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.

- Barry Hill, Digital Ad Copywriter, Hill Digital (Click here for Facebook page)

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!

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