Friday, 14 December 2012

Christmas Moments

Our Snow Globe in the Cottage's Christmas lights
Yesterday the village took on a particularly "Christmasy" feel.
A single Christmas tree, complete with lights had been set up outside the village Hall and as I passed through Chapel Street with the dogs, the Village School Children tumbled out of the memorial Hall dressed as angels, Yuletide fairies and selection of animals. I had to smile as I spied one lone figure,  following the others, dressed, quite bizarrely as the Easter Bunny.
Nativity plays are not quite what they once were.

Several of the school Governors came down the steps and I said hello to Pat (my animal helper) who had enjoyed the play with Daphne.
"Was it good?" I asked them
Pat nodded " It was lovely....but I have no idea what it was all about" she laughed 
Little traditions such as these are happening all over the world.
Kids with tea towels on their heads singing "away in a manger"

I was somewhat "hung over" yesterday. Not through any alcohol but I was "jet lagged and muggy" following a particularly sad night shift on Wednesday. I looked after a dying young man, the son of people I know.
There is something  dreadfully poignant about a bereavement at this time of year.

When I got home, there was a small package left on the garden gate. Inside was a Christmas card from one of my egg customers and with it were two beautifully wrapped pieces of Christmas Cake, each one individually decorated with tiny edible sprigs of Holly.

With Chris working away, I sat  in front of the fire , on perhaps the coldest day of the year, and ate them still dressed in my hat and coat.

A  melancholic little Christmas moment
 ......we all need them from time to time

43 comments:

  1. that is so beautiful....

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  2. I want to live in that snow globe...

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  3. I was at the school play last night.....it was completely incomprehensible but very enjoyable, if a little hard on the arse on those chairs.

    So sorry about your bad night. I know you must deal with death a lot but I doubt it ever gets much easier. x

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  4. The universe seems to know when we need them.

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  5. Children with tea-towels on their heads. A timeless image.

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  6. Merry Christmas to you. Your village sounds magical!

    I'm sure your patient and his family are lucky to have someone who cares so much looking after him. Last year at Christmas my husband had just been diagnosed with lung cancer, and the tender loving care of the hospital staff is something I will never, ever forget. I still tear up sometimes when I think about it. You wonderful kind medical professionals make a huge difference in people's lives. Thank you.

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  7. Words like: 'Angels on Earth' and 'Vocation' come to mind, John. Thank God there are people like you.

    I have often thought I would like to work with homeless people, but I couldn't just go away and leave them there living on the streets. Great blog post John

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  8. You totally earned those pieces of cake.

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  9. You get what you give in life John....and there does seem to be a lovely symmetry in your life, you give kindness and do thoughtful things and the world turns and you mostly get goodness back...tempered with some sadness ... but your shoulders are broad I suspect...hope you enjoyed your cake.

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  10. You're a very good man, John Gray.

    And I love that snow globe. So elegant.

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  11. The snow globe is beautiful, as are you...Christmas is not always merry and bright for many...

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  12. Small town/village school nativity plays are the best. Never a dull moment. Curtains as costumes. Tears before bedtime. Wonderful!

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  13. Oh John. So sad, and like others have said, so beautiful.

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  14. 'Compassion fatigue' hits at the oddest times.
    Jane x

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  15. was a delightful christmassy moment... i'm home now for christmas... still a few bits of work to do but essentially the fun starts tonight!

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  16. And one child dressed like the Easter Bunny......that must have been one surreal play.
    Perfect timing for that little gift.

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  17. I understand the Christmas bereavement muddle...I read this right after learning one coworker's brother is in the hospital this morning for an apparent heart attack, and another just got back from a week of testing and paperwork to have his father-in-law admitted to care for Alzheimer's. Puts a damper on the holiday spirit...but we humans are surprisingly resilient. Another lesson of the season?

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  18. Glad you had that moment. These things happen for a reason.
    Deb

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  19. Hugs to you, Johnthedogs.

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  20. I went along John, it was like watching 7 episodes of acorn antiques back to back .... I was near the front so could hear most things and see much of the prop wobbling .... Thing with AA is that acting was intentionally bad ..... Not sure nativity or school plays have that on their side ..... Some great performances by certain kids though , but my favourite part was watching those in the sides whose minds were elsewhere at every given moment and needed prodding by other more alert ones .... Pure gold though as a parent and worth watching .....

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  21. Oh John, I feel that you carry the world on your shoulders sometimes, and God bless the donator of the little pieces of cake who most surely was inspired to leave them just at the time when you needed a boost.

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  22. What a wonderful heart-warming place your village must be. Jx

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    1. nice people are everywhere ....we just got to look for em

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  23. Gawd, how I love your blog. Always something to make me think,and smile, and even feel a bit sad sometimes, but never, ever dull. Christmas can indeed be happy and sad, all at once. My fabulous mum died last Christmas Eve, and the hospital staff who looked after her could not have been lovelier. Angels, the lot of you. x

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  24. I love the image of the lone Easter Bunny among the angels!

    What a nice thing to find when you got home, perfectly timed to lift the spirit.

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  25. You ate BOTH pieces of Xmas cake? You greedy bugger! The other one was for Chris and Xmas cake keeps so well. I'd also like to comment on the kids who "tumbled out of the Memorial Hall". Did somebody push them or was it icy? Either way Health and Safety should be informed as tumbling is now outlawed.

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  26. Poignant thoughts for the day - as I sit in my living room with the Christmas tree decorated and twinkling and I'm watching news reports of the second tragic mass shooting this week here in the US. Death of loved ones is always hard but especially jarring at this time of year.

    I am comforted by your description of the village, your farm and animals - an outpost of sanity.

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    1. true anne
      a place to hide away

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  27. You are living a charmed life Mr.Gray.

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  28. I could "see" all the children tumbling out of the hall as various angels and animals followed by a lone Easter bunny...
    that made me smile on an especially bad day here in America.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. yes dreadful news is it not? awful!

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  29. Oh man...you are making me well up!

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  30. I agree with Mitchell is Moving.......you are a good man John. I only hope that when it is my time to go, I have someone as wonderful as you with my family. You are a blessing and a dear man.

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  31. I love it when neighbors/friends share little pieces of their creativity...and cake with little edible holly sprigs...how blessed you are John in your little Welsh village...I do so envy you :) thank you for stopping by my blog...the Connecticut tragedy is once again mind boggling for me...I always ask WHY and there's never an answer I can really wrap my mind around.

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  32. As you know, we're having a day like that today here too. After work this afternoon I stopped at a 'Wendys' got some chili and sat in the car and listened to the sad news reports.

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  33. I no longer care for the terminally ill but after 25 yeasr of such it is still those who died around Christmas that I remember the most. After one terrbile infant death three other staff memebrs and I locked up the hospice office on a Saturday night and drank and drank and drank. Because some deaths require such. So glad you enjoyed your cake and ate it too John

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  34. I was stunned when my daughter asked if I'd heard the news from America. I just stood in the kitchen in total shock. I hope those families have the care & support from someone like you.

    (Does Chris know you ate his piece of cake ?)

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  35. Ate both pieces? What about Chris.

    Why is it that things are always more sad at Christmas? A death is always sad but when it is a young person it is so much worse isn't it? We know (as some poet said, but I can't remember who) that we are dying from the moment we are born, but we expect to reach old age. Anything else is unthinkable. As for that terrible massacre in America - doesn't bear thinking about does it?

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