The party was fun. Here is a pavlova meringue base filled with white chocolate mousse, with a raspberry sauce and chocolate drizzles. Atop it is a mouse made from chocolate and nuts and a cherry. So we have a mouse in the mousse, or a Merry Christmouse. Other items in the picture include wine and cheese and Janalisa’s bottom.

Partygirl says it is now okay to put up a tree (we’ve had ours up for two weeks, but she is strict) and we put up our garlands and wreath as well. We sang Christmas carols (rather than Advent hymns) in church, and at home, too. The boys went and did their Christmas shopping (and #2 son was excited enough about his purchases to tell me all about them in a loud whisper, bless him).

After the party, I put one of the freezer meals into the oven for our dinner, and we ate it in front of the fire while playing games and watching holiday movies. I finished the ribbing on the cardigan, and got back to the Prayer Shawl.

Apart from a general sense of festivity, I am trying to keep things as much on a normal schedule as possible. We intend to go the gym today, and of course most of us still have some combination of work and/or school.

Our song for the day is “O, Little Town of Bethlehem.”  We sang it to the most common tune, “St. Louis,” in church yesterday, but #2 daughter prefers to sing it toVaughn Williams’s “Forest Green.” You can find everything from dulcimer tab to ringtone versions of this song online (as well as plenty of musings on the contrast between the peacefulness of the song and the reality of life in modern Bethlehem), and it has been recorded by a great variety of artists, including the excellent a cappella group Take 6 and the great Nat King Cole, Emmy Lou Harris and Elvis Presley. That last link will take you to a rather creepy site where you can actually hear Elvis Presley singing the song. Or you can hear someone called elfdaughter singing it to “Forest Green” in a breathy and tentative voice here.

But chances are you know this song yourself already and can just sing it while you contemplate the Trinity, deck your halls, or whatever you normally do at this time of year.