Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve has enormous power to evoke memories of past years,  Some good, some not so good, but always there in the background waiting for the right trigger to emerge bright as daylight.

As a child I loved Christmas Eve, the atmosphere, the unrealistic hopes, the dizzying prospects of what might be.

As one of four children in a family very close but also very impoverished I knew that most of my dreams were just that, dreams, but it in no way diminished my excitement on that special evening.

Over the years, varying experiences caused me to love Christmas less and less, until finally in middle age I regarded it as a break from work at best.

As I have blogged many times before, my Communist atheist upbringing did not include any part of the Christian view of Christmas time, but was still celebrated whole-heartedly as a secular event.

At the age of 75, a few months after my husband's death I found a new way of life was christened and confirmed and joined the choir of my local church.

Starting to sing again after a break of 24 years has produced some odd results.

Once a first soprano I am now an alto (not a mezzo) and am taking great pleasure from all the church music especially Christmas and Easter with its dazzling choice of lovely music.

Slightly less appealing for me is the fact that Midnight Mass involves my leaving the house at the time i would normally be going to bed.  This year (today) I was not anticipating going out into the very strong cold wind at 11.00 pm but was otherwise happy about the prospect of this lovely service.

Just a quarter of an hour ago one of my lovely neighbours came and rang my doorbell.

"Are you singing in Midnight Mass" she asked, "if so we will give you a lift"

A small thing some might say, but for me, a massive difference in the way I view this evening's trip to church.

The greatest benefit to come from all my new experiences since I lost John has been the astonishing kindness and thoughtfulness of all my new friends, in church and most particularly, in the 'Close'.

In 2008 my mother died on Christmas Eve and a few months later I lost John, yet Christmas Eve, however tinged with sadness as it is, has brought a whole new meaning to my ;life.

Deo Gracias.

Merry Christmas to you all.


  1. Christmas Eve to me too is always a poignant time, because of the plethora of memories it evokes = my own childhood and those of our children and grandchildren, The wild excitement is definitely muted in teenage grandsons. :)

    I'm glad that in later life you discovered the deeper meaning of Christmas and that celebrating it in song still brings you such pleasure and satisfaction. I hope you had a happy day yesterday.

  2. I did indeed have a happy Midnight Mass and even just a very few hours later Christmas Day Service.
    That however, took the last of my supply of energy for the year so am now stocking up for the next marathon.
    Christmas is at the very least a chance to rest and recoup in peace.
    I hope your Christmas has been equally rewarding.

  3. I am so glad your neighbours are looking afternoon weird life really does echo yours in many ways....not least in the tears we both shed at Christmas.. Keep smiling my good friend.

  4. I am trying Jean. Not always succeeding but at present it is only small things which are getting in under my guard. Like the fact that I can't access the wide-screen mode on my computer and cannot therefore turn off using the little cross in the top right hand corner. (It is not being displayed) Aaaaahhh!

    1. Small frustrations often get me down too. But I suspect that's just old age ....have a Happy New Year my friend!

    2. A very Happy New Year to you too Jean.

  5. Merry Christmas to you, Ray, and may you rest well this week. Being a church musician or church staff person requires a lot of time and effort with not much room for rest. I for one am having a nice lie-in today and I hope you are, too! Blessings for the new year.

  6. Thanks Penny and for you too for 2016, I am doing very little with plenty of rests in between those few things.
    Quite a novelty really.
    Christmas music and church events certainly drain any spare energy away but it is energy well spent. Give the furry ones a Christmas kiss from me. :-)

  7. Wishing you a very happy new year filled with God's blessings

  8. Thank you Jane and a very Happy New Year to you also.