Yesterday we lit the fourth candle on our Advent wreath and because today we're expecting our daughter to arrive for the holidays, this will be my last post before Christmas Day.
Christmas preparations have meant a busier time than usual and I'm sure that's the same for you, but it's also a time for engaging with one another, receiving guests into our home, hearing news and sharing in the joys and sorrows of friends and family as we reflect on the past year, being concerned for others in our neighbourhoods or around the world.
In the days before Christmas I've enjoyed decorating our home and we've had a lovely Christmas evening meal with the friends from Vietnam and China (who are studying for a Master's degree in accountancy and business studies) we've met through the university international friendship scheme, something that we've always done in my home town and Italy as my husband and I both know what it's like to live in another country far away from loved ones. It can be an exciting, but also a daunting experience and the students appreciate being able to talk to local people; receiving a welcome in British homes. They have many questions and it's good fun as we exchange stories about one another's lifestyle and culture.
We enjoyed a Christmas roast dinner with Christmas pudding
and two of the students made a sponge cake decorated with kiwi fruit.
The other young lady gave us a bouquet of beautiful red carnations.
On Christmas Eve we shall light the Christ-light on our Advent wreath,which will be a special moment in our home.
Every blessing to you and your loved ones this Christmas.
May it be a very peaceful one whatever you're doing and wherever you are.