We opened our porch door this morning to find a Christmas card in the letter box. Nothing unusual you might think in that. "We have received all the cards we normally do from our neighbours," I told hub. "Then who can this be from?" It was from the Muslim family who moved this year into the end house. We were so touched. That they could find the time and interest to remember OUR annual celebration. (We barely know what theirs is - something in November?) That they wanted to. Their generosity of feeling.
After Christmas lunch, elder daughter fetched out her violin and played some Christmas carols in the dining room. What joy.
When we had the sitting room redecorated two years ago, we got rid of the piano, and since then there has been no music at Christmas.
Now, daughter has brought music back into the house. I am overjoyed.
Next, mother-in-law adds another layer of emotion to the mix. She reminisces about the day that elder daughter first showed an interest in music, asking to learn the recorder. This was in a holiday cottage twenty years ago, when both parents-in-law used to come on holiday with us. I do remember the tune I taught her was "Bee, bee, Busy bee, busy, busy, busy bee" - all on one note, the note B. It was indeed the date that daughter first started to learn music. Being one of the parties, I don't have a picture of the scene in my head. Granny does, and tells us. I am moved by her recollections, and dumbfounded that she can still see it as clearly as the day it happened. Wish we had a video-camera. But Granny has the picture locked in her memory.
The books I gave for Christmas have given delight and interest. Two of them were second-hand but didn't look it. Elder daughter received "Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me" and read it for hours. I gave younger daughter a book about the Peak District, but it was Auntie (hub's sister) and her partner who pored over it. They live in Manchester, and have done many of the walks pictured, and even met one of the famous walkers who opened up Kinder Scout and started the Rambling Association. No-one said anything about the books being less than absolutely pristine, although I think they might have suspected something.
Hub received his own version of a "pre-owned" book. Some old person in Granny's circle was given a Nigella cookbook. No longer interested in cooking, she donated it to a raffle. Granny's best friend, (90), won the raffle, and being too old to cook, passed it to Granny, who passed it to Hub. I love it - appears to be a mixture of "Express", "Comfort Food" and "Cakes". Have looked at every recipe and even my jaded and worn-out attitude to cooking has received a jolt of inspiration. Particularly interested in the vivid green marshmallow pie.
So, three good things have happened today, and three books have brought pleasure. Ending on cake and books, just as it should be.