It's been an age since I last blogged and there are various reasons why it's taken me this long to get back round to it, but here we are. It's Christmas season and though it feels incredibly surreal, Christmas was had in 22°C heat and on a sunny day.
Now before you get jealous, 22°C during the day - lovely! 14°C at night, with just a couple of sheets, gaps under the doors and windows plus no heating, well - it gets a little chilly to say the least!! We made it most authentic we could though with stockings to open, as 'Santa' found his way to our room, (even if his choice of wrapping paper was questionable), friends round for lunch and a party in the evening. Christmas Dinner was courtesy of a rice cooker and a frying pan - 'Roast' chicken, 'Roast' Potatoes, countless vegetables and lots and lots of gravy (even if I had to serve it in an ice-cream tub because you haven't got a jug) followed by Apple Crumble and Homemade Custard. Amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it, but probably best I didn't get photos of the food, I'm not sure my grandma would be impressed with my presentation!!
It's been such a strange season being away from so many people we love though, and it barely feels like Christmas without our family all around us, but it's been a good check for what Christmas is really about, and to get thankful for so much around us. Christmas... the promise of hope. The start of God reaching out to earth, sending His Son in human form because it was the only way to restore our relationship with Him. Even though they both knew what it would ultimately cost, Christmas is Christ with us, from now on, forever.
So no matter where you are, and who you celebrated Christmas with, whether you like Christmas trees and twinkly lights, if you have lifelong faith or none at all and even if you want to start the conversation about the pagan midwinter festival, we celebrate Christmas because no matter where you are, no matter who is around you, many or few, no matter whether you could afford a real tree instead of a recycling a fake one, whether you got huge presents or none at all, we celebrate because this time of year represents God reaching out through Jesus because He cares. He cares about the mess you're in, the stress you're under, the crisis you're scraping your way through, the opulence that is or isn't fulfilling you, or the happiness you're celebrating. He cares enough to meet you in the middle of it, wherever across the world you are.
Merry Christmas friends. Love to you all!