It’s Sunday evening. Tomorrow I will be travelling back to the Lincolnshire countryside for a family Christmas… and I am anticipating some difficulty carrying all the family Christmas presents and my luggage onto the London Underground… but for now, that picture of difficulty (although inevitable) seems like something that can wait.
Right now, I am enjoying a moment of peace and tranquillity before the family Christmas madness begins. Don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to a nice get-together with my brother and sisters… but I’m sure there are many people who feel the same way as I do, that family time can get a little… intense.
This evening I really took my time over the wrapping, smoothing the paper, tying the ribbons, writing the gift tags. I like to make an effort with it – yes I know that it’s going to get ripped off in moments… but right now the gifts look sparkly and inviting. (And let’s hope they still do after that trip on the Tube) 😉
The real inspiration for me writing tonight was just the simple beauty and peace I am surrounded by and have been all afternoon. As I’m writing, the lights on the tree are twinkling, there are candles burning softly, one inside a beautiful red holder, painted with snowflakes, another twirling a delicate windmill of Christmas stars, another with one of my favourite icons of Christmas – a little robin. There is something about the soft light that inspires serenity, that also cheers up the darkness of the long winter nights.
There is also a Christmas song that I have had to listen to several times today (a nice traditional one – before anyone starts thinking I have been listening to Wham on repeat). It’s O Holy Night. I don’t even know all the words to it, I just love the way it sounds. I’ve listened to several versions but I’m actually going to post the one of a young Charlotte Church singing it…
1. because I was a child when she became famous I never really appreciated how amazing her voice actually is
2. Her fashion in the video is a bit of a throwback (lilac eyeshadow… glittery lip gloss… glittery hair… yes I’m sure I did that too)
3. There is something amazing about how she went from singing that to ‘I’m a Crazy Chick’
and mostly because at the moment this is my favourite Christmas song (although that may change… tomorrow it may well be Wham, who knows?)
Christmas lights, Christmas songs – they’re so simple but can be so uplifting. Something to remember amidst all the chaos that can happen when rushing to the shops for last minute gifts or food for the lunch, or when the family time does get intense.
Whatever you believe about the Christmas story, whether Christian or not, you have to admit that it is an amazing story. The most humble of births and yet the most incredible.
So the little lights that inspired this post… yes they are humble… but they add a little magic to a dark evening. They inspire peace. They light up the night.