Between bowls and bowls of washing up and waiting for the baking to finish in the oven I’ve caught up on some blog reading today and put together a Happy Christmas blog post with some great links of a festive kind.
I spent eight hours solid in the kitchen today, finishing the baking and the pies and supervising the family around the table in some collaborative cooking that helps me feel more Christmassy. I made a huge roasting tin of whole food mincemeat slice, two dozen Christmas cookies, a lamb stew and a couple of fine raised pork pies. When it came to icing the cookies Lucy and I found that it was harder than it looks and regretted the time we spent on Pinterest looking for unrealistic inspiration. But Instagram saved the day and I am reliably informed they taste good. Which is the point, I guess.
I think there are some plans tonight for a meal around the table, the lighting of candles and the wrapping of gifts. There is wine to drink and beers in the cool box in the garden (no room in the fridge). In the little sitting room there awaits a pile of movies eager to be watched, whilst in the upstair sitting room there are board games and reading for anyone who wants to join in.
Thank you so much for reading my blog. I love to write and still feel surprised that anyone would open the page and read. The blog is a year old in a few days time; 5000 views and 100 comments. Thanks for participating!
Here is some holiday reading:
In diagram form Holy Week Timeline Visualisation from Bible Gateway
Frank Viola, Separating Fact from Fiction in the Nativity Story
Milton Jones, How about we agree on taking Christ out of Christmas?
Giles Fraser in today’s Guardian, The Bethlehem story takes us deeper into what it means to be human
Brian Zahnd on Plato’s Cave: A Christmas Story
Sarah Bessey, In which heaven breaks through
Peter J. Leithart, How N.T. Wright Stole Christmas
Michael Spencer (Internet Monk), on Frederick Buechner: “Christmas Itself is by Grace”
Brennan Manning, Shipwrecked at the stable
The Work of the People, it is impossible for me to choose my favourite video from this vast resource but for starters you might try, Parker Palmer, William P. Young (author of The Shack) or one of the Advent reflections.
You can also catch up with my own Christmas blog posts, here, here and here. Finally spare a thought for troubles at home and troubles afar; the poor on our own door step, the Syrian Refugee Crisis and the unfolding situation in South Sudan.