folly sheer and utter lunacy
… love hath no-one than this
than that they buy their three year old a recorder for Christmas.
Joni of course is much more aware of what’s going on this year, loves Christmas trees, although somewhat confused about the whole Santa thing. I suspect “Santa” at nursery was probably one of the (female) teachers, as he came home saying that they’d seen “the Christmas lady”, and then when we saw a picture of Santa he informed me that this in fact was “the Christmas lady” herself. I tried to suggest that Santa is normally a man with a beard, only apparently his Christmas lady also had a beard, so that’s my explanation blown out of the water by his first-hand experience to the contrary!
Celebrations here happen on the night of the 24th; we had a traditional meat-fest on the barbecue shared with friends; 5 families, 21 of us round the table in total making short work of a piglet, a chicken and various lumps of cow, followed by letting fireworks off in the road at midnight, along with the rest of the neighbourhood. We all went to bed at around 3.30, thus we were somewhat dismayed by the arrival of our bright and lively child who bounced in at 6 (he had also not gone to bed till 3.30 so we were counting on him needing a lie-in). Fortunately with a
swift blow with a mallet boot to the backside bit of gentle persuasion he did concede to go back to sleep for another couple of hours.
The 25th here feels quite a lot like boxing day in the UK, apart from being thirty degrees hotter (actually forty this year). We had a late breakfast, opened presents, and then Joni and I somehow managed to spend most of the morning outside in the paddling pool in our pyjamas, punctuated by bursts of squealing on the above recorder. Not being the UK, we don’t have a fridge full of left over turkey, so I did some Japanese Okonomiyaki for lunch, mostly because the two ingredients which we currently have in abundance are eggs (gift from the village) and cabbage (growing luxuriantly on our patio). I’m sure it wouldn’t have won many certificates of authenticity from the streets of Osaka, but given that we don’t have too many Japanese supermarkets around here, I thought it was a pretty credible attempt… tasted good anyway, and at the end of the day that’s what actually matters.
Washed up, ate chocolate, watched some TV, had a bit of a siesta (perverse child still asleep), and now wondering if it’s yet cooled down sufficiently outside to take the dogs for a walk. They will have a boring day tomorrow as we’re off to do a prison errand and see some friends in Cordoba so I feel like they ought to have a run out today at least. At some stage we’ll Skype a few folk in the UK. And that will be us done for another year.
Sadly Jesus doesn’t get much of a mention at Christmas round here; in fact Christmas is so secular that even the church mostly ignores it, to the extent that if the 24th or 25th fall on a Sunday, they’ll cancel the services rather than expect people to come to church for Christmas! Really I have no idea how this has come about, I assumed it was because it was an imported festival, and therefore had already lost its roots before crossing the Atlantic, but when I’ve asked people here about that, they say no, the church did used to celebrate Christmas, “only we don’t any more”. That seems truly weird to me, and certainly as far as my kid is concerned, I’m thinking we need to start building in some new family traditions, like a nativity scene alongside the Christmas tree, and a rendition of the Christmas story as part of our own celebration. The word became flesh and came and dwelt amongst the chocolate and wrapping paper.