Christmas (like St Steven’s Day?) comes in its own time, no matter what the calendar says.
We had a lovely midnight mass, and a good Christmas morning. But by yesterday, I was really too tired to care. There was a moment of happiness when there was indeed a box of chocolates lurking in the pile of gifts (thank you, kind undertaker), and real laughter and joy when a present fell out of a stocking with the tell-tale pointy ears of a wiska’s-cat-treat box (I just love it when kind members of the congregation bring Molly gifts). Otherwise, what I really wanted was sleep.
But tonight… tonight was blessed.
We are doing Storytelling for the Twelve Days of Christmas. It seemed like a good idea when we first talked about it — and it seemed like a truly terrible idea when I realised that it was not going to be possible for others to share in the burden, and I would be on duty every day till Epiphany.
Today was not meant to be my day, and it was with heavy heart that I set aside ‘nap’ for ‘planning’ this afternoon — not least since there was the usual fear that no one would come.
But they came. Not many, but they came. And it was wonderful.
We gathered in the story-telling tent with hot chocolate and candy canes. I told a story about Luke the Ox, learning to hope for a King from wise old Isaiah-Ox. Then we read Room for a Little One, which has Luke in the starring role. (in my world, at least.)
We talked about the animals in the stable and then listened to the Carnival Band singing ‘Journey to Bethlehem — the Animal’s Song’. They joined in the mooing and baaing and hee-hawing, and we all delighted in the xxxsss of the camel.
We stepped away from Christmas — which felt risky– with Trevor Dennis’ God’s Delight. The Kangaroo got a better tail, the angels learned to slide down the girraffe’s neck, and human beings were created for the first time. The story took a somber turn when the humans forget to delight with the angels, and we were urged to remember to dance with God.
So I don’t know why I didn’t see it coming —
but when one of the girls said, ‘can we dance then?’ it was sheer delight.
Angels form the Realms of Glory (barn-dance version from Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band) had us spinning and running around, and then we refilled our cups of hot chocolate, and settled down for Only a Star.
It was an utter delight.
And of course, the tradition has now been formed. I need not only stories, but songs and dances each night.
… and next time, I must remember my slippers.