Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent Calendar: December 16, 2012 - Christmas at School

What did you or your ancestors do to celebrate Christmas at school? Were you ever in a Christmas Pageant? (If you want to participate in blogging about Christmas and holiday-related topics, visit GeneaBloggers' Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2012.)

Christmas at school (elementary and high school) was a fun time. We would decorate our class, someone (the teacher or a student) would bring an artificial tree, and some years we'd even draw names and exchange simple, inexpensive presents. None of the schools I attended put on pageants, though.

One year, it might have been when I was in Kindergarten or Grade 1 or 2, some of my classmates and I were chosen to form a choir that would sing at that year’s Midnight Mass at Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes church in my hometown. (My school, St-Charles, was affiliated with Notre-Dame and any religious events like our First Communion, Confirmation and Masses were held there.)

It didn’t matter that our little group wasn’t the main choir (we joined our school’s older children, up to Grade 8) and that we’d sing only one or two songs. It was a thrill to be part of that select group. We little ones lent our voices at one of most special Masses of the year; we were allowed to be up late; and, probably best of all for me, we sang in Latin. (The hymns were in a mix of French, our first language, and the more traditional Latin.) I don’t remember practising the songs or what I wore or how I got to church that night, but I can still see myself sitting with the choir, amazed at the beauty, solemnity and ritual of that long-ago Mass.

Copyright © 2012, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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