Did anyone tell you it’s nearly Christmas? I don’t even dare to look at how many sleeps. I just know that the kids don’t have much longer left at school and my diary has at least 3 things everyday.
At this time of year the farm staff take turns at holidays. One takes off Christmas and the other new year. This year Michael is working on Christmas. I know that sounds sad as we have small children, but the other young lad, who works here just now, is Irish and I know his Mum will want him home for Christmas. I know I would want my boy home. So I gave him the Mother tone and told him he’s going home and not spending Christmas alone. On Christmas day we will do the bare minimal and come home again. Feed can be piled higher and bedding extra deep. Making for an easy day. The kids won’t even notice. Too busy playing. Gives me a chance to rein in the mess!
I started Christmas shopping super early. With a tight farmer budget, the short hours (that’s winter to us) means a smaller wage. I start my shopping while the harvest is going on. Living in a community with a large proportion of families in the oil industry, I know this will be a hard Christmas for many. A huge quantity of oil workers have had to take small wages or lost their jobs entirely. I know we aren’t the only ones, looking around my friends and acquaintances from school, we all say the same. Christmas is going to be tight
It makes me wonder why do we do this. When did this become more about giving and getting than the birth of that special child. We are celebrating Jesus’ birthday. I am looking forward to the Christmas Church services. A reminder that underneath the craziness and sparkles, we should celebrate the beginning of it all.
This week I attended the school nativity performances, and Carol service. It was lucky this year in that one of the showings for my 7 year olds performance was in an evening and he was very pleased to see Dad in the audience. Rarely does he get the chance. But I headed up to the farm early and got ahead so he could finish by 5.30. I had one proud little boy and a very pleased Dad. Sadly, one of the sacrifices of being a farmer is missing such thing. So, when it does come together, its extra special.
The primary one Nativity was adorable. They were all ever so cute with their little costumes, stumbling along on instruction. This year it was narrated by one of the Ministers from another Church. It was brilliant. The children had obviously rehearsed but he added an extra something for not only the audience but the participants too. Our little Lewis was the Donkey. He was adorable. I know as Mum I am biased but he really was gorgeous!
The beginning of a change to the world. The nativity. Probably the best-known story around. The Christmas Story is a beautiful one. The birth of any baby is beautiful, but this baby was special. Who would think that the tiny little bundle in the stable was to change the world. It must have been truly special to see.
This year I vow to make sure that we read the story before Christmas day. We have the Sunday School nativity this weekend. Then the Christmas Eve service. I love how my children have taken a new view of Christmas since I joined the Church. Spontaneously they have said things like, I wish I could have seen baby Jesus and I bet Mary got a real shock when the Angel told her she had to have a baby! The innocence is the beauty.
I hope you all get to see at least one Nativity this year with a tear in your eye. I’ll try to pinch myself so I don’t cry.