Advent (10)

You know it’s getting into the holiday season when the singing begins. There’s nothing like an opportunity to get together with others to enjoy traditional carols and seasonal tunes, voices of all kinds come together in some sort of harmony and a great time is guaranteed. These are melodies we’ve been hearing since early childhood, ingrained in us such that for the most part, we don’t really even need a song sheet to remember the words – certainly for me, it still has that magic of the Christmas party at my infant school, small rosy faces glowing, glitter snowmen, a good deal of sparkle and a certain awe that goes with the nativity story, as well as skipping along to Oranges and Lemons or London Bridge is Falling Down before Santa turned up! Back then, we had jelly and ice-cream and played party games in short velvet dresses with lacy tights – now we stand around sipping mulled wine and enjoying prim little sandwiches and cake slices, chatting with people we see perhaps only once a year and want to catch up with. Still, the sensation of warmth and joining in does us the world of good, not least because we really have reached the nasty, cold, wet and dark season that merits this kind of therapy – a little bit of excitement creeping in to assure us that in company, all will be well. And a reminder of what it’s all about.

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