Thursday, 24 December 2015

It was Christmas Eve, babe...

'It was Christmas Eve, babe...' - so begins my favourite Christmas song by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.

I will also confess to having a certain fondness for Shakin' Stevens' 'Merry Christmas Everyone', but mainly because I remember the video and his rather fetching festive jumper.

When you read this it will indeed be Christmas Eve, probably my favourite day of the festive period.

I love the anticipation of Christmas Eve.  The presents still wrapped neatly, nestling under the tree waiting to be opened (if the dog hasn't got to them first and given them his inspection).

The mulled wine warming gently in a pan on the stove, mince pies, sausage rolls and a whole host of other delights which I try to only consume at Christmas, otherwise I'd have a belly the size of Father Christmas's and need to borrow his nice red suit, or perhaps fetch my maternity jeans from the attic (now there's a thought - thanks Joey from Friends for that idea!)

One of my Christmas Eve highlights is the candlelit crib service at the local Parish Church.

It's lovely, attracts people of all ages, and offers a calming influence before the 'storm' of the festive season. 

The old stone building is transformed with the glow of the candles, carefully balanced out of reach of little hands on the stone columns which have stood proud for hundreds of years, witnessing many events such as this.

Everyone joins in singing - it's not just hymns either; last year we had the 12 Days Of Christmas, with each pew having to stand up and sing their line, causing much amusement when people didn't arise at the correct time and boomed out 'Five Gold Rings' at the wrong moment, for example.

The children usually dress up as characters from the Nativity, but I'm pretty sure there was a Gruffalo once.  I'm anticipating Star Wars-themed outfits this year - perhaps Darth Vader himself, some Ewoks or a couple of Storm Troopers?!  Merry Christmas to you all.


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