We thought it was going to be pretty quiet this year, unlike last year where we seemed to be out most days at this time of year, with concerts, theatre performances, services and parties. No inter-church concert this year, and with Dan away we won't go to the municipal band performances or watch him in any theatre plays.
But with connections, now, with three local churches (Tim being the organist at St Helena's Anglican Church, me still mostly attending Larnaka Community Church, and Richard sometimes attending Grace Church) there are quite a few Christmas events going on. I already wrote about the Christingle service last week at St Helena's. Yesterday we knew they were having their main Carol Service, the first big service with Tim as choir director although the choir is really just a group of people who have two or three practises only for any special event - not a regular or formal choir.
Then we heard that Grace Church were having a carol service followed by potluck lunch in the morning, and some carol 'jamming' yesterday, so we decided to go. Tim and I went to the other churches first and Richard took our food contributions directly to Grace. Pleasant meal, friendly people, nice atmosphere. Sadly most people left after lunch and it was only a few who did the carol jamming - Tim ended up on the keyboard - but it was fun anyway.
Then Tim had a carol practice at 4.30 for the group who will go carol-singing in hotels on Christmas Eve, and at 6.30 was St Helena's main carol service, followed by mulled wine and refreshments. Very enjoyable.
At Grace Church we booked to go bowling on Wednesday evening, and noted that they will organise a walk on Boxing Day and a party on New Year's Eve. They seem to have many more social events than the other churches!
Tim and I will be going to a children's Christmas service on Wednesday afternoon, organised by the Community Church mothers-and-toddlers group, and he'll be playing keyboard for an informal group from St Helena's who sing carols in the rest homes for the elderly on Thursday. Then the inter-church group will sing carols in hotels on Christmas Eve with Tim conducting, and he'll play at the Midnight Service at St Helena's....
Also, of course, there will be morning carol services on Christmas Eve, which falls on a Sunday, and also services a little later on Christmas morning, although for some reason Grace won't be holding a Christmas morning service this year.
Last night the Chaplain at St Helena's asked Tim if his fingers ever got tired with so much playing. He said not often... that his brain gets more tired than his fingers. Only another week and all the Christmas carol mania will be over... but then, I like carols. It's nice to have so many opportunities to sing so many for once!