We are edging ever closer to Christmas and today marks three weeks since we first started our festival Advent calendar. This will be my last post as we have two more from our lovely festival committee members coming up over the next two days, and it was very difficult to select one carol to finish up with. After much deliberation, I have picked ‘As with Gladness Men of Old’ because it evokes the perfect sentiment for Christmastime: gladness. To me, Christmas truly is a time to be glad. Glad to have my lovely family who I will spend the day with. Glad for the safe place I live and the comfy bed that I sleep in. Glad for the wonderful meal we will share together on Christmas Day. For I know that not everyone is lucky enough to be given these gifts of love, comfort and safety and I am extremely lucky to have them myself.
‘As with gladness men of old,
did the guiding star behold;
As with joy they hailed its light,
Leading onward, beaming bright.’
The image of light in the darkness, of brightness in dark moments, is timeless. Whether this be the sight of Christmas tree lights twinkling through a neighbour’s window, or the light of a bonfire on a dark winter night, or the sight of that bright star leading the way towards the birth of a baby all those years ago… it is an image that we are all familiar with and evokes the same feelings within us now. Light and hope are inextricably linked. And today – the day after the solstice – means that lighter times will slowly return to us day by day, second by second. That’s something to be glad about, isn’t it?
All the most merry and festive best, until tomorrow.