I went to a carol service last Monday and I’m ashamed to admit that I can’t remember the last one that I went to. It was a beautiful evening, the church which is very old, was lit by hundreds of candles which made the occasion magical. The service was lovely and the singing just amazing. All the carols I knew from childhood, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, “Silent Night”, O Little Town of Bethlehem” …. were sung with gusto by all the congregation.
As I walked home through the snow that had fallen earlier that day, I got to thinking about past Christmases and, as a child, how excited I used to get. Making paper decorations with my sister, going shopping with my mother, seeing all the lights in the windows, hearing people calling out “Merry Christmas” to strangers as they passed in the street. It seemed everyone got caught up in the Christmas spirit.
I tried to give my children the same wonderful Christmases that I had and relived mine again through them. Watching their excitement as the time drew nearer, counting the sleeps till Christmas Eve, when HE would come, hopefully with the sackful of presents they had asked for. Hanging up the stockings, which somehow became sacks over the years and the frustration of trying to find small inexpensive things to fill them with – a tangerine, a handful of nuts, a bag of chocolate coins, football socks, gloves, while still somehow manging to put a pile of presents under the tree for them
They are all grown up now, but still come back home with their partners for Christmas. Their rooms are all ready, the shopping is done and I will be waiting to greet them when they arrive this evening. I will watch them as they put their presents alongside ours under the tree and wonder where all the years have gone.
After a late supper, when we have had time to catch up on everyone’s news we’ll got to bed for one more sleep………….and then it will be Christmas