I woke up this morning with the lovely French carol, “Quelle est cette odeur agreeable?”, playing in my mind, so that can be the song of the day. The site I am linking you to claims that this comes from John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera, but that is not true, as the carol predated the opera. The tune was used by John Gay, a contemporary of Handel, with the words “Fill every glass, for wine inspires us…” It is now also known as a fiddle tune, under the title “Three Famed Generals.” It is such a gorgeous tune that we cannot disapprove of any use of it.

The carol chronicles the overwhelming sensory experiences of the shepherds who were visited by angels announcing the birth of Jesus. I like this because we are inclined to overlook that when we think of this scene. That is, in all the pageants, Charlie Brown Christmas Specials, etc., where this story is told, the focus is on the fearfulness of the shepherds, and the greatness of the angels’ announcement. Reasonable enough. But this carol, written from the viewpoint of the shepherds, speaks of the scent of the angels, the sound of the music, and the generally overwhelming beauty of the experience. I have linked you to the original French because I like that best, but if you scroll down the page, you will find links to several translations.

Today we have the children’s Christmas pageant at church, and we will sing “The First Nowell/ Pachelbel’s Canon,” which should have the people swooning in the pews. Following this uplifting morning, we have a party going on. We intend to fill every glass and see if wine inspires us.

My husband bought this very pretty bottle of wine for the occasion.

The kids and I have made the house as nice as possible. It is a good idea to have people in around this time of year, not only because it is fun to have people in, but also because that gives you impetus to get your house clean and decorated. Then you can relax and enjoy the holidays in pleasant surroundings without further effort.

That is the plan chez fibermom. My husband and daughter are on holiday now, the boys have three half-days before their vacation begins, and I am feeling festive even though I am still working. I hope you are too.