2 December 2013

Storytelling Sunday-in the candlelight

Go back ten years or so and I am eleven.
It is dark outside and we are in the week leading up to Christmas day. 
The house is full of Christmas, lights twinkling at the windows, holly bough on the door and three advent calendars lined up in the kitchen. 


The smells of christmas come from the kitchen. Mince pies on the side and the cupboards groaning with cheeses, crisps, nuts and ingredients to make chocolate puddings. 

We are bubbling with excitement for christmas, for the traditions, for Santa Claus. The boxes of oranges are by the back door, in preparation to make Christingle candles. 

It is a Saturday evening and we have had a cosy day of reading our favourite christmas stories and decorating the tree. The lounge smells of pine needles already and we are giggling as we tell each other where were have hidden the chocolates on the tree. 

After dinner we crowd into the lounge and embark on a funny tradition we do most weekends through advent. 
We one at a time choose one of the candles around the room. 
They are a fun collection. Some are in lanterns, some have patterns that show through when lit, some are huge and fat, some are tall and thin. 
They are scattered about the room during advent, resting on the hearth by the fire or on the windowsill. 


We all pick our candles, all five of us. We have our favourites. The box of matches is taken out and one at a time we light them. 

My Dad walks over to the lamps and goes around turning them off one by one. 
The room is now dark except for the twinkling of the lights on the Christmas tree and the five candles flickering on the table. 
We sit there quietly, staring at the flames, remarking how lovely it looks-the lounge lit by candlelight. 

After a time in the stillness my Mum starts up the candle song, "see the candlelight, see it burning bright, we don't need it while we're sleeping, blow it out at night". 
Puff. 
The smoke rises in tendrils to the ceiling and we are left with the fairy tree lights and the almost tangible magic of family at Christmas. 


Today I am joining in with the lovely Sian and her storytelling Sunday. 
Sian, thank you for making storytelling a joy these last few years. Thank you for the connections you have weaved across the web as we have shared the threads of our lives with each other in the most organic and natural of ways. I feel blessed to have been a part of this meme for so long. 

20 comments:

Heather said...

How lovely Abi ..... truly magical :)

Sian said...

What a beautiful way to finish up the year..you are lighting the way to the final gathering up of the stories in a magical, memorable way and I love it.

So many thanks for the stories over the years Abi. I have always been so pleased your name pop up on the list and so admiring of the way you have made time to join in when you have so many other demands and deadlines. Thank you. Keep on telling the story! x

Becky said...

What a wonderful recollection, I loved reading this, felt I was there with you. Your stories have always been so evocative, thanks for sharing them over the years.

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

Yes, evocative is definitely the word here. What a lovely tradition. Thanks for sharing it.

scrappyjacky said...

What a wonderful tradition,Abi.

Sandra said...

Oh Abi that's truly a beautiful story to share with everyone

alexa said...

Beautifully observed and evocative, Abi - your writing is always a treat. Hoping you will enjoy it all again this Christmas :).

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Such a lovely memory! Thanks for sharing it!

Beverly said...

I could smell the tree and loved the soft glow from the candles, thanks, Abi!

furrypig said...

a beautiful story filled with magic that really came alive... I felt I was there in the dark with the twinkling lights!

Miriam said...

Oh! Abi I can't tell you how I have been transported back to my childhood, complete with goose bumps. Thank you x

debs14 said...

Oh you have really captured the atmosphere of Christmas perfectly Abi. A beautiful post.

Karen said...

What a beautiful post, and a beautiful tradition!

S said...

Thanks for transporting us there. What a lovely post.

Jo said...

Such a beautiful story and tradition, it gave me goosebumps x

Ruth said...

What a beautiful and wonderful tradition ~ I could see it so clearly.

Barbara Eads said...

Your story is beautiful. I hope you continue that tradition with your own family some day. There's nothing more satisfying to a parent than to see their children carry on the same traditions they grew up with. That makes us realize how important and truly special those times were!

Maria Ontiveros said...

Beautiful! Your words really transported me today. We've never been big on candles in our house, but maybe that should change.
Rinda

Louise said...

oh Abi. you tell it so well. A lovely insight into your Christmases x x

Sinead said...

This is so wonderful - I love getting an insight into the traditions of other families, and this is such a lovely memory to treasure! Thank you so much for sharing this memory which definitely brings the magic of Christmas alive. I bet you're looking forward to getting home for the holidays :D x