carols at St German's this morning, I rose just before nine, fresh and relaxed, and was on my way there in good time,
There were fifteen of us for the service including a lady from London who was staying at the Holland House Hotel on a holiday excursion, ten minutes walk away from church. The occasion was made memorable due to the Advent wreath catching fire just as the Eucharistic prayer began. As people rose in response to the crisis and the fire extinguisher was retrieved from next to the crib, I stopped at the end of the common Preface, continuing as soon as the blaze was subdued. Luckily the stand with the wreath on was not in a place from which fire could have easily spread elsewhere. One thing I did learn however was how easily 'oasis' blocks used by flower arrangers can melt down under the influence of a candle flame.
I was back home again by half past eleven, before Clare and Owain arrived from St Catherine's, and got on with preparing vegetables for cooking. Owain took charge of roasting the goose, and Clare master minded the table arrangements, starter and pudding. We were eating lunch by just after two, in a leisurely way, and then opened presents around the Christmas tree whose candles we forgot to light. A rather strange thing, but then it was a little strange just being three of us instead of the whole family. We Skyped Rachel in Arizona, then Kath, Anto and Rhiannon, spending Christmas day with Anto's sister Viv in Northampton.
Later we watched 'The desolation of Smaug' in the movie trilogy based on J R R Tolkein's 'The Hobbit'. It was an interesting portrayal of the story, but to my mind there was too much spectacular violence the scenes of elves and dwarfs battling with orcs. It served no purpose other than to lengthen an already long film, and inflate the income of CGI designers and programme.