BY Rachel Codrington-Hopkins
I felt very lucky when we moved to our village a couple of years ago. We’d rented a house here before we had children and knew that there was a wonderful sense of community, with a school, a village pub and a volunteer run community shop and museum; rarities nowadays in a village this small.
Never have we been so glad to be in such a supportive area than when the pandemic started. We might not have been able to visit people, but there were always people around; out for walks, passing by for a chat over the hedge, doorstep dropping groceries to each other.
Times are still strange. The village pub remains closed except for takeaways and with school plays, pantomimes and Church services cancelled, the run up to Christmas was feeling a little low on activities for this time of year.
Our local Reverend Ruth had the inspired idea to organise a village advent window trail. Each home taking part received a verse from the bible, playing out the nativity story through window displays across the village. I was a bit hesitant about taking part at first (what if our window looked rubbish?) but we soon got into the swing of it and enjoyed ourselves, my son directing me from below as I perched on a chair taping tissue paper to the window.
It’s been up to residents how they interpret their given verse and the displays have been so creative; they look so warm and welcoming when they’re lit up at night. The village Facebook page is updated daily with the next advent window, so those who can’t get out on the advent trail can follow along on social media.
It’s been lovely wandering the village trail with the children after dark, looking out for the new displays and seeing everyone’s Christmas lights. There’s one house on our lane where a family have outdone themselves with their Christmas decorations; the kids love having a walk down there to see the inflatable Santa and Snowman, giant wreath lights and shooting stars. It really captures the magic of Christmas.
In the absence of some of our usual December activities the village advent has been such a lovely way for our community to come together and share in the Christmas excitement. Thank you so much for organising Reverend Ruth.
We hope you’re all staying safe and well in the run up to Christmas. Drop a comment below to let us know some of the things your communities are doing this year to celebrate the festive season.