So, today is the first Monday of December - the first Monday of advent. I am not religious, but both of my grandads were Methodist ministers, and as someone who has from the age of 6 been part of a choir, I have always been involved in Advent and Christmas concerts, and loved the rituals and run up to the 25th. Christmas Eve is near enough my favourite day of the whole year!
I am doing much less singing this year for one reason and anther, and I am a little sad that I won't be part of a Messiah, or a Bach Passion or even carol service or a carol concert. Apart from if you count my secondary school's forthcoming Christmas concert, where I'll be waving my arms in front of the choir for the last time.....I love the build up to Christmas and the little rituals we all have - be they things that we all share, like gobbling up chocolate advent calendars, or personal, family events. One of my atheist friends and I have for I think 13 out of the last 14 years attended midnight mass somewhere or other. Two of my friends host an annual 'Winter Wonderland' dinner party between Christmas and New Year. My Mum collects beautiful nativity settings and interesting and unique advent calendars, and always has an advent candle without fail. Not being religious really doesn't stop you enjoying the festivities and taking a moment to pause and reflect on the year!
Usually this moment takes place after the 24th - when you work in music and jewellery, everything is all go until you hit the big day! But this year, I am going to do my damnedest to take a moment in December. I have had the most manically busy and stressful November, flying from one end of the country to another doing various things. Most of what November contained was positive (although the greatly extended floor sanding less so....!) but I must admit to being exhausted by it. And also struggling to rid myself of a chest infection that has been with me for over 2 months now. I need a rest. And easy as it would be to crash on until the 25th, I am going to try to just slow my pace a little. Whether that will be possible or not is another matter.....I have 4 singing exams coming up, 2 school concerts, a production of Joseph to rehearse, and another 3 craft fairs before Christmas, along with my one dose of singing Christmas carols, as part of a quartet for a corporate event ( not exactly scintillating but I do love carols). And bearing in mind that I am writing this post on my phone, sitting on the bus on the way home from a full day of school teaching to an evening of private teaching...! Wish me luck as I try to steal back a moment for myself....
What are your December plans? Do you have a crazy month? Or are you fortunate enough to be able to savour the run up to Christmas a little?