Christmas in Cambridge is what you make it. Oddly enough, it doesn’t come in a beautifully wrapped, antique box. The King’s College Carol service is not automatically included nor is a sleigh ride through the snow…..oddly enough. But apparently, Cambridge is like all other place in the world where it is what you make it. After my post a few days ago about my woes of not cooking a turkey or making shortbread I had a moment where I realized, with the help of a friend’s encouraging words, that we are not destitute and its okay to spend £1.75 on a proper bread knife, buy a bouquet of Christmas flowers and host a little holiday spirit. We have been getting to know some of the families in Jakob’s class, one being from Australia. They too, were alone for Christmas and saying how much they missed their families. They had booked themselves into a restaurant on Christmas day so that they would not feel so alone. So on the 23rd we invited them over for the Christmas Eve. We had originally planned to have an antipasti type meal but when I informed Ben that we would be having pork on Christmas, he suddenly thought it would be an excellent idea to have turkey. At 8pm on Christmas Eve eve I walked to Sainsbury’s, in the rain to pick up a turkey and all the trimmings….including a roasting pan.
The next day, my heart was full as I chopped, simmered, stuffed and basted my little turkey. My happy place is in the kitchen preparing food…to share. I made Chestnut stuffing in a herb crusted turkey, Brussel Sprout Gratin with gouda cheese, roasted carrots and parsnips, garlic mashed rudolf potatoes, gravy and Christmas pudding.
It was a really nice time as we chatted and the kids played giddy with the excitement of the day to follow. After saying good-byes we gathered as a family to read the account of that special night when God gave the world the gift of his son. We read it from The Jesus Storybook which I feel, puts it so well and opened one gift each: Christmas Jammies! We tucked Jakob and Ella into bed and then put our Santa hats. We were so blessed by all the people that sent gifts from overseas. I think we had more presents under our tree than we would at home.
Was full of magic. I always wake up early, even now that I am almost 30, counting the minutes until an acceptable hour to get up. Jakob on the other hand, slept in.
But when he was ready to see what Santa left, he was ready.
I felt this was a pivotal year for Jakob. Not only is he at the age to really understand that Jesus came, as a baby to save the world but he is also at the age where everything is magical. I never want him to loose the sense of wonder at Christmas time. It is special, and magical. I want him to enjoy giving as much as he enjoys receiving and I want him to anticipate with joy.
I love Christmas.
After a special breakfast we walked to church on the empty streets of Cambridge. Followed by lunch at dear friends of ours – our first friends that we made here in Cambridge. It was a wonderful way to spend Christmas and we were so thankful that they welcomed us into their family for the day.
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas as well and were blessed beyond measure! May the joy of Christ’s birth carry you into the New Year.
With Love, The Ewerts