Sorry – I know I promised video – but it didn’t happen. I tried to get Alex’s new trick on video today – and it was a no go – he is way more interested in seeing what is going on on the video camera screen… I’ll try again tomorrow.
One of the special things about Christmas is attending community events. Whether it is a Santa Claus Parade, a Tree Lighting Ceremony, a Choral Sing at a church, or volunteering at a community meal, there is something extra magical about being amidst so many people sharing the same joy of the season.
A few years ago, I was a member of the Stratford Book Festival committee, and one of our projects was hosting a CBC’s reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The reading was held in a beautiful old church, freshly decorated for Christmas and was a lit by candle light. Because we are in Stratford, we had a host of amazing world renowned Stratford Festival actors and actresses reading – they were truly memorable events. The most special was the one where Loreena McKennitt made a last minute performance at intermission. If you know who she is you will understand. If you have not heard of her – have a listen on her website (and if you choose to buy a cd, I highly recommend Live in Paris/Toronto where proceeds go to the Cook-Rees Memorial Fund for Water Search and Safety, a program close to my heart). I still have goose bumps thinking of her performance. If you live in a community where this CBC event is being held, I highly recommend it.
The year after the Book Festival folded, we started to attend the christmas dinner for my mom’s church – and this year we went tonight. Now Matt and I do not attend this church (it’s a Baptist church), we prefer a more traditional service (I’m Lutheran and Matt’s Anglican), but we really enjoy this event. The dinner is open to congregants and their family and friends – and is sold out each year. This year the church actually moved the dinner to a hall to better accomodate the numbers. There is time to socialize, a nice turkey dinner, and then we watch entertainment of some sort. Tonight we were lucky enough to hear Ali Matthews perform (yet another amazing Stratford musician). Ali has the most angelic voice (next to Loreena McKennitt that is) and played a collection of known Christmas carols as well as a number of songs she has written. She really brought home the real meaning of Christmas – Jesus, and reminded us to count our blessings (rather than sheep at night).
I really look forward to attending more such events with Alex – especially the Santa Claus parade (this year’s was rained out). What community event do you look forward to every year?