Thursday 26 December 2019

Christmas Was Here

I hope you are all having, or had, a good Christmas. I'm writing this towards the end of Boxing Day - which some people will consider the end of Christmas, while perhaps others don't. Personally I've kind of come to regard the whole period from 1st Advent Sunday and until mid January as Christmas. (In Sweden, 13th January used to be the day to throw out the tree and decorations.) I find that a looong Christmas takes the pressure off having to do everything at once! ;) 

My 'actual' Christmas nowadays is usually a quiet affair - but I've come to love that, and at this particular point in life wouldn't really want it any other way. So yes, I had a good one!

Before lunch on Christmas Eve I went to a Nativity church service. Photos taken just before, and after.

During the service, children help setting up the nativity scene. This sometimes results in novel interpretations, so I went up front afterwards for an inspection. The wise men - on the right - seem to be having a private conference before handing over their gifts; while one of the shepherds looks concerned about two collapsing camels...

In Sweden, Christmas Eve is when we open our presents. If children are involved, Father Christmas often comes knocking on the door himself to deliver them. (In my own early childhood I found him rather scary as he was wearing a gruesome face mask!) Nowadays my brother and I have settled for a Santa-free Skype ceremony (i.e. video chat)

Many of my friends are also still quite active on Facebook on Christmas Eve, so a lot of greetings are sent back and forth. 

In the evening, I watched a film recently released on Netflix - The Two Popes, about a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and (then) cardinal Bergoglio - later to be Pope Francis; starring Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce. I knew next-to-nothing about the film beforehand, but I loved it. Great acting, serious issues, but made with both respect and humour at the same time.

Christmas Day and Boxing Day were "lazy days" for me... Sleeping late, taking things (whatever) at my own pace, going out for a couple of short walks, but mostly just staying in reading and watching TV/DVD - with lots of cups of Christmas-scented tea (cinnamon and ginger etc). The weather has been mild, grey and drizzly - but today a little colder, and hint of white in the morning. (What you see in the foreground of the photo above is the the top of a hedge in the nearby cemetery.)

My Christmas gift from my brother was a DVD box of a classic British TV-series we both remember from our childhood - Catweazle  (1970) (about a wizard from the 11th century getting lost in time and ending up in ours - i.e. as it was 50 years ago)... Quite fun to watch that again after all these years. (I've watched the three first episodes so far.)

In Swedish, we have a useful expression when it starts feeling too late to say Merry Christmas (or Happy New Year) one more time... God forts├Ąttning, which means Happy Continuation!

So - that, until next time! ;)


  1. What a wonderful present from your brother, something so meaningful to you both when you were growing up. The church is lovely, and you really gave me a chuckle describing the nativity!!! Happy continuation!!

  2. My Christmas ends today! I didn't have any decorations at all this year so I have none to take down.

    I was very amused by your description of the Nativity. Very accurate!

    I have wondered about the film you mentioned about the Popes. I shall try and make time to watch it.

  3. I remember Catweazle well - it was one of my favourites but I haven't yet seen the one on Netflix about the pope, must check it out.

  4. We watched Catweazle when we were kids, my sister and I, and loved it!
    For me, Christmas as such ended yesterday, but I am off work until the 6th which is a bank holiday in my part of Germany and the day I will take down my Christmas decoration.
    I was wondering about the wise man turning his back on the stable!

  5. I enjoyed the story of the nativity scene and am happy to hear you had a great holiday and maybe will even have a continuation. I like that greeting..

  6. It was a tough job for the Sunday school teacher in charge of telling the story and at the same time supervising the children placing the figures at the crib... I think she skipped commenting on the somewhat unusual grouping of the wise men; but she did manage to fit in the camel with a broken leg getting tended to by one of the shepherds...! (lol)

  7. Amy & Meike - what fun that you also remember Catweazle! :)

  8. I like the new expression you shared with us readers. And to me, your Christmas Eve/day was every way


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