Day 23 - Christmas Carols Meet The Reluctant Choirboy
I often envied my dad for his 'perfect' English childhood.
Raised in a charming hamlet with a 1000-year-old Saxon village cross, he was a quick-witted choirboy – albeit an unwilling one. As he told it, every Sunday he was sent off to the parish church with his three younger siblings so his parents could have a little peace and quiet.
Dad was never a religious person (till his final weeks), yet most Sundays of my childhood – and especially near Christmas – he would fill our house with the sublime sounds of boy-choirs from Britain's greatest cathedrals.
A sound that I just didn't get.
Yet strangely, after my turbulent teens, I felt a warming to the music, especially some of the rich, historic, more obscure Christmas carols . . . it seemed the centuries would dissolve and I would be drawn into the enchanting, powerful, uplifting emotions of another world. (I also discovered I'm a sentimental sap, please pass the tissues!)
Reason was, I'd finally begun a spiritual journey of my own, one that allowed me to see the light in both the music and the message. A journey that grants me joy and peace in life's storms . . . and especially at this time of year, love and forgiveness for friend and enemy alike. Just as the carols remind us.
In the end, it all makes a wonderful memory, and isn't that all we can hope for in life?
In fact I'd love to listen to some King's College Cambridge with dad right now – or maybe something from the new global phenomenon, Libera – but then again, I believe he's stretching his vocal chords with a rather better ensemble at the moment!
As the English say, Happy Christmas and God bless us, everyone.
Precious memories are worth celebrating. Let us not forget those with Alzheimer's or other dementias who suffer from a loss of memory. For more information, visit the Alzheimer Society of Toronto.
What are your memories of previous Christmases? Let us know by commenting below!