Season’s Greetings

Sunday was cold, really cold. When the wind blew, it blew straight through you. But it was the perfect day for a family walk to the Christmas Markets. It’s just not the same, if it’s not cold. So with the temperature hovering just above zero, off we went.

First, walking next to the river, the children playing and being cheeky. Not too cold yet, it was still light at this stage. But you could feel it coming. As we walked, the occasional gust would give us a shiver and make us glad of all the layers which we were wearing.

The closer we got to the town centre, the more the festive spirit grew. We started to see decorations, on lamp posts and bridges. And more people, not too crowded yet but others heading in the same direction as us. Our children were getting more excited. They had some money from their piggy banks to spend, their own choice, what would it be?

As we approached the markets themselves we could see the crowds, not too many people, but enough. Stalls containing all the usual goods. Hot wine, to warm my cockles, food both hot and cold. Seasonal decorations and gifts for all ages. Songs were being sung, children were dancing and the excitement of the season was upon us.

And then for the walk home. Via the old square and it’s Christmas tree, a beautiful sight standing next to the historical buildings contained there. Could the children make it? Both tired and cold now, but of course they could. Then, it was so nice to get home and begin to thaw out. And after dinner, some traditional Christmas biscuits and a cup of tea. Perfect.

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

Too Soon?

Letters have been written and collected. Requests made and dreams are being dreamed. Excitement is building, it can’t come soon enough. Traditional songs are being played, an atmosphere like no other time of year. Too early? If you love Christmas, can it ever be too early?

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© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

Christmas Joy

This week I saw my first Christmas performance of the season. My daughter had a carol singing performance in the garden of her kindergarten, and it was magical. The trees were strewn with fairy lights and the children, and adults, were all wrapped up against the cold.

The songs were beautiful and really put everyone in the spirit of the season. But the most beautiful things of all was, of course, the smile on my daughter’s face. When she came outside, holding hands with her partner, she was searching the crowd for me and her brother. When our eyes met the light in her eyes was unforgettable, so excited to perform for us. And perform she did, singing loudly and proudly the whole time.

There are people who complain that Christmas has no real meaning, but I disagree. The meaning of this holiday is in the light of a child’s eyes. When they receive their gifts, but more importantly, when they are with their family, singing, eating, drinking, or simply spending time together. 

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish