Today we went to one of the local Christingle services. I was a little worried as I wasn’t sure how N would behave in the church having not been in one since he was christened. I was hoping he’d enjoy the singing, and on friends recommendations I took along plenty of toys and some snacks. He refused to nap after lunch so I was hoping that a 3pm service would be a reasonable time and that he’d not get too tired and ratty given he’d not slept.
We managed to grab one of the pews which had a door into it – tip, always look for one of these where possible as it blocks any escape route.
He spent quite a lot of time before the service started (and then during), flirting with the ladies in the pew behind…always handy for wasting a bit of time. Then the toys came out, and the snacks (quite mortifying that he couldn’t get through an hour without any food, but it was pretty much his normal snacktime so it couldn’t be helped).
He wanted to be picked up during the hymns which isn’t great for a 4 verse plus chorus hymn and a 2 stone child. Oh, and he found it hysterical because he spent any time he was carried, rearranging my hair over my face in different ways. So funny child, not! He loves singing usually so I thought that he might have tried joining in, but wasn’t that fussed.
There was a bit of a comedy moment when the organist and congregation were totally off speed with each other until the vicar went and had a word with the organist and told him to turn the volume up. Made me chortle, especially when he made a comment about it afterwards. Serves them right really as they chose a totally random hymn I’d never heard…and I did go to church a lot as a kid and during 6th form at school, plus Songs of Praise is obviously classic Sunday night viewing. Still had never heard of it, and seemingly neither had most of the congregation. Rule to churches, always pick hymns people know especially at Christmas time. People just want the traditional christmas hymns not random songs.
We went up to get his christingle (I remember being given them as we entered when we were children, but all the children went up to the front to get them here) and he was so good. He held my hand, walked up in front of the vicar to the crib, where the kids sang Away in a Manger. He listened to what the vicar was saying, then walked back to our pew again nicely. And then the chattering started.
He read his books…loudly, he flicked through the hymn book…loudly. Very amusing, and there was no point being embarrassed as he wasn’t being naughty, just a normal toddler. It was hard keeping him away from the sweets (sweets?!) on the christingle.
All very bizarre and confusing. I remember christingle’s as having monkey nuts and raisins on the sticks, but these had marshmallows and sweets. Very odd. And tinfoil to reflect the light of the candle. Second amusing incident was how health & safety was in place…bucket of water at the front in case anyone set light to themselves with their candle.
N and I survived his first hour long church service, and he seemed to quite enjoy being around different people, and nosying at what everyone was going and what was going on. He liked the fact that he was given a chocolate coin as we left as well (M&S no less, no discounter chocolate coins for our local villages – better quality than the ones he had in his advent calendar!).
What made my day was someone coming up to me at the end (a grandmother who was there with her daughter and grandchild a few months younger than N) and saying ‘wasn’t he good, he loved it’. That’s the first time someone’s come up and said that to me. And then one of the ladies sitting behind me chipped in to say ‘he’s got such lovely sparkly eyes’. Yep, cheeky eyes, can’t deny that one!
What do your christingles have on them?