Listen to the audio recording of this message.
Hello, and welcome to our virtual Christmas home!
I’m so proud of you for everything you do, most of all because you keep breathing in and out. That’s all you’ll ever have to do to make me proud of you! How you identify matters greatly, and I love you for it.
Virtual welcome to our home! We will be decking the tree this weekend – we bought it last weekend and it is sitting in our back garden right now in a bucket of water. There’s no snow so far this year, but it’s sometimes been frosty in the mornings. We’ll be decking the rest of the house as well – perhaps you could help me make the wreath for the door? I’ve made our Christmas cards already and will be posting them this weekend.
Can you imagine being with us – there are 4 of us living here, but next Saturday there will be 12 of us sitting down to dinner – a tradition called Pre WB Tea – a meal we share with our best friends and their family before they go to visit grandparents for Christmas – at least they did when the grandparents were alive, but we carry on the tradition every year. We always eat the same meal, as well – gammon roasted in cider, honey and cloves, with roast potatoes and vegetables, and lots of chocolate desserts. Everyone has a cracker present – it started off when I made crackers instead of buying them, but the presents wouldn’t fit in. Now I don’t try, you get an extra little present on your plate when you sit down. Our dining room will be very full – every year I wonder if we will fit around the table, but a miracle happens each time and we do!
Next Sunday there will be 18 of us eating together, a meal known as Post Church Christmas Lunch – with our 4 closest families from church – we started doing this as we didn’t meet as a church over Christmas as we didn’t have our own building, we do now but still meet up. We eat the same food each year – beef in Guinness, chicken in white wine and lemon, and baked salmon. We have lemon tart for dessert, and then whisky. The children are all grown up now, but when we started doing this, they were all small, some not even born! The eldest is 29, the youngest is 11!
Then on Christmas Eve we will be sharing dinner with the grandparents of our foster children – they’ve been coming for dinner on Christmas Eve for 15 years now, ever since we fostered their grandchildren. One of them still lives with us. The other is a vegetarian, so every year I make her quorn tandoori pretend chicken, while the rest of us eat beef.
You will have a stocking hanging by the fire with everyone else’s, and on Christmas morning, you get to open your stocking presents then we have a full English breakfast. Then we go to church while our turkey Ballantine cooks. We will have dinner while the Queen’s speech is on, and then watch films after we’ve eaten.
I’ve just realized how much of our Christmas traditions seem to revolve around food – it’s really about spending good times with friends and family, and that involves sharing meals together.
When it’s time for you to leave, I hope you will take some of our love with you, and remember there’s a house in England where you belong and are loved for just being you.
Lots of love,