Many of the St Silas' congregation leave Glasgow at Christmas. Anyone with an Irish background returned to the homeland. There are so many of them that I've suggested that next year they should hire a bus or two and cut down on the costs.
The absence of so many regulars leaves room for visitors. This is a joy, but it does mean the church is busy with strangers, most of whom are visiting family or friends for the holidays. Nonetheless we had joyful and peaceful services.
After the Christmas morning service, we enjoyed the usual Christmas bash. I experimented with preparing brussel sprouts, chestnuts and bacon and it worked. The parsnips in maple syrup were good too. Both sets of grandparents joined us for the Christmas feast then we drove them all home in time for a quiet evening.
Santa and friends delivered many wonderful gifts:
Grumpy Old Men: The Secret Diary by Stewart Prebble. I knew of the TV programme, but had never watched it. Having been given the book by a self-described Grumpy Old Git (in fact he operates at Grand Master level), I now discover that I am one too! Should I fight it?
A Sony Digital Reader. Hundreds of books downloaded onto a very slim and attractive gizmo that works beautifully. A surpise birthday/Christmas treat from Ms GV
A new dressing gown in blue which means my ancient green one has been consigned to the recycling.
Yesterday found me speaking and leading at both services, but now I am on a week off. We are staying put and have plans to declutter the study and paint some woodwork. Today has been spent on the long overdue tidying of the back garden. Thirty bags of leaves and other waste. The scaffolding from the re-roof is still up, but it makes for a handy frame for attaching Christmas lights to, so we have joined the ranks of homes now displaying exterior Christmas lights. I hope we're not making someone grumpy with that.