Christmas is Coming
Christmas is coming the goose is getting fat, please put a penny in the old man’s hat. If you haven’t got a penny a hap’enny will do. If you haven’t got a hap’enny God Bless you! [Old English Nursery Rhyme]
It’s Christmas… well, almost, it’s the first day of Advent and just 24 days to Christmas Eve. I absolutely love this time of year, taking pleasure in watching the cold, gloomy nights brought to life with sparkling lights, Christmas trees and baubles.
Our tradition at Christmas has been to have a real tree in one room and an artificial tree in another. However, I’ve changed my mind about having a real tree, which is a bit of a shame because I love the smell of pine and spruce in the house. Nonetheless, being fortunate to have grown a couple of beautiful Christmas trees in the garden, I’ve begun to feel guilty that each year someone cuts down these splendid trees so that we can decorate them in our homes. In the past we tried buying trees with roots intact, but only two survived the heat of the house. So, having changed my mind on real trees, I’m having two artificial ones instead.
Already I’m getting excited about the prospect of opening up the Christmas decoration boxes that have been packed away under the stairs for almost a year.
In Christmases past I’d revel in visiting the city shops, I’d admire the decorations and hum along to an endless stream of Christmas songs with a different tune in every doorway and at the end of the day I’d struggle home laden with bags and boxes of every size.
I don’t do that anymore; the Christmas spirit isn’t lost, just the city one. I purchase most of my gifts online including the food and having it delivered to my door is such a time saver. However, visiting the little market towns of Otley and Skipton at Christmas time is a happy treat not to be missed, a chance to listen to school children sing and the Salvation Army bands playing familiar and heart-warming Christmas carols.
Some traditions never change, Christmas cards and hot mulled wine and taking part in church services is a must, wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and during the afternoon of Christmas Eve the delightful Christingle service. Then there’s Christmas morning, opening the presents that Santa brought and wondering what we’ve got, followed by Holy Communion and the whole congregation harmonious with the choir, sing out the most joyous of Christmas carols.
Arriving home from church, preparing lunch, the family arriving, the last minute hunt for extra chairs, everyone sitting around the dining table, laughing and talking loudly. And then there’s the Queen’s speech, a tradition that mustn’t be missed, watching favourite films are also there on the traditional Christmas list, with ‘The Miracle on 34th Street’ remaining my absolute favourite. Oh yes, I believe in Christmas!
Pass the Sprouts please!
Footnote: Grateful thanks to Sophie for her Christmas art work.