Today has been weird. Good, but weird.  It began with a thorough soaking as I went for a walk through the start of Storm Barbara, and its coming to a close with me eating far, far too much banoffee pie than is good for anyone.

I have baked, mixed, iced and decorated. I have boxed and wrapped. I have taken photos that did no justice whatsoever to the fierce beauty of the stormy weather.  I have dug a turkey out of the depths of our freezer and set it out to defrost.  We visited a friend to take some gifts around, and were given a stunningly delicious banoffee pie in return. And now we’re debating watching a Christmas movie before bedtime.

I think that for most people with families and friends around them at Christmas time, the days leading up to the main event can be busy and stressful. There is so much to do and suddenly no time left to do them. I still haven’t collected sprouts or dug parsnips, or made any stuffing, or or or or…….

Storm Barbara didn’t help matters, arriving just when no one wanted her. The bad weather made me very anxious indeed but thankfully it has passed.  We have several damp items of clothing drying around the house but are otherwise unscathed by our encounter.

But the storm made me think, just what is important for the holiday and what is surplus to requirements. We have light, and warmth, and each other. There is electricity (at least for the moment), and we are safe and comfortable. And if I miss one of the planned cakes or forget to ice the biscuits or whatever, so what?  Will it really matter if we only have 1 type of veg or if its custard rather than cream over the pudding?

So yeah, today has been weird in a very good way. Despite being busy planning and organising stuff, its made me think, what do I really need, and what could we leave to one side?

Tomorrow brings carols, a service in our village church, and a turkey in the oven on low overnight.  All is set and ready, or at least all that’s necessary.  And I think tomorrow night will bring some silence as we recall the birth of Jesus and the real reason for all the celebrations.