As I look out at a gloomy, windy, wet Saturday morning my thoughts easily go back to the wonderful month of December. Despite all the rules that covid entailed, Christmas in the village was amazing, if somewhat different! Back to the 3rd December and Film Night in the village hall, already looking very festive with all the decorations and tree in place. The film ‘Elf’ which I’m sure many would have seen, enjoyed by young and old. Very funny and uplifting, just what was needed, thank you, Sue. Thank you also to Rachel, who donated the choc-ices that we all enjoyed during the interval. The Christmas Market the following day was cold but fine, perfect for those stalls that were outside! Fabulous variety of gifts to purchase, each stall being so different. The marquee was up, without its sides, dotted with tables and chairs where tea, coffee and mince pies were enjoyed. Tremendous atmosphere inside and out, the raffle once again, which ended the morning, was fantastic with each hamper having a different theme. Around £1500 much needed funds were raised to be shared between the church, village hall and Steventon players. Well done to all involved to make this such a successful event once again.
Sunday 5th, the Benefice choir joined Deane for their carol service, always a lovely way to start Christmas celebrations. Afterwards we were served mulled wine and mince pies, thank you, enjoyed by all.
Thursday 9th, the Book Group met in the village hall for their Christmas lunch. Beautifully arranged by Susie, including the table settings which looked stunning. 15 of us enjoyed a delicious buffet, hot and cold, superb wine donated by Shona, thank you. A very festive and jolly time had by all. We did briefly discuss the book! ‘A Family Recipe’ by Veronica Henley, she had also written for the Archers, BBC R4! Good read, score of 6.
Saturday 11th the village hall was the venue for the children’s Christmas party organized by Shona and Emma, well done both. Thoroughly enjoyed by all, especially Mike, as this year he was Father Christmas, a joy to behold!
Friday 17th the flower ladies met to decorate and polish in readiness for the carol service. Everywhere looked beautiful as all the window sills were decorated with holly & ivy, leaving the centre for a candle. Just flowers added for other arrangements, gorgeous. Thank you, Chris, for the mulled wine and mince pies and also for all the years you have organized us all so brilliantly, always with a smile. Chris has handed over to Emma, who also will receive our full support and friendship, see you at Easter if not before.
The Crib service on 19th was a delight using Charlie’s script from last year, so everyone could have a part and speak, or the appropriate sound! Whenever their character was mentioned, great fun. Baby Leon was wonderful as Jesus, proud parents Allizter and Ellen along with Grandparents joined in and loved every minute of it.
What a beautiful sight greeted us for the Carol Service on 22nd, Trees were illuminated with a pale blue and pale green light. White lights shone upwards from the ground either side of the church door, and candles had been lit in all the arrangements inside. Stunningly beautiful, a fabulous service, all outside and to start the service so wonderfully, was the unaccompanied, gorgeous voice of Amelia, singing Once in Royal David’s City. Breathtaking. Well done Amelia. A big thank you to Paul and Tim for your superb, atmospheric lighting. Sadly, Christmas carols round the tree outside the village hall was cancelled due to pouring rain.
Christmas Day due to numbers, two services were taken by Michael Kenning which was so good and very much appreciated. Unfortunately the Senior Christmas lunch had to be cancelled, the good news is we are hoping to hold it at a later date, February 14th all being well. The turkey is awaiting in the freezer, the rest of the lunch may have a different theme along with the decorations!
Many thanks to Linda and to the generosity of villagers, as Linda made up five lovely hampers of food and Christmas cheer for families in need, coordinated by the charity Beeson. After many years, Rachel has handed over as coordinator for the village Parish Magazines to Barbara. Well done, Rachel, we all thank you very much. I am now delivering Rachel’s section, also with a smile. Good luck to Barbara, well-supported.
The birds are coming non-stop to the feeding station, wonderful. Pheasants are often in quite a few gardens, picking up the droppings. We watched the other evening as four pheasants, one after the other, flew up to roost on the same tree, that was quite a sight. Lovely to hear the owls still. Singing should be starting up next week, also Panto rehearsals have already started back up, in smaller numbers at the moment. Off to make soup now, lots of veggies still in the garden. The fire lit this afternoon, I think, with a cuppa and a good book.