‘By this time it was getting dark, and snowing pretty heavily; and as Scrooge and Spirit went along the streets, the brightness of the roaring fires in kitchens, parlours, and all sort of rooms, was wonderful. Here, the flickering of the blaze showed preparations for a cosy dinner, with hot plates, baking through and through before the fire, and deep red curtains, ready to be drawn to shut out cold and darkness.’ - Charles Dickens from A Christmas Carol
Can’t you just see this?…“hot plates, baking through and through before the fire” paints a picture in my mind of thick glistening stoneware stacked and waiting to be filled with supper food. And “deep red curtains” is quite cozy.
Tomorrow we are going to open the Christmas bins and boxes and bring forth the traditional decorations of our home. We don’t have a tree…it’s not part of what we do for Christmas. But there will be swags of pine, a wreath or two, candles, and a couple sets of manger scenes. The large red doily my mom crocheted will be here somewhere.
The Christmas times are here. Frances, Amy, and I are singing It Came Upon A Midnight Clear this year. When you hear it sung, listen closely. It’s a call to salvation for everyone.
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men,
From heaven's all-gracious King."
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O'er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains,
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o'er its Babel sounds
The blessèd angels sing.
Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing.
And ye, beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!
For lo!, the days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold, When with the ever-circling years
Comes round the age of gold
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world give back the song
Which now the angels sing.
– Original five-stanza hymn by Edmund Sears