Christmas in London is very festive. Since it gets dark about 3:45 in the afternoon this time of the year, it helps that there are so many lights sparkling around the city. We headed to the lighting of the tree at the Duke of York square on Kings Road a few weeks ago, to kick off the season with our "neighbors."
The traditional mince pies were served,
the reindeers were ready to pull the sleigh,
and our evening started off at a nearby church where St. Nicholas came to read to the children. Singing English Christmas carols in such beautiful surroundings was truly spiring. Some of the British children identify more with the bishop St. Nicholas than our traditional Santa Claus,
whose image, as the priest described to us, is the result of the American Coca-Cola company who began to use this image of jolly St. Nick in 1931 in their advertising campaigns.
Then it was off in a flash as the reindeer pulled St. Nicholas in his sleigh to the Duke of York square
where along with our friends, we enjoyed the lights and the spirit of the season.
Later in the week, I was strolling by Covent Garden, where I caught a peek at their giant Christmas tree
and the 32 foot topiary reindeer.
The Apple Market there was all decked out,
but I was most impressed with the digital painting of the Nativity put together by the director Martha Fiennes in conjunction with SLOimage technology. How I wish I could find a video for you to see this nativity come alive! I sat mesmerized in front of the constantly moving scene which is always evolving. Using 13 characters, the scene is never the same image twice, and I watched in amazement as the Biblical characters came alive in front of my eyes.
It was an oasis of calm amidst all the Covent Garden bustle, and I was grateful for the time to sit and reflect on the greatest gift of the season--the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.