Saturday, 3 January 2009

The Christmas Seasons

Winter is a time of golden sunlight, long shadows and richly coloured sky.

Thanks to the guff stream, UK isn't as cold as it could have been compare to other countries on the same latitude and snow is an even rarer sight in Bristol. From what I've heard from locals, the last white Christmas was around 15 years ago.

However, on a cold morning you might still get a chance to see a blanket of crispy white frost wherever the rays of dawning light has yet to reach.

So far, most of these silver dusted mornings I've experience are when I'm on my way to church on Sunday mornings.

I do very much enjoy the journey from Temple Meads to Filton Abbey Wood station and the walk from there to the community center as each week I trot the familiar path, I can observe the changing season.

As the festive season draws near, decorations are put up. Here you have a comparison of natural Christmas berries and artificial ones.

In this season of feasting, goodwill, light and Emanuel, I was fortunate enough to be given the privilege to share in a few wonderful family's Christmas celebration. The first visit prior to Christmas was to Mary's House with other international students. Revisiting Sea Mills was fun.

And how can you visit Sea Mills without seeing felines?

When night falls, some of the houses really shone with their decorations. This wasn't the most extravagant one I've seen yet. But alas, most of the more elaborate ones I've only seen when passing in vehicles.

On Christmas Eve, I enjoyed the services in the Bristol Cathedral. Both the Nine Lessons and the midnight service was quite an experience. This was my first candle lit Anglican service.

We had our own little decorations in the flat while having a dinner with some friends.

My Christmas day was spent with Saddie's family. These wonderful folks really made me feel at home. The atmosphere does reminded me of Chinese New Year celebrations, where there are decorations, reunions and gatherings of family members, plenty of delicious snacks and sumptuous feasts.

For Boxing Day evening, it was spent with my Hungarian friend's family. It was another very warm and delightful night, despite the temperature plummeting quite a bit from Christmas night itself. This might very well be due to the consistent sunshine from the 25th's morning till even now.

The season has been a hectic, eventful and enjoyable one in every sense of the word.

There are many arguments about if Christmas should be celebrated, but from this experience alone. I'd say it is worth it. There are the ecclesiastical significance, the folk traditions, the consumerism etc, but above all, I think it is a season and time to be reminded that there is something more out there - a window to what can't be seen.