I love this time of year! This week of the year, for me, marks the beginning of the Christmas festivities, and it begins tonight with the Warwick Victorian Christmas Fayre I will be there with my lovely daughter and at least one other friend to listen to the Salvation Army brass band, savour the delights of the crepe stall and thoroughly enjoy watching the steam carousel in action.
In fact the only downside of this evening’s activities is that I have to miss my final choir only rehearsal for the Chorus concert on Sunday. We will be performing Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the University of Warwick Symphony Orchestra. You can buy tickets here. I love to sing in the Chorus. It gives me time to myself in what is usually a quite busy schedule. I have loved doing this type of thing since being a child in Primary school. At the age of 8 I was chosen to be part of the choir which helped to lead the music at the 100th Anniversary of the charity Barnardo’s, and I haven’t looked back since. There have been a few short periods since then when I haven’t been involved in music making but it never lasts long.
Tomorrow we are hosting our first of the year festive dinner parties and I have been occupied with the menu over the last few days. I love to show hospitality and welcome people into our home at any time of year but there is something a bit more atmospheric about Christmastime.
Starter – Roast Parsnip Soup & Homemade Bread Roll
Main – Roast Beef with Yorkshire Puddings and Seasonal Vegetables
Dessert – Baileys & Chocolate Cheesecake
Coffee & Mints
Saturday will mark the annual purchasing of the Church Christmas Tree which is always a fun event for me. I love sort through all the different trees to find the ‘perfect one’ which is almost invariably the most difficult to get to! John has bailed on this excursion this year. He wants me to pick him up when I have bought it.
All these preparations are things which I love and they really help me get into the spirit of Christmas. But the most important preparations to be making this season are in our hearts. Am I receiving enough of God’s grace to be living in a Christ-like manner? One of my favourite Christmas Carols is ‘Quelle est cette Odeur Agréable?’ English translation ‘Whence is that Goodly Fragrance flowing?’ And I am asking myself as I listen to it am I dispersing the fragrance of Christ as I go about my daily chores, ministering to my family and speaking to those who do not yet know Him? Even if I haven’t reached the destination, I am on the road and I know where I am going.
Next weekend we are travelling to London to take part in an evangelistic weekend for youth & families called ‘Wildfire’. We will be sleeping on a church hall floor and facilitating the youth doing dramas and music etc. whilst also being on hand to give a reason for the hope we have. Depending on how we travel there, I may get a chance to see the Christmas lights in the City.
I may not have time to blog next week, but come back soon xx.