So many wonderful things are associated with Christmas! Presents, family gatherings, fun and laughter.. the list is a long and happy one. In our family we generally start to prepare for Christmas when we begin to plan and make presents for one another, usually from about September or so, (for those who do). The next herald of Christmas each year is generally the sound of Christmas carols. Our son Michael was notorious for wanting to play carols from about the beginning of October (!) I can hardly imagine the Christmas season without the constant background sounds of the Disney chipmunks, inter-played with Bing Crosby and Mariah Carey and others. Because we didn't have television, our 'background noise' over Christmas was carols, often played all day long - so you can understand why two months is enough, much as we all enjoy them :)
These photos show most of our family ready to go out caroling a few Christmases ago, and our afternoon practice beforehand. Under Tammy's direction we practiced our parts to sing 'Christmas Bells' and a couple of other songs, then put together some plates of homemade biscuits and off we went. A really fun part of this activity was that as we caroled at various homes, we managed to collect up some of the friends we sang to, who then joined us to visit more houses! :)
If we have a Christmas party (which most years we do), we always enjoy having musical performances from several of our friends after dinner. It's amazing how talented many people are. One of our friends is a member of the Ten Tenors, so of course he is fabulous, but we enjoy hearing from everybody. Abby plays her viola beautifully and others have played guitar, flute, violin, bells, saxaphone and yukulele. One year a friend came fully dressed in his kilt regalia, and played the bagpipes, so that was particularly memorable. We have our favourite carols printed up into about 30 little booklets that we re-use each year, and we always close the party with Tammy playing the piano for group caroling.
One year a good friend who has a magnificent bass voice turned up on our doorstep early on Christmas morning with his wife, who is a pianist, as his accompanyist. He announced that he had come to sing for us. We were still in our pj's, but we all curled up on the couches and listened with tears in our eyes as he sang 'I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked'. It was so beautiful and so unexpected that it is one of my favourite ever Christmas highlights. We loved it so much that he came back the following year and the year after and the year after. Lucky us!
I hope that Tammy will tell you about the singing activity she likes to attend in the city. I forget the name for it but it's an 'instant' choir that come together for a short practice, then perform 'The Messiah'. Anyone can join :)
Do you love the music of Christmas? Do you get sick of it? Do you have favourite songs or albums that you play every year? Do you like hearing carols while you are shopping? Do you like to sing?
55 Days to Christmas!!
'Ring Christmas bells, merrily ring... !'