First Sunday in Advent

Imagine if you will...

Scene: Lounge room, lit softly with lamp, lovingly constructed Advent wreath on coffee table. Family gathered round, lamp light shining in their eyes…

Me: For goodness sake, stop slapping your sister.
The Boy: It was only a joke.
Me: Let me tell you something about women – none of them think being slapped is even faintly amusing. That is totally a boy thing.
The Man: Mmhmm, apparently the only person around here you can slap is me.
(boys stage mock fight on carpet)
Me: (repeating like a mantra) Peace and joy, peace and joy. OK, now we are going to light the Advent wreath.
Posy: I want to light it, I want to light it, I want to light it.
Me: When you are eight, like Rosy, then you may light it. You can hold the snuffer, and snuff the candle at bedtime.
(Rosy lights candle, and, mesmerised by the flame, holds onto the match just a little too long)
Me, The Man, The Boy, The Domestic Goddess: ROSY, BLOW OUT THE MATCH!
(Rosy screams, drops match on carpet, luckily very old carpet which has seen worse)
Posy: Can I snuff it now?
Me: No, later. First I am going to say the Advent poem.
(The Boy rolls eyes)
Me: For the seed of love…
Posy: Can I snuff it now?
Me: No. For the beauty…
Posy: Can I snuff it now?
Me: No. For the strength of truth…
Posy: Can I snuff it now?
Me: No. Let us give thanks…
The Boy: Oh, we are.
Posy: NOW, NOW, NOW!
Me: (determinedly cheerful, see profile note, above) Posy, we are going to sing Away in the Manger, just for you.
The Boy: I’ll be off now. I am so thankful, by the way.
(Posy curls up in my lap, eyes closed, angelic face plastered on)
Posy: I am the baby Jesus. You sing.
(We sing)
Posy: (eyes snapping open) I am now the angel. All the girls are angels, but I am the best angel. Can I snuff the candle now?
Me: When you are wearing your pyjamas, and when we have read the story.
(Extraordinarily lightning fast change into pyjamas)
Me: On a dark night, long ago, and in a far country, some shepherds were keeping watch over their sheep…
Posy: Can I snuff it now?
Me: Then the sky was filled with angels…
Posy: Can I snuff it now?
Me: There, lying in a manger…
Posy: Can I snuff it now?
Me: Kings, in their countries far to the East of Bethlehem…
Posy: Can I snuff it NOW?
Me: And that is the story of…
(Posy snuffs candle. Scene fades to black as Mummy collapses on couch, clutching forehead, demanding stiff drink)

Peace and joy. So exhausting.


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