A THOUSAND LIGHTS

img_1916

For me, Christmas begins with lights. Forget the Christmas cards on display in July – it’s Summer! Their inane presence on the shop shelves in the middle of a heatwave makes me despair. Piped carol music in the shopping centre during October has me shaking my head – it’s just too early and Halloween has yet to be celebrated.

It’s the lights that cause the flutter of excitement in the pit of my stomach as I eagerly clamber to the loft in search of the Christmas lights. Will the previous year’s due care and diligence reap the ultimate reward – will they work?

Brought back down to the warmth of the house I gently unwrap the swaddled star, cocooned for 11 months in the blanket in which my newborn son was brought home from the hospital. The light bulb, submerged in cotton wool, emerges intact. Will it shine, though? By now anxiety holds sway as the lamps around the room are turned off and in the wintry dusk, I press the switch with trepidation. Rays of bright light shimmer across the blackness, outside into the dark! I feel aglow and calm; engulfed by Christmas peace and contentment.

Lights abound in our house during this holiday, not just the star but also Christmas window candles and the tree lights sparkling in a multitude of colours. Every evening candles are lit, their warm and tender living lustre slowing time in its path, uniting us in a time-honoured tradition. Light bringing its aura of ethereal harmony into our lives.

I have so many favourite Christmas songs but this Swedish one seems particularly appropriate – all about light; lighting those candles in our homes, bringing light and hope into the world.  Sentiments that epitomises the needs of the world today.

For me, Christmas is about being with family and friends and I feel I have made some wonderful friends here on WP.  Thank you so much for your continued interest, support, comments and kindness over the past year, it is a delight and privilege to know you all.

As you listen to the song and read the translation I want to wish each and everyone of you a very special Christmas / Holiday, filled with peace and joy. May light fill your homes and hearts this Christmas.

Finally, like so many, I will be taking a blogging break during the festive season and look forward to catching up with you in the New Year.

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

GOD JUL & GOTT NYTT ÅR!

 

Thousands Christmas lights are lit

all around the world

Thousands, thousands also shine

in the dark blue sky

***

And over towns and land tonight

Christmas happy message spreads

that born is Jesus Christ, our Lord

The blessed prince of light.

***

Dear Star over Bethlehem

let your gentle light

Shine with hope and peace

into every home, every house

***

In every heart, poor and dark

please send a gentle ray,

A ray of love from God

In blessed Christmas time.

100_2960

Advertisements

127 thoughts on “A THOUSAND LIGHTS

    • Annika Perry says:

      Sharon, you wouldn’t believe the frantic search for this very blanket when packing away the star in January! Searching all the usual places…nothing. My husband saying I could use something else…arghhh!! An hour later I went back to the original cupboard and emptied it and there, it was right at the back…Phew! The blanket is precious to me and the tradition of the Christmas Star wrapped in it such a part of the tradition. Wishing you a lovely weekend. 😀

  1. Bernadette says:

    Annika, I am so happy to hear that you are almost fully recovered. Falling at any age is frightening but when you get older it becomes even more traumatic. I agree that the reflection that keeping a journal reaps is worth the little effort that is needed.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you, Bernadette – I am so much better now and will definitely remember to be more mindful in the future! Yep, the little effort is one great aspect of the journal and unexpectedly that is forces me to concentrate on my day, to look deeper within myself and my actions.

  2. roughwighting says:

    So funny, I thought of you last night – ‘where’s Annika?I haven’t seen any new postings and I haven’t seen her delightful comments on mine!!’ So I’m up now early NE time, and there you are, showing up in your lovely way making comments on my latest posts. Can’t wait for you to write your first one of the season. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Ahh…that’s sweet, Pam! I’ve read your last posts and been meaning to write but one thing and another…today at last getting down to blogging. First post of the year from me coming up this afternoon – or your Morning! Now far too early for you to be up! A Very Happy New Year to you too and hope it’s been a good one so far.

  3. Bette A. Stevens says:

    Dearest Annika, how I enjoyed your beautiful post–the tenderness and warmth of swaddling your Christmas star in your son’s newborn blanket touched my heart. The Swedish carole and it’s translation were an added treat. I, too, am always drawn to the lights that swaddle my own heart, rejoicing in Jesus–The Light of the World–who left His realm on high to came down to fill our hearts and minds that first Christmas night. Blessings and love!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you so very much for your beautiful words, Bette and so glad the tenderness of this post meant a lot to you. As always you write with love and peace and I’m particularly taken with your ‘lights that swaddle my own heart’ – may we all find that light. Warmest wishes to you this New Year. ❤️

  4. reocochran says:

    This post was full of joy, Annika! Thanks for sharing your affinity with lights in the dark, cold nights and how they warm your heart! ❤
    Thomas Kinkade is an American painter of lights in windows. His mother was a single, working Mom. As he walked home from school, after clubs, sports or job, he would see people through their lit windows. Families gathered together.
    I read his biography and the paintings glow more knowing his rather lonely walks home.
    The Swedish song pulled at my heart, wondering if my Grandpa born there had heard it at Christmas?

    A Light, one of peace and love, is also one of my favorite images. You mention how carefully you unwrap your Star, stored wrapped in cotton for 11 months.
    I like this Star mentioned, an Angel and Baby Jesus in a small ceramic manger being unwrapped to lie in a stable or manger awaiting those around Him to "see the Light from above."
    Annika, I missed wishing you a merry Christmas but will send you a message of hope for your new year to be bright and cheerful.
    Be of Good Cheer, my friend. ❤

    • Annika Perry says:

      Robin, thank you so much for your lovely comment and message! ❤️ I hope you’ve had a great Christmas celebrating with your family and wish you a very happy and fun New Year.

      I’m sure that even if your Grandpa didn’t hear this exact song, he would have known many similar ones! Songs are so much part of this season and Sweden is no exception and for me they are obviously particularly poignant.

      I have never heard of Thomas Kinkade, surprisingly as he seems to be huge in America, and it was so interesting to read about him in your comment and later more online. What a painter and magnificent use of light – I love your explanation about his walks and seeing the light of other homes.

      Wishing you joyful New Year celebrations 🎉 and may we wrap up our special Christmas ornaments for them to remain intact for next year.😀

      • reocochran says:

        I liked how my Grandpa whistled, hummed and played a violin. He was sweet and made up a Robin song or ditty for me.
        I am so happy and blessed we met so my Swedish heritage may have “a little extra input” when I visit from time to time. It pleases me to think of his hearing this wonderful older Christmas carol in his native language. ❤
        So pleased you checked out the artist, TK. I have enjoyed his calendars and some of his quotes are very nicely expressed.
        My grandchildren gathered my Christmas decorations but I leave all the toys, ornaments and decorations with snow involved "up" (or out on shelves). I have a few which are rather old, so when I wrap them up, you are so right! I take extra care with them.
        I will change over to pink and red with doilies when February comes. . .
        Have a New Year's Eve with warmth and joy included, Annika! 🙂

      • reocochran says:

        Thanks, Annika. I could not believe how old this song was yet such a sweet and beautiful carol today. 🙂
        It is interesting that a Swedish rock band used the tune but took away the positive Bible gospel meaning.

  5. maryannniemczura says:

    You never disappoint with your blogs. I loved the light, peace and contentment expressed as well as the beautiful song and video. I am passing it on to the voice coach with part Swedish background. Enjoy the family and time away from the computer and blog. A break is always good. Enjoy the respite. See you in 2017!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you so much and so glad you enjoyed the post – I try to capture the essence of the festive season as I see it! Great you could pass this on to your voice coach, what did he/she say? Oh, I’m having a lovely holiday and respite – although like so many I’m very busy! 😀Hoping you’ve had a very special Christmas with your family, Mary Ann and wishing you a peaceful, joyful and creative New Year! ❤️

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you so much! 😀 I must admit to having listened to this many times over Christmas. Hoping you’ve had a lovely festive season in Norfolk; these past few frosty sunny days must have been spectacular on the coast. Warmest wishes for a peaceful and joyful New Year for you!❤️

    • Annika Perry says:

      Carol, thank you so much for your warm and lovely comment – very moving indeed. I hope so too and also that there is always a light as a beacon for you. 😀 Warmest wishes for a New Year filled with creative joy, peace and happiness. ❤️

  6. restlessjo says:

    I can just imagine the warm glow throughout your home, Annika. Thank you for your company throughout this year. Enjoy every second of your Christmas. Wishing you health and happiness in the New Year 🙂 🙂

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you, Jo, it has been great connecting with you on WP this year and I loved coming along on your travels here and abroad and having you visit my blog. ❤️ At the moment I’m up in Yorkshire as the tempests sweep across – very dramatic. Wishing you and yours a peaceful Christmas and may the new year be a harmonious and happy one and light shine in your life. 😀

  7. L. T. Garvin, Author says:

    Annika, I love lights too! They are literally my favorite decoration, it is like, poof….everything is changed in an instant. I adored your wonderful descriptive writing about slowing time down. It is most certainly the time of year to do that and to reflect. The song is beautiful, and of course, I love the children singing, their precious faces that fill all of us with great hope for the future. Lovely post, Annika. I wish you and your family a special Christmas and most joyous holiday season. I am glad we connected on WP. Enjoy your break and Happy New Year!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Lana, thank you so much for your lovey comment and thank you too for your valued friendship this past year on WP. ❤️ As for the lights, you are right that the transformation is instantaneous – wonderfully so! The children are singing as part of the choir for Lucia celebrations and that makes the song even more magical and heartfelt. Wishing you and yours a very special Christmas and may the lights be the beacon for a happy new year for you. 😀🌲

  8. Sherri says:

    Oh Annika, such a beautiful message of light and love and the true message of Christmas…and such a beautiful song, I loved reading the words as I listened to it, thank you so much for your beautiful, perfect Christmas post. And of course, your photos too…especially of the robin 🙂 We too have lights throughout our home at this time of year, reminding of us of the Light of the world and God’s blessing to us, bringing hope and peace at a time when so much seems dark. Wishing you and your family a Christmas and New Year filled with joy, love and light. peace and celebration. I look forward to catching up with you in 2017…and thank you for your friendship, I’m so glad I met you thanks to WP 🙂 ❤

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you, Sherri! 😀 What a wonderful comment. I love that you listened to this whilst writing here – I never tire of this song! I likewise look forward to catching up with you in the new year and your loving and enduring friendship lifts me. ❤️ I wish you and all your family a wonderful Christmas together surrounded by the glow of Christmas lights, a beacon of hope and love. 🌲 May 2017 be a year of joy and happiness, a chance to recover / come to terms with the loss and difficulties of this year. Hugs xx

      • Sherri says:

        I love listening to songs when I type replies, before it disappears when I post my comment! It really is a beautiful song, thank you again for sharing it. Ahh…dear Annika, thank you so much for your beautiful words, you bring me me great comfort, and your friendship lifts me too. I look forward to raising a glass to you over Christmas, and smiling as we both enjoy time with our families, reflecting on the year gone by, it’s highs and lows, and looking foward to a New Year with renewed optimism and sparkle. And catching up with you! Much love and hugs…see you soon my friend, and once again, the Merriest of Christmases to you and your family 🙂 ❤

  9. rod says:

    I like lights too, though recently in our area there has been a mini outbreak of blue lights which seem a bit cold to me. However that may be, do enjoy your holiday.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Rod, the blue light epidemic is not just your neck of the woods – I’ve seen a lot more here in the past couple of years as well…rather chilling – in the damp cold we need more reds and golds! Have a wonderful Christmas holiday! 🎄

  10. Marion Wesslander says:

    Thank you Annika. I enjoyed reading your post. I too really love the Christmas lights and “Nu tändas tusen juleljus” is one of my favourite Christmas songs. God Jul och Gott Nytt År till dig och hela familjen. Kram Marion och Kent

    • Annika Perry says:

      Tack, Marion and this song is definitely one of my favourites too. I had it on a cassette tape with a male singer but couldn’t find it anywhere – love this version though! God Jul och Gott Nytt År to you and Kent – may you have a magical Christmas filled with the usual fun mayhem. Kram ❤️

  11. dgkaye says:

    I’m with you Annika. Part of the magic of Christmas is knowing it comes only at one certain time of year, and the festive lights are such a beautiful part of it. I too get such a lovely feeling through me when I unwrap my carefully packed up beautiful angel to place on top of the tree. Christmas in summertime somehow, just isn’t as appealing.
    Enjoy your break and wishing you and yours a beautiful Christmas season and Happy New Year. ❤

    • Annika Perry says:

      It is a tingling, exciting feeling with the lights being unwrapped and that you experience with your beautiful angel. All part of the Christmas magic…which to me also feels like it definitely belongs to the cold winter – a scattering of snow would be the final icing on the cake!

      Thank you so much, I will enjoy the break – like so many travelling to visit family for a series of festivities! 🎄 Wishing you and yours a very special and joyful Christmas. ❤️

  12. Julie Holmes, author says:

    I’m with you–Christmas lights are my favorite part of the season! And Christmas cards in July? Nope. And the Christmas music before Halloween drives me nuts. Enjoy the lights and music of the season. Merry Christmas!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Julie and all the best for a creative New Year! 🎄 You know, only a week or so and then there will the Easter cards in the shops! Shall we go into hiding?? 😀

  13. D. Wallace Peach says:

    Beautiful post, Annika. I love the lights too and the magic they bring to the season. Maybe because the winter darkness is so long but maybe because there is something about them that reminds us that light as sacred and life-giving. One year I’ll leave them up around my house for the whole year. Merry Christmas and a joyous, healthy, peaceful New Year to you and yours ❤ ❤

    • Annika Perry says:

      Diana, you could leave the lights up all year!😀 Or how about until the days get lighter? In Sweden nearly everyone has a single hanging window light during the darker days of the year and it looks so warm and welcoming. The Christmas lights are different in that they bring that sense of magic you mention and I agree that the lights are a reminder of the sacred and life-giving – out in the blackness these beacons of lights are also life-saving as well as reminiscence of primeval times used to ward off danger/evil perhaps?! Warmest wishes to you and yours for this Christmas, may it be happy, peaceful and relaxing one and hoping the New Year brings joy. ❤️

  14. Jessica says:

    Oh, how I’d love to see your lovely home, all bright and cheery. I loved the part about the lights wrapped in your son’s baby blanket. Sweet memories for sure. I’ve missed you. I hope your holiday is as wonderful as you are. 🎄☃

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jessica, thank you so very much for your sweet kind words…they mean a lot to me. You’re right that the blanket does bring back lovely memories. My son is born in January and that particular one was freezing cold and heavy snow here in the UK. Of course, being a new Mum I was worried he’d be cold (despite wearing a snowsuit fit for the arctic) so I ‘borrowed’ a hospital blanket to wrap him in as well. Wishing you and your family a wonderful and exciting holiday, Jessia!🎄 Enjoy the snow…I’m slightly envious on this grey and rainy day! 😀

      • Jessica says:

        Oh my. I can just “see” you fussing over him. 😊😊😊 If only these kiddos really knew how much they are absolutely adored. Hope you have a joyous holiday. If we were neighbors, I’d be right over. 🎄🎄

        • Annika Perry says:

          Oh, Jessica that would be wonderful.!! I’d put the kettle straight on and offer you some of the homemade pepperkankor baked on Sunday! 🙂 My ‘baby’ son is now 15 and 6’2” but gosh, I still fuss over him!

          • Jessica says:

            Oh my! I’ve never had pepperkankor. Wouldn’t that be fun to sit and visit??? 6’2″??? They do grow quick! One of the gifts of motherhood is the ability to fuss over them as long as we like! ❤️

  15. Aquileana says:

    Such beautiful words… you are right: lights have a sort of stellar presence during Christmas. probably because they are related to the star of Bethlehem announcing the birth of Jesus.
    I agree with you as to the values and important things that make Christmas such a special celebration…. Thanks for sharing, dear Annika… happy holidays to you and yours. 😀

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you so much…at this time of year I like to write a post that touches the core of the celebrations both through words, song and photographs. I like the idea of the lights having a stellar presence and as far as the star is concerned this must be true and connected directly to the Nativity. Also lights I think are central to the human condition, bringing safety, life, warm and general cosiness! Wishing you a lovely Christmas and may the new year be filled with peace and joy!🎄😀

  16. Curt Mekemson says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family Annika. Thanks for your warm words and the warmth of light. Peggy and I have flown across the country to share Christmas with our kids and their families in Connecticut and North Carolina. Five grandsons, lots of fun, lots of laughs. The very best New Year to you. –Curt and Peggy

    • Annika Perry says:

      Tiny, you have me intrigued! I only thought this was a Scandinavian Christmas song but I’m obviously mistaken…where have you heard this if I may ask? And great that it brings back such good memories! 😀 Have a very magical Christmas and a wonderful New Year! 🌲🌲

    • Annika Perry says:

      David, thank you for this beautiful poetic Christmas comment – I’m now smiling…so glad this post brought joy to your heart. Wishing you magical celebrations filled with joy and many smiles!😀

  17. JC says:

    Annika, I love the song and I couldn’t agree more about the lights, especially if it’s snowing. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Snowflakes pirouetting in the light of street lamps is definitely something and being cosy inside watching the snowfall surrounded by precious candle light fills the soul with joy and all seems right with the world – for a while at least! Not that you get much snow, I guess! 😀 Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and all the best for New Year to be filled with new joys and experiences. 🌲😀

  18. Judy E Martin says:

    I love lights at Christmas time too, they just seem so magical.
    This is a beautiful song as well, it always brings a tear to my eye when I hear kids singing Christmas Carols and songs. 🙂

    • Annika Perry says:

      Judy, you’re so right how the heartstrings are tugged to tears when listening to children singing carols. Every year when going to my son’s primary school to see the performance and choir I brought a handful of tissues along with me…for myself and everyone around. Oh dear, what a state! This along with Christmas lights is the ultimate in Christmas spirit.

  19. Jacqui Murray says:

    What a gorgeous voice Helen has–I’ve never heard her before. Thank you for sharing that. It carried me away to a wonderful world for at least two minutes.

    Merry Christmas to you, Annika. I hope you have a wonderful few weeks. See you next hear.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jacqui, I must admit I hadn’t heard of her before either, I was just looking for the best version of this song. There are many wonderful Swedish singers and a couple my favourites are Carola and Tommy Körberg. Spine-tingling wonderful. I am so glad this song carried you away.😀 Wishing you and your family a brilliant Christmas and have a wonderful well-deserved break. 🎄

    • Annika Perry says:

      Eve, this has everything – both choral music and children in the choir as well! I love to watch the Christmas Eve special television broadcast from Kings College Cambridge with their amazing choir – it always opens with one choir boy singing solo the first verse of ‘Once in Royal Davids City’. Both that and this song here are so uplifting and make my heart feel as if it is flying. ♥️

  20. delphini510 says:

    Thank you for this beautiful Christmas gift, it is so warm and full of light and love.
    I love this song very much and have now put on Christmas songs on my player.
    That and baking Pepparkaka goes well together.:)
    Oh, love the pictures too.
    Happy Christmas to you and your family

    • Annika Perry says:

      Mirja, that’s brilliant that you’ve added this to your Christmas song list – I have found a couple of youtube playlists which have a great selection of songs. I love your words of ‘warm and full of light and love’ – sums up Christmas perfectly! 🎄 Also glad you liked the photos – a mixture of manmade decorations and nature at its best! Wishing you a very special, happy and peaceful Christmas with a wonderful new year with lots of new adventures!😀

  21. Bernadette says:

    I couldn’t help but think about your Swedish heritage and St. Lucia. Your love of lights took me right back to childhood and celebrating St. Lucia’s feast with candles. (No, I’m not of Swedish origin so I haven’t the faintest idea why the nuns in our school celebrated St. Lucia’s feast day but we loved it.) You have written a splendid Christmas post. Wishing you and yours peace and love.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Bernadette, I’m also intrigued why the nuns would be celebrating Lucia as it is a Swedish holiday as far as I know. However, I just checked up and St. Lucia (283-304) was a Christian martyr who was venerated a saint and December 13 is her feast day. Wow, fascinating. I can’t be without candles during the winter and over Christmas, we have lots of scented ones too – although my husband does tend to get the very strong spicy scented ones! Wishing you a peaceful Christmas filled with joy. ❤️

      • Bernadette says:

        I guess those poor Irish nuns just needed a touch of something beautiful before Christmas because it was a beautiful celebration. We would solemnly walk into the darkened church bearing our candles accompanied by the organist playing silent night.

  22. Jill Weatherholt says:

    Absolutely beautiful, Annika! I agree, Christmas is about family and friends, and of course the lights make it all so magical. Thank you for sharing that lovely song. Wishing you and your family peace and joy in the new year. Merry Christmas! xo

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you so much, Jill! 😀 I wanted to write a post which sums up the Christmas experience for me and share it with all the friends here – so wonderful you like it! Wishing you and your family a very special Christmas and may the New Year be filled with joy, warmth and excitement (you your new book for one if I’m not mistaken!)😀🌲🌲

  23. Miriam says:

    Such a beautiful post and song Annika fitting of the season. Candles, light and love are definitely high on the list of Christmas highlights right now. I wish you and your family all the blessings of this special time. xo

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you so much, Miriam! 😀 The lights make this festive season even more special…it’s hard to take them down in January but at least we have boxes upon boxes of candles to keep the spirits up! Miriam, I wish you and your family a very special Christmas. 🎄 Hugs xx

    • Annika Perry says:

      Marje, wishing you and your family a super Christmas and joy for the New Year! 😀🌲 May the warmth, power and hope of the lights shine forth strongly now and into the year to come!

  24. http://www.salpa58.wordpress.com says:

    Thank you, Annika, first time hearing this beautiful Swedish Christmas song. the music was lovely and posting the translation to the words of the song was a wonderful gift. It is the true spirit of the holiday. I wish you and your family a peaceful Happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Patricia, thank you so much for your wonderful comment – in this virtual world it is impossible to give physical gifts so very happy the song in this posting is seen as one! 😀 It does encapsulate what Christmas is truly about. Warmest Christmas wishes to you and your family and may the new year be one of kindness, compassion and creativity. 🌲

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s