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December 26, 2015

Christmas Joys

They are many, but for me they need sorting from the other highlights of December in New Zealand. I keep customs like decorating the tree until after I have observed the Summer Solstice around the 21st December. Some of the Christmas joys are quite unexpected like the appearance of this family of California Quail on the road outside our house on Christmas Eve.

The quail were a distraction as I made final preparations for the Ashley Carol Service. The Church of St Simon and St Jude was full, and the interdenominational service, lead this year by Baptist pastor Jonathan Melville, was uplifting and reflective in equal measure. 

Supper in the churchyard afterwards is always a sociable and satisfying point for me - knowing that the Committee's months of preparation have paid off, and that now I can turn my attention completely to my family.

Bryony and Kitty spend a lot of time wrapping their gifts with intricate care.

All of us enjoy writing and interpreting the puns and riddles we create for our gift labels. Unwrapping our presents together is as much a time of appreciating each other's mental processes and creativity as it is pleasure in the tangible gifts.

And then it's time for Christmas brunch. Bryony has taken this on for the last couple of years and working in a cafe kitchen has honed her food preparation and presentation skills. This was our main meal of Christmas Day and I have no regrets that there was nothing 'traditional' about it. 

Surely these two daughters of mine are my greatest Christmas joys, but I must mention the final joy of Christmas Day, which many of you will have shared, and that is the full moon. How brilliant its light was as we returned from an evening with extended family. In this part of the world it was certainly not a Full Cold Moon. Its warm summer light gilded the architecture of this house and I fell asleep in a room full of moonbeams.


Susan Heather said...

It looks a most enjoyable day. Thanks for your comment on my post.

Wishing you a healthy and happy 2016.

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Thank you Susan Heather. All the best for your year ahead too.

Gill said...

Festive greetings to you three lovely ladies.
We all have so much to be greatful for.
Enjoy the sun and most of all precious family.

Gill said...

Ah yes! Grateful!

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Grateful indeed Gill, however you spell it :-)

rusty duck said...

I have had the pleasure just once of eating Christmas lunch in the warmth of the outdoors and would dearly love to do it again. Hope you had a good Boxing Day too. If the rain keeps off long enough a couple of hours working in the garden (wrapped up in a fleece!) will do me a lot of good I think.
With all best wishes for the New Year.

deeps said...

happy Christmas to you

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

rusty duck: Well we could make a date... Good luck with the gardening. I've just been out pottering (in the - ahem - sun ) and noticed tiny leaves all over the 'dead' walnut tree. Another joy :-) Best wishes to you too. .

deeps: Thanks for visiting and best wishes in return

Dyk Jewell said...

Lovely post Jeneane. Thanks for the card. Hope ours has arrived, if not blame my tardiness not the post office.

All the best to you and the girls for the new year.