Kick start your day with a good breakfast

Christmas Caroling Breakfast

on December 15, 2013
A treasured gift from Chuck's mom.

A treasured gift from Chuck’s mom.

I had a hearty, classic eggs-sausage-and-toast breakfast this morning since I won’t have time for lunch. At the end of mass, I’ll run home to walk Gracie, then run back to sing in the Advent Lessons & Carols concert, a perfect way to reinforce the true meaning of Christmas. We’re debuting “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” by Sir David Willcocks, the patron saint of the quintessential British carol sound, as director of the King’s College Choir, Cambridge.

And to think Keith Richards was once a choir boy!

And to think Keith Richards was once a choir boy!

Here are excerpts from my two favorite Christmas stories. Happy reading!

“Foggier yet, and colder! Piercing, searching, biting cold. If the good St. Dunstan had but nipped the Evil Spirit’s nose with a touch of such weather as that, instead of using his familiar weapons, then indeed he would have roasted to lusty purpose. The owner of one scant young nose, gnawed and mumbled by the hungry cold as bones are gnawed by dogs, stopped down at Scrooge’s keyhole to regale him with a Christmas carol; but, at the first sound of

“God bless you, merry gentlemen, 

May nothing you dismay!”

Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action that the singer fled in terror, leaving the keyhole to the fog, and even more congenial frost.”–A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Stave One

“And I remember that we went singing carols once, when there wasn’t the shaving of a moon to light the flying streets. At the end of a long road was a drive that led to a large house, and we stumbled up the darkness of the drive that night, each one of us afraid, each one holding a stone in his hand in case, and all of us too brave to say a word. The wind through the trees made noises as of old and unpleasant and maybe webfooted men wheezing in caves.We reached the black bulk of the house.

‘What shall we give them? Hark the Herald?’

‘No,’ Jack said, ‘Good King Wenceslas. I’ll count three.’

One, two, three, and we began to sing, our voices high and seemingly distant in the snow-felted darkness round the house that was occupied by nobody we knew. We stood close together, near the dark door.

Good King Wenceslas looked out

On the Feast of Stephen…

And then a small, dry voice, like the voice of someone who has not spoken for a long time, joined our singing: a small, dry eggshell voice from the other side of the door: a small dry voice through the keyhole. And when we stopped running we were outside our house; the front room was lovely, balloons floated under the hot-water-bottle-gulping -gas;  everything was good again and shone over the town.

‘Perhaps it was a ghost,’ Jim said.”–A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas




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