By Thomas Hardy
Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
"Now they are all on their knees,"
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.
We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.
So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
"Come; see the oxen kneel,
"In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,"
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.
Merry Christmas! We are at my in-laws' in Hanover, Pennsylvania, where we arrived after driving most of the way in snow which didn't stick to the road surface but made the grass and trees very pretty (I just hope the cows and horses were not too cold). It continued to snow all afternoon and evening as we hung out with my in-laws and went out to a Chinese restaurant that had stir-fry as well as five big buffet tables.
When we came back to the house, my in-laws decided the roads were too slippery to drive to church. Adam and I went for a walk in the neighborhood to look at the trees and houses in snow, then someone found It's a Wonderful Life on television, though I don't know that anyone was paying much attention! I got no great photos as I did not want to risk my big camera in falling snow and it's still unnaturally bright from the clouds: