The Christmas Tree looked gorgeous, as usual!
It was great that Torie and her boyfriend Nick could join us for lunch, even though they had so many others in Nick's family to see on the day! But, even more than that, they left their home at 8am to travel down to Phillip Island to pick up Mum and Dad and bring them to our house. Such an amazing effort and so very much appreciated by all of us!
Wayne's dad, Geoff and his sister Debbie & hubby Phil were also there, although understandably much quieter, this year.
Dad went into permanent care in November, due to his Alzheimer's Disease. So, we gave him a picture of the family to put on his bookshelf.
Mum was with us for Christmas too, but somehow I didn't manage to catch a snap of her this year!
It was lovely to have Lizzy's boyfriend Adam join us for this first time, this year!
I felt it was important to acknowledge our losses, as well as our blessings during this past year, so I did a little research and came up with the following Grace, which I read out as everyone held hands, before we began to eat:
God of all gifts, we thank you for the many ways you have blessed us
and we thank you for bringing our family and
friends together on this wonderful day.
We are grateful for each of those who are gathered around this table
and we ask you to bless us and our food
and to bless those we love who are not with us today.
In our gratitude and love, we remember your humble birth into our lives
and pray for those who are without enough to eat.
We remember the stable in which you were born
and pray for those who have no place to live.
We remember your challenging message of caring and giving
and we pray for peace in families and nations throughout the world.
Despite the hardships of this past year,
we are grateful for the unity and grace you have bestowed upon us.
As we celebrate your birth Lord,
we will remember countless blessings in our lives which we are so thankful for.
Let the gift of your peace come into our hearts and remain with us
and may we rejoice in your blessings for all our days.