Today's the day I start my Christmas celebrations. In previous years, every day in December up to Christmas Eve has always been filled with carol playing, carol singing, concerts, etc., but it's not possible to celebrate in the same way this year. For starters, brass playing is still not permitted so there's no carol playing and there are no community carol singing events or in person concerts either, so I've had to have a rethink. It was a bit of a no brainer to work out that I can still do most of the things I'd normally do, just in a different way.
Around this time in the month I'd be phoning and speaking to a group of friends who live too far away to meet in person. We all know each other and usually it's individual phone calls but this year we're all meeting online via Zoom later this morning. This is the first of my online Christmas celebrations with friends ... today is the only day the people in this group could all agree on! There are other Christmas Zoom meets arranged for other days to look forward to.
There's bound to be online concerts I can watch and in addition, I've decided that this will be the year I watch some of the Christmas films I haven't seen yet. So at some stage during the month I will be watching Elf, The Grinch, Home Alone, and Nativity for the first time and will be rewatching for the umpteenth time A Christmas Carol (the Alasdair Sims version), Polar Express, A Wonderful Life, and The Muppets Christmas Carol. I feel quite excited just writing the titles!
Musically, Carols from Kings will be on TV and there will be several compilations of the Christmas No1 pop videos to choose from. There is also the choir Christmas virtual concert when we'll sing through all the songs we've been learning, and I have sorted out a couple of carol books to do some playing (flute, brass, or piano) any time I feel like it. I'm looking forward to this as well ... I'm starting on flute later on today!
The other biggie is the Christmas lights. I usually drive round to see the town lighting displays but the lighting ceremonies for each town were shown live over the weekend and I watched online. I also like to see the houses known for their outside decorations so will be doing that at some point during the month. A new event for this year is The Winter Wanderland where families have decorated their window(s) creating a trail around the town. Some have been featured on the town Facebook page and are brilliant, so I will be wandering round to look at some of those as well.
That's not all of my plans but enough for now. Yesterday's Advent calendar task was to do a Random Act of Kindness, which I hope to do on Wednesday. I can't tell you what I'm doing as the instruction is that it must be anonymous. Today's task is to 'Exercise Mindfulness Gratitude' and is something to do over the next few days by writing a daily list of things I'm grateful for. I do this daily though I don't usually write it down, but the card states that writing it down instead of just thinking about it will sharpen my focus on the appreciation I feel.
I hope you had fun with your online fun with your friends. It sounds as though you're planning on making the most of things. I haven't watched a Christmas film in years - they just make me homesick seeing all the ultra happy families. I choose to stay away from them and try to stay happy! The Christmas lights sound like fun. We plan on going to look at some. It seems a lot more people are putting them out this year - or maybe I'm just noticing them.ReplyDelete
We had a great time meeting online. It's not as good as meeting in person but still good to see everyone in a group.Delete
My family won't be meeting up at Christmas even though regulations permit it as we don't think it is worth the risk. We'll 'see' each other online instead. As I live alone I think it is important for me to make the effort for myself because if I don't do it, no one else will do it for me. Films are a big part of that but not the over sentimental Hallmark ones!
We tend to take it as it come.ReplyDelete
A quiet month for me - none of the groups I belong to are having break ups. Even though we’re ‘free’ and things have relaxed enough for ‘standing at the bar to be allowed’ they all agreed we’d have New Year Picnics.
I might get a little tree dressed this week and if the mood takes me might even put the big one up. No modern Christmas films here either, I find them atrociously over the top gooey sentimental- some of the old b/w ones (whose names evade me at the moment are ok.
For some reason fewer and fewer houses are being decorated in our area. Some suburbs on the other side of to ( miles away) go the whole hog each year but who wants to walk down a street with hundreds of others (walk by only, no parking for miles) with possibly a security company policing the whole thing.
I do like things simple.
I live alone though so if I don't make plans, nothing will happen. I like to have things to look forward to so this way works well for me.Delete
The window lights trail is new this year. The participating houses are spread out around town and the two nearest villages so I'm not expecting to have to deal with any crowds ... fingers crossed! I'll avoid the organised ones that collect for charity because I am sure they will be busy and so safer to avoid them this year.
I really love your plans. We are making new memories, unfettered by what we've done before but can't do now. In a way, it is quite liberating, I'm finding.ReplyDelete
Thanks Joy. The music side of things was always going to be different this year as I've left the band but I think I will enjoy what I'll be doing instead. It is, as you say, liberating to step away from the old traditions and maybe this will be the year that something from my new arrangements finds a place as a new tradition to be included in future years. xxDelete
Sounds like very Christmasy plans. I started last week with my Christmas movie watching; always start the season with the black/white Miracle on 34th Street. I've done The Bishop's Wife (black/white) & The Santa Clause so far. If you can get, I would recommend Arthur Christmas. How fantastic is that, that the neighbours have created a wandering light display. I do hope you can get some photos of that. This year our Farmer's Parade of Lights will be stationery & we will drive by the farms to see the equipment decorated; they have made that road a one way for the evening.ReplyDelete
I watched Arthur Christmas last year and loved it. I will look out for it again this year.Delete
I will take some photos of the lights if I can. Our lantern processions have been cancelled this year which is a shame but I think they are going to show all the lanterns online - not sure how that will work out though!
"The Holiday" is a good film to watch over Christmas, and it was filmed (the English parts) near to where some of my family live in Surrey.ReplyDelete
Hadn't heard of this one but have added it to the list. Thanks Joy xxDelete
Watching new-to-me Christmas movies and old favorites is something I look forward to every year :)ReplyDelete
I watched The Christmas Chronicles last night on Netflix. It was pleasant enough but I doubt it'll make the list as one to watch again. I'll look out for recommendations from you ☺️Delete
I like your plans for Christmas! This is definitely the year for new traditions! We now have a new lockdown in place, so, it is doubtful is my daughter will be able to visit for Christmas and New Year's, either! This will be my "be mindfully in the present/make new memories" Christmas. :)ReplyDelete
Oh, I'm sorry to hear about the new lockdown and that your daughter may not be able to get home as a result. Your eventual reunion is going to be amazing! Do you have any plans for creating new memories?Delete
I always knew that the carol playing part of Christmas would be different this year as I'd left the band so those changes will evolve into a new tradition ... that's what I'm hoping, anyway.
Oh an online gathering of friends sounds quite nice. I have yet to watch a schlocky Hallmark Christmas movie yet - usually I have one on while we decorate the tree, but this year I opted for Sean Connery in The Hunt For Red October followed by Hercule Poirot's Christmas. And you have reminded me I need to pull out the box of Christmas CDs.ReplyDelete
The online meet with friends was great. We live too far apart to regularly meet face to face even in normal times, so Zoom has a brilliant second best option.Delete