The last few days have been, at the same time, busy and peaceful. My brother and his family arrived a week ago and it’s been great spending time with them.We had a good crowd out to our Christmas Open House on Saturday evening. Family and friends, lots of mingling. We totally forgot about all the hot appetizers in the freezer, but we had a ton of food and drink, and no-one left unsated. I sang with the choir on Sunday morning. We did Comfort, Comfort (Text: Johann Olearius; Tune: Geneva 42) and The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came during the offertory, and Balulalow by Peter Warlock during Communion (lovely version on YouTube here.) Monday was filled with a little last minute shopping and wrapping. My brother and his family and Michael went to the children’s liturgy in the afternoon, which was packed to the walls and out the doors. When they got home, we had lentil soup with leftover appetizers, bread, and cheese. The choir was singing at midnight mass with an 11 pm call, so Z and Alex came with me. We started carol singing at 11:30 pm and then mass began at midnight. The church looked lovely and was very full. During the offertory, we did Oh Holy Night with a visiting tenor soloist, and the most beautiful O Magnum Mysterium (Tomas Luis de Victoria) during Communion. Sunday morning, we opened stockings and gifts from each other, and then I headed off to mass to sing the Christmas Day liturgy. We did O Magnum Mysterium during the offertory and then The Wexford Carol (arr. by John Rutter; audio clip here) with a beautiful solo by one of our young tenors. We had Eggs Benedict for lunch with mimosas, fruit, and sweets. Naps and more gifts in the afternoon, and then a relaxing dinner of burritos and fruit (with more sweets, of course!) I intended to go to mass this morning, as I find it somewhat difficult to focus on the mass when I’m in the choir loft, but I started talking with my sister-in-law and the time slipped away. I’ve got some break baking in my new Zojirushi bread maker (thanks to my very generous brother and his family). I may have another nap….!