’Tis the sea­son to be jolly, but Na­ture has her own view

Country Life Every Week - - The Four Seasons -

then, when you leave church, you feel it: the deep peace that has de­scended on earth this silent, holy night.

the real gift of the twelve Days of Christ­mas is time. the hol­i­day el­e­ment of Christ­mas is an­cient, hark­ing back to and the sec­ond Coun­cil of tours, when monks were put on fur­lough. Christ­mas lunch is, ac­cord­ingly, long and leisurely and, in the af­ter­noon, there are the hours to sit in the arm­chair to read a book and play Cluedo as a fam­ily, as you did when you were small.

these are a few of our favourite things at Christ­mas: King’s Col­lege Choir, the Queen’s Speech, Christ­mas pud with hid­den £1 coins, the tar­tan Pringle socks from Great Aunt Madeleine (at least she re­mem­bered), the Lon­don in­ter­na­tional Horse Show, the re­ith Christ­mas Lec­tures and those strange foods that come out only for Yule sup­pers, headed by gherkins, turk­ish De­light, dates, pic­calilli and roast chest­nuts.

Christ­mas is a time of prom­ise. We have climbed the hill of the year and longer days are in sight. As a bonus, there is the pleas­ing re­as­sur­ance of rit­ual; sherry in the morn­ing with neigh­bours, the Box­ing Day meet or shoot, the jolly along the lane with the labrador to work off the Christ­mas ex­cess (hers, as well as yours), then Hog­manay and wild, wild reel­ing.

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