Wednesday, 2 December 2015

December Daily: First Story

My first story of the season.
In my home town our community celebrates the start of the season with a service and ceremony of light. It is completed by fireworks which I think is wonderful.

Ali's lantern.

Here are my pages, followed by the journaling:

The Christmas season always starts for me at our town’s lighting the lights ceremony which is started by the primary school children parading with their lanterns. I have been home 10 years now and Ali was just a baby when we first went. The first year I carried him in his pouch, then his buggy for a couple of years, then on reins (wishing I brought the buggy…) then he was suddenly old enough to join the parade in reception class along with Louis. Louis had been enjoying the parade as he was in Year 1 when we moved back. By the time Ali was old enough to join in Louis was an old pro and showed him the ropes. I was into papercrafting by then, I had bought an electronic diecutter and we cut out lantern shapes and made them that year with fake tea lights in them. I loved them and we used them for home decor that year too.
A couple of years later Louis headed off with his friends quite a lot. The town high street is quite small and the whole town is out or so it seems. I LOVE that, even though I don’t know many people here very well, I know lots of faces and that is familiar and comforting, especially after living in a big city.
It is great to see the little groups of youngsters running around, teenagers grouping and being excited but cool :-) It is great to see the little kids in buggies and pouches with wide wide eyes.
The year it snowed…unusual around here so a great sense of excitement, on a christmas event, wow. It only snowed for about 5 minutes, but still!

The year the jam jar broke on the way and the tears!
The past two years I think it has rained, one of them Ali was poorly so we only ventured as far as the church to listen to the service and hear the countdown and see the lights and fireworks from the opposite end of the crowd, (there were lots of people there too from my end of the town which surprised me and pleased me, older people, generally without children and I had a glimpse of my future).
This year was the last year that Ali is in primary school so I felt it as a bittersweet evening. He had made his lantern at school out of a nutella jar and tissue paper. Good job Ali. We headed up to the meeting point and it was great to see Jane with her niece, Chris was there and a lot of faces I recognised. Mum remembered to bring the long matches so we were in demand for a few moments at the start to get some lanterns going. Then it was time to be off. I haven’t been documenting with my camera lately, I don’t know why. I think maybe taking an unconscious break ready to start anew at Christmas? Anyway, I raised the big camera high to video us all parading down the steep hill towards the high street; a great big lovely kid noise of a parade. As we went along the high street with the crowds watching and joining in on our way to the Church and War Memorial where the service and ceremony always is. We managed to get a good spot, the phones and cameras didn’t run out of space or battery (a first in itself) and get the whole service and firework display. LOVE it.
The story I want to remember of that night? The way Ali took my hand without me asking on the way there, each time we hold hands now I think “is this it? The last time?” and squeeze a little harder, for him and for me. That was the very, very sweet. The bitter? By the time the evening and ceremony was done he was wanting to just be with his friends, dismissing my words, not in a bad way but just in a, well you know, my friends are more interesting right now way. On the way home he asked if he could hang with his friends next year. Yes, you can. 
November 26th 2015 6:15-7:00pm

Thanks so much for looking 


  1. Love this Jen - Love your story telling, I need to do this more. Thank you x x x

    1. Thanks Sarah, good luck with yours. Every time I look at a scrapbook page and I wish I wrote more makes it more ingrained. Xxx

  2. Just perfect Jen! A super blog post.
    Sue x

  3. Lovely post .... and so touching. My youngest is 13 just before Christmas but is a girl so is happy to still give me hugs and kisses. I miss them so much from my boys though. Your Christmas festival sounds wonderful. We went to ours which this year focussed more on local talent (singers, dance groups, taekwondo etc) and had craft and food stalls. This was so much nicer than the busy, loud fair they used to have. Love the idea of the candle lit parade - when our high street is pedestrianised I would love there to be a similar event.

  4. I really enjoyed reading this. My December album this year is a gift for my daughter who is in her last year at school. I'm writing about a lot of lasts!


Aren't you lovely, you have made me smile =)