Just finished the Pouring out of Beakers in a rather wrecked Moot House after last night's Tea Light Midnight Xmas Spectacular.
It was rather a wild allegorical nativity last night, as Michael Gove, Ed Balls and Russell Brand formed the Three not-very-wise Men. Russell Brand demanded to know why everybody was looking at "some kid in a trough" and not at him. Michael Gove demanded to know of the Blessed Virgin why Jesus wasn't already at school 17 hours a day. And Ed Balls just faffed about trying to use the Twitter app on his Android.
The junior-sized Stonehenge is in front - the Great Trilithon accidentally knocked over. Oh, how they danced the little children of Husborne Crawley. And then the great piles of wrapping paper that are strewn from the ritual of "It's Midnight so it must be Xmas". And the empty aluminium shells of a thousand dead tea lights are lying around, where we said we'd pick them up on Boxing Day.
Somewhere in the middle of the wrapping paper, Marston Moretaine is still fast asleep, from the effects of him trying to add a whole evening's festivities onto a day commuting to work in the Smoke. We just left him there. We'll wake him up when it's time for our Traditional Vegetarian non-Exploitative Xmas Dinner. Or, in short, baked swede washed down with Burton's home-brewed. It could be quite a windy Christmas Week, I reckon.
I'm kind of glad to say that Charlii and Young Keith are back in the Great House as well, after it turned out the secret honeymoon Charlii had planned - at Disneyland Paris - wasn't such a great idea for Young Keith. Sad they've missed the break, but glad they're here. They can borrow the Old Rectory for a couple of weeks in the New Year.
It's not a white Christmas for most - it's a green one, and a cold one, and quite a wet one in other places. And a dark one, where the electric has failed. So we've lit the one remaining tea light, for those whose Christmas Day is nothing like has planned, and for Dave Walker and his church. Not the bishop (though we like him too) - the cartoonist with no electric.
And somewhere in among the debris, underneath the wrapping paper and behind the squashed bits of aluminium, behind a mountain of tinsel the kids threw in the air, in a Nativity Set that, over the years has expanded to include a giant toad, a kangaroo and a dalek as well as the more traditional mother, step-father, ox, ass, visiting members of the working class and baffled if adoring foreigners - in among all that, the Christ Child is there. Hard to spot, easily overlooked, not making much noise, in a baffling and colourful world of pain and joy, gladness and heartbreak and struggle. And if you look very hard, you can still find him.