And at the Vicar's old house
no one was stirring
not even a louse
Actually not true, but after the chaos of having to get three carol services done, daughter to a friend's birthday party, sister in law, spouse and baby sorted, and son cared for yesterday it all seems strangely quiet here today.
Colleagues came round to say morning prayer and have a chin wag this morning, and in half an hour i am off to lunch at one of the local schools, but other than that the dogs are lying in their beds asleep and i am clicking away on my keyboard as i search through my last few years of Christmas sermons in order not to repeat too much of what i have said before...
I have no idea what i am going to say in my Christmas sermons this year - i try and do a different one for midnight mass and Christmas day, but there is only so much one can say to a largely unchurched congregation in a few minutes at Christmas without just saying exactly what was said last year and the year before that and, well you get the picture.
But it is funny how the full on week i had last week, packed with pastoral visits, a gazillion phone calls, emails which no man can number (sorry for sexist reference, but it is an allusion to an old piece of liturgy) and, of course, preparations for big carol services (well, big in our villages means about 50 in one church, 70 in another and 150 in another) has been superseded by what looks like a relatively quiet week this week. The Christmas services don't need quite the planning that carol services do, because they are Eucharistic and the format is pretty well set, and though pastoral visits still need doing there aren't quite as many as there were last week set up (at least not yet, i am sure more will arise).
So i am making the most of the calm before the storm and getting ready for the rush of Christmas itself (seven services in less than 24 hours). I do still have to get a prezzy for my wife, so will need one afternoon in Cambridge (the nearest town) to have a mooch and a think about what to get her.
It might even mean i can do some blogification too.