Christmas carols are very special to me. They bring back happy memories of wonderful family Christmas celebrations. From as early as I can remember we used to start singing carols early in December. My grandmother would sit at the piano and we would all sit around singing the old favourites.
As Christmas day approached, the smell of baking and pine trees invaded our home. Mum and dad would look at each other and smile whenever we asked if Father Christmas had received our letters. Granny was happy to play carols every night. My parents would also take us to the local Carols by Candlelight service.
The school nativity play was always special. When I was fourteen, I was Mary and had to ride a donkey onto the hockey field much to the amusement of all the boys in our gang. They came along to watch secretly hoping I would fall off.
When we were teenagers, my older sister and I joined a group of carol singers. The money collected went to a local Christmas cheer fund. What fun we had with that group. Often we would go to the homes of local celebrities and sing at their Christmas parties. We also sang outside the local cinemas and hospitals. There were many teenage romances between the choirboys from the church and us girls.
Once we had left school things changed quite a bit, as granny had passed on and nobody was there to take her place. I really missed those special times around the piano. To compensate I brought Christmas tapes and records, which I played non stop. Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and the service on Christmas day were always highlights for me.
Once I had my children, I was determined to give them what I had as a child. Early in December I would start playing them the records or tapes and we would sit around singing. Dave soon joined in with his guitar. We then on Christmas Eve would sing carols with his family, Dave playing the guitar. Dave’s mother really loved these times with her grandchildren.
Our one dream was to give the girls a white Christmas. Luckily, we were able to fulfill that dream in December 2000. We took the girls to London for three weeks over Christmas. What a special time. The cold weather really added to the atmosphere.
Walking down Oxford Street, hearing carols sung at different corners is something I will never forget. It even snowed while we were there so they truly had a white Christmas.
My hope and prayer is that my children will one day pass the tradition onto their families. We still to this day sit outside on Christmas Eve singing carols. My all time favourite being
Hark the Herald Angels Sing.
Christmas is a special time. Let us all sing with one voice this Christmas.
“O come let us adore Him Christ the Lord”
He is after all the reason we live and have our being.
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