The lead up to Christmas was a bit of a blur as the Mhinisteir was down with a bad cold and within a day or two I got it too. Despite being poorly, he still had to conduct funerals and carol services to lead while I tried to give him copious amounts of hot toddy and encourage him to eat a little.
I only brought out our Christmas decorations on the evening of Christmas eve and started decorating while the Mhinisteir readied himself for the midnight mass. I didn’t go with him. Instead I stuck to the yearly ritual of ringing my parents at midnight to wish them a Merry Christmas. By the way, it is only my mother who is awake at that time! We do that on New Year’s Eve too!
On Christmas day, I went to the early morning service. I was feeling rather woozy as I had stayed up waiting for the Mhinisteir! After church, I made a quick dash next door to drop off a small present for the neighbours. Thankfully I managed to leave it at their door without having to bump into them because every year they get a little embarrassed to receive a present from us! We have always done it wherever in the world we have lived.
Since Christmas day was a Sunday, I prepared our usual roast chicken with all the trimmings which we enjoyed very much. The Mhinisteir caught up on his sleep while I read.
Apart from going out for a short drive for my birthday which falls between Christmas and New Year and the Mhinisteir conducting a couple of funerals, we spent the rest of the time simply relaxing at home which was absolute bliss!
Recently, I was asked how it feels to have a birthday between Christmas and Hogmanay (In Scotland, it refers to New Year’s Eve). I didn’t know how to answer that question because quite frankly I don’t know otherwise. I have always received one present but nothing unusual there because as a family we never exchange Christmas presents; the ones we buy are for the under privileged.
I do know that in the busyness of Christmas, people tend to forget my birthday. No matter. A friend once texted me a month later as she had totally forgotten!🤣
This question got me thinking and I remember how more than a decade ago on Christmas Day, I found myself in a distressing situation in a foreign country. I remember praying and asking God for a birthday present. I have never asked Him for one before! It was very bold of me but I was desperate. By the way, I did get my “present” a day before my birthday!
After all these many years, I have decided to ask God for another birthday present – better health for a close family member.
I don’t intend on making this a habit but this one will make me very happy.
I think I have waited way too long to share this happy news; I had absolutely no reason to wait until the last month of the year!!!!
Sometime this year, the Mhinisteir was made an honorary Canon of the Cathedral. For the uninitiated, A canon is a member of the chapter which is headed by the dean of the cathedral. Together with the dean, the chapter have legal responsibility for the cathedral and for electing the bishop.
I still remember the day so clearly when the Bishop rang the Vicarage. Before he broke the news, the Bishop had asked the Mhinisteir if he was sitting down 😁
The collation service was a beautiful one and was well attended.
The Mhinisteir has since told me at least once as to what an honour this is; that unlike peerages, these titles cannot be bought!
I have reminded the Mhinisteir that although I have the utmost respect for clergy and their office, he still has to unload the dishwasher at home! 🤣
Did you know that 2020 is a leap year? Well, I only discovered it yesterday thanks to our village magazine! At last, those whose birthdays fall on 29th February will get to have a proper birthday celebration after a four year wait. Woohoo!!!
ps: I don’t know of anyone whose birthday falls on 29th February. Do you???
A few weeks ago, I was desperately looking to buy a birthday cake online. I would have loved to bake my own but it is just not possible at the moment. I didn’t have too much time before the big day and so I was beginning to panic as I just wasn’t making any headway.