And mercifully, sans nasal hair trimmer. But my feet are luxuriating in their brand new ‘toasty’ slipper socks ( present from Mr Miff) and the ironing pile (now halfway up to the bedroom ceiling) will be kept down a treat with the aid of a nice little pile of CDs – also from Mr Miff. He in turn has got over the shock of receiving a set of men’s sloggis (my revenge for his dreadful mistake in Debenhams undies dept 2 years ago). Meanwhile, Ms Miff is obviously struck dumb with delight at one of my gifts to her – a dear little pink, fluffy poodle door bell – a dead ringer for the late and unlamented ‘Piaf Piaf – the little flying poodle,’ (aka – The book that would not die) from childhood days in France. And I can see Santas pressie of a Purple Ronnie swear box being in regular use. Judging by the ‘gros mots’ I’ve heard issuing from the mouth of our youngest, ‘Petit Papa Noel,’ must have known he was going to be given the latest incarnation of Metal Gear Solid. The house is full of square- jawed, unsmiling gritty men. And all ‘virtual’ (except Mr Miff, of course!)
It’s been a quiet Christmas – not unusual for us – and well needed after the various ‘blips’ over the last year. We were on our own for the Day itself – with the little Miffs mounting turkey duty whilst Mr and Mrs went off to church. All credit to them! Ms Miff hadn’t got to bed until well through the wee small hours as she and friends had been drinking in Christmas before all going off to Donnington Castle, (the secular equivalent of drinking and going off to Midnight Mass maybe?). A first, as by the time she got in, Mr Claus had already done the rounds. And rather poignant in a strange sort of way,for as she says, now she’s reached the grand old age of 18 – she may not always be with us at Christmas. So she says!
We’re both afflicted by a slight bout of ‘But it doesn’t feel like Christmatitis.’ An inevitable part of growing up – of being responsible for ‘making it happen,’ – I don’ know. Certainly, I can remember being Ms Miff’s age – sitting in the cathedral carol service with a sense of ‘But this doesn’t mean a thing to me.’ Of course, now, the faith side of things means everything to me. Although the dissonnance caused by trying to balance being the only Christian in the family with the horrendous ‘giftianity’ of the outside world, dulls the old ‘faithometer’ readings at times. And the real Christmas gift is overlooked. Definitely a case of death by nasal hair trimmer!
So you’ll be glad to hear I’m stopping the ‘bah, humbug!’ speil now. I did find my ‘Chrismassy moments,’ but only when I stopped looking for them. The first came on Christmas morning, shortly after we got back from church. I was trying to hide my Christmatitis wobble when I noticed that someone had put a late card through the door. Turned out to be from a couple we’d missed in the crowd at church with the inscription – ‘We saw this, and it reminded us of you.’ And it wasn’t a card, but a bookmark, with one of those words that spell out an inspirational snippet. (e.g. WWJD or PUSH). This one, (and those who know me will realise why ) spelt FROG – Fully Rely on God. Perfect timing!
And the second ? In church on Boxing Day evening. Probably only eight or ten of us there for a simple meditation on God’s gift to us and our response to him. Wonderful.
God really does move in mysterious ways sometimes.