I had to give in to the sweet pleas for an advent calendar last evening. I told myself, a little chocolate just adds up to the advent spirit!
Growing up in a church that was into very simple living and didn’t give much importance to festive celebrations, most of my Christmases was just like any other Sunday. We had little to no decorations in our home. My parents probably got us a new dress and we went to church. But that’s about it.
It was only when I married Vj and moved to an anglican church, I discovered what a big deal Christmas was. It meant month long festivities and events. Going on carol rounds was one of those events we all unanimously looked forward to.
Being a part of a church that has 400 families on record, it was no joke planning the carol rounds. A lot of logistics went into it. Each day nearly 10 to 15 homes were covered. Vj, me and the kids would join on all Fridays and Saturdays. On some nights, the carolling will go up to 3 am and the kids would be wide awake enjoying the songs and the delicious snacks served in each home!
Until last month, I honestly thought this was a world-wide tradition. But when I shared it with some christians friends here, they were quite astonished!
We, along with our friends here, decided we must continue this tradition here in Stockholm. At first we had no clue how to go about it. So we posted this ad on Facebook –
The response we got was quite overwhelming. Many, complete strangers, wrote to us requesting us to visit their homes.
Our excitement knew no bounds. We had several nights of practice. And practice meant family get togethers, good food and loads of laughter!
After hours of tuning our voices, we set out last weekend. We quite literally went ‘dashing through the snow’ in trains, trams, buses and by walk to 6 homes in the freezing temperature.
We are just average Joes when it comes to singing. We sang no parts. We had prerecorded background music. And boy how many times we missed the beat and had to continue without the music!
We shared the Christmas story and a blessing for the New Year along with the carols.
At first, the mothers in our group were anxious how we will be able to handle the kids and so much travel. To our surprise, the kids had a blast. They thoroughly enjoyed singing, dancing and greeting everyone!
The love and warmth which we received in each home was moving! We spent not more than 20 minutes in each home. But the joy with which we walked out is beyond words!
We will be caroling in ten more homes over the next two weekends! The girls and I are eagerly looking forward to the same!
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:13,14