We took a festive detour last night. On a whim we decided to join an everyone-welcome raggle taggle collection of carollers on a street corner. The kids in Santa hats, a nativity scene set up on the pavement.
The 7 year old saw the statues and asked aloud in his best everyone-look-at-me voice did we want him to name them all.
As a lax, lapsed Christian I was more than a little nervous how it would go.
'That's the cow' he said, pointing to the cow.
'And that's the sheep' he said, pointing to the ox.
'And that - ' he announced pointing to the baby Jesus
'...um, what's his name again?'
Then louder, to the crowd - 'What's he called again?'
'Jesus Christ' I muttered in despair.
'Oh yeah, Jesus'.
I pushed him to the back of the group and told him to behave. Always a mistake.
'Boring! Bor-rrring! I hate this one.' he said as the carols began.
'And this one. When can we leave?'
Everyones smiles became fixed. Mine was gone a long time ago.
I grabbed his arm a little too tightly as he accidentally on purpose pushed his brother into an older lady.
Hissing into his ear I told him how much trouble he was going to be in when we got home.
'Stop ruining everything for everyone you spoiled little....'
The music struck up again -
'Peace on earth and mercy mild...'
Yep, Christmas has begun.