22 Dec 2014


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.


  1. Wishing you and your family a very peaceful and Happy Christmas Linda.

  2. What a lovely thing you do welcoming these students far from home. Super photos Linda and I would like to wish you and your family A Merry Christmas and A Very Happy New Year!

  3. hello
    très chaude ambiances , très chaleureuse
    je vous souhaite à tous un très

    edith (iris) France

  4. How lovely to be a part of the university international friendship scheme, I bet it's something that everyone gets something out of. Wishing you a very merry Christmas and all the very best for 2015.

  5. Lovely joyful photos. Merry Christmas! Suzy xo

  6. Wishing you and your family a joyful and peaceful Christmas, Linda:)

  7. What sweethearts you and your husband are for opening your hearts and home to the students, I'm sure they appreciate you kindness. Have a wonderful Christmas, I wish you all that you wish for yourself.xxx

  8. I hope that you have a wonderful time with family and friends. Happy Christmas! xx

  9. Hello, Hope you are having a wonderful December and will have a blessed Christmas… This is such a joyful time of year for so many—but it’s also the time when others experience a deep loneliness, and struggle during the holidays for many reasons. SO—today I ask you to stop what you are doing for a few minutes and say a prayer for someone you know who might be experiencing a hard time now… OR—better still, send them a card or give them a call. It will mean the world to them.

    Lovely post, Linda... How nice that you opened your home to the students. I'm sure they enjoyed being there so much...

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  10. It is great you do welcoming students from far away in your home and such pretty pictures.
    We wish you, your family and friends a very Happy Christmas together!

  11. So much beauty and reverence in this post...great pictures to capture the essence of your celebration. May you have a most blessed Christmas season and a happy opening of the coming year!

  12. What a lovely slice of your life and Christmas traditions. Wishing you a happy Christmas and a new year full of light and love. May all your loved ones who have been suffering with physical ailments experience a full recovery.

  13. Hi Linda,

    It was great to read your Christmas post and see all your lovely photos.
    How kind and special that the students were able to enjoy a meal with you - that would mean so much to them living away from their families.
    Wishing you and your family a very happy Christmas and holidays.
    Sending hugs

  14. Wishing you every blessing and the peace of Christ as you celebrate Christmas.

  15. bel post cara Linda...ho apprezzato le belle foto della tua chiesa e la riunione con gli amici del Vietnam e della Cina...siete speciali tu e tuo marito! ricambio gli auguri di ogni bene a te e famiglia.......un abbraccio

  16. Merry Christmas, dear Linda. Blessings to you and your family as you celebrate.
    Your home and the Sheffield Chapel are just beautiful.

  17. I hope your Christmas has been abundant in love and peace. I've enjoyed the wonderful images you share. Blessings for the New Year.

  18. I hope you had a very Merry Christmas Linda! So nice to see photos of your lovely home and friends who shared it with you. You have a gorgeous fireplace and your red carnations look so pretty there. So sweet of you to open your home to international students. Our church encourages that since we have the country's largest university here in town, but I've never done it. I'll have to give it some thought. Wishing you a Happy New Year - Cindy

  19. What a lovely post, Linda. It was so enjoyable to have these glimpses of your home in its Christmas finery and to read about your Christmas traditions, especially your generous welcome to international students. I hope you had a wonderful time with your family.

  20. Love your fireplace. Great having folks from around the world to visit. hospitality can be daunting but is a great gift. Having around 600 entries in our staying guest book we do know that.