The Miracle of Christmas

26 Dec

Christmas Eve had been a bit of a kitchen slog.  I had made my much acclaimed (by the Bleating Sheep) Gratin Dauphinoise, a pheasant casserole with chestnuts and juniper berries and a pot of lentil soup.  I had defrosted what seemed the entire contents of the freezer and had washed more dishes and pots than I’m sure we actually possess.

I had walked the dog (twice) and, at last, by 10pm had begun to wrap J’s presents.  I muttered as I wrestled with paper, cellotape, bows, ribbon, stick on star thingies etc.  My Christmas spirit had long since departed and my mood was darkening.  “Bah Humbug!”

I groaned.  I shouldn’t have said that.  That particular anti-Christmas outburst was liable to bring me a visit from that nauseatingly schmaltzy Ghost of Christmas Past.  But on this night of all nights a miracle was at hand.  I was going to church!

The Bleating Sheep and her boyfriend intended to go to the midnight candlelit service at the local church and had persuaded J that this was a good idea.  Having spent the whole day preparing for Christmas dinner it was possibly the last thing on my to-do list, but I had been told I was going so, as they say, that was that!  I was promised hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows so I was somewhat placated if not entirely enthusiastic.

I mellowed as I walked into the old stone building illuminated by Ikea’s entire stock of tee-lights.  It felt like Christmas of old as I sat next to the ancient cast iron hot water pipes running down the middle of the church, hot chocolate in hand.  Delicate flickering candle light gleamed off old wood pews, made shiny by the hundreds of years of bums on seats with fine detail carved into the oak balcony etched by shadows of candle flame.  I relaxed.  This might not have been a bad idea after all.

It was halfway through his sermon that the minister realised his parishioners were not giving his Christmas message their full and undivided attention.  As the flames from a bunch of overstressed candles behind him increased in intensity the general pointing and ever louder “Ahems” became more animated.  The agitated congregation was now making a valiant effort to interrupt God’s spokesperson, without making it obvious that they were actually doing so.  There was much shuffling of bums on pews and ineffectual fluttering of arms as people waved and pointed in the general direction of the impending conflagration.   I watched in God fearing awe the flames reached higher when my imagination got the better of me…




With my Christmas spirit now much restored, I flashed back into reality.

First I had a quick look around to make sure my exit route was clear but everywhere I looked I could see the malevolent flickering of flames …watching and waiting.   Every stained glass window ledge had its own demonic host of candles.  We were surrounded by the never ending Fires of Hell.

The minister had by now realised that his flock were on the edge of bolting and with some obvious trepidation turned to face the object of their worried stares.  His eyes widened as more candles began to flare, casting long flickering shadows on the wall behind.  Midnight was fast approaching.

Purposefully the man of God strode forward and blew a mighty gust of air to douse the satanic flames…and jumped back hellish quickly as the fire surged and rebounded off the wall threatening to burn his head to a crisp!  Once more he blew and once more he was driven back by the unquenchable fire.

Every disaster has its hero…and ours was called Harold.   Eyes fixed forward, his face a blank mask, Harold marched down the aisle with what appeared to be a laminated card in his hand.  There was no hesitation as he faced the Devil’s work.

“Whack!”  Thin tendrils of smoke, the last vanquished remnants of satanic fire wafted upwards as they were snuffed out forever.  Then all went quiet.  The remaining candles settled down and so did the congregation.  Job done, the still expressionless Harold walked back towards his seat and the minister turned once more to his congregation to continue his sermon probably thinking that, in the circumstances, he should stick to love and peace and cut out the fire and brimstone bit.

“Eh…” murmured the congregation

“Whit now?” was the bemused expression written on the minister’s face.




On the opposite side of the alter Mr B. L. Zeebub had popped a little bubble of evil over a few more candle flames and once more the Fires of Hell burned brightly.  This time there was no hesitation….Harold leapt straight into action, methodically swatting any flame of any size within a 10m radius.  Harold the Expressionless had been filled with the fervour of a true crusade and had slaughtered God’s enemies.

“Merry Christmas!” cheerfully exclaimed the minister checking his watch as Harold dourly stomped  back up the aisle to his seat.

“And a very Merry Christmas to you!”  I thought…then grinned.


Posted by on December 26, 2009 in General Drivel


5 responses to “The Miracle of Christmas

  1. annienz

    December 27, 2009 at 3:55 am



  2. fenlander

    December 27, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Ken, I’m proud of you. Fire AND Brimstone all in one post.
    You must be reading too mush of Fenlander!!!

  3. annienz

    December 27, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    LOL!!! I was thinking that Fenlander would be impressed by all the flames!

  4. fatdogwalks

    December 27, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    I’d love to say it was a clever piece of thinking on my part – but that particular connection hadn’t even crossed my mind 😦 – sorry Robin.

    Maybe it was some sort of subliminal thingy! 😀

  5. annienz

    December 28, 2009 at 6:07 am

    I’d say it was subliminal ! 🙂 LOL — Robin, you must be getting through to Ken!!



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