Christmas Countdown
w/e 24 December 2017
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

The build up to Christmas has been going on for several weeks, nay months, but we begin our countdown to Christmas on the third Sunday of Advent, December 17th.


It was then at the Christingle service in St Mary's that children helped build the crib as the Christmas story was retold with the help of knitted woollen figures.

Darkness had fallen during the service and this was the scene on the Market Place as we left the church with Christmas lights festooned in all the trees.

We'd planned well in advance for Christmas and only needed perishable foods later in the week but we had other things to do on different days so spent Monday afternoon wrapping presents. On Tuesday it was a trip to Markeaton Crematorium to lay holly tributes in remembrance of family members who are no longer with us.

A repeat performance on Wednesday took us in the opposite direction to lay more tributes to family members whose final resting place is at Bramcote Crematorium. It's only a small token gesture and we always miss our departed relatives but it's especially at Christmas that we feel their absence most.

Thursday MarketButcher's Shop QueueThursday (left), Friday (above) and Saturday (right) were busy days for market traders and shopkeepers alike. Thankfully our forward planning meant that we didn't need to join the queues behind heavily laden trolleys at the supermarket on "Frantic Friday" nor those on South Street at the butcher's and the baker's shops on Saturday which didn't get any shorter for the whole of Saturday morning.

As the Christmas countdown continued throughout the week we were grateful to our middle grandson and his visiting American girlfriend who helped us by coming to ice and decorate two Christmas cakes - and a splendid job they made of them too.
Fancy Dress

On Saturday morning we made our traditional stop at Earl's Hairdressers for a photo session with all the staff. Each year they don fancy dress normally on Christmas Eve but because they were closed on Sunday they decided to do it on Saturday. And no they didn't all get up late and come to work in their night attire as the theme for this year was "Pyjamas".
Ilkeston Brass

The rest of Saturday was a musical affair. First we enjoyed listening to Ilkeston Brass playing carols at the Albion Centre entrance on Bath Street.
Carol Service

In the afternoon there was a traditional Nine Lessons and Carol Service in St Mary's.

And on Saturday evening we joined another congregation for a "Carols by Candlelight" service at The Arena Church where everyone also enjoyed a performance by the Chaucer Junior School Choir.

And that brings us full circle to the fourth Sunday of Advent which is also Christmas Eve. After church this morning we've spent the afternoon baking mince pies, sausage rolls and jam tarts - we're expecting company - and if we can summon up the energy, there's the Civic Carol Service on the Market Place tonight. So tomorrow is Christmas Day and the countdown will be over. Maybe next week will be a little more relaxed - just maybe!
Merry Christmas everyone.

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