One Wednesday in December a small group of our Toddlers, and parents, spent a very special half an hour sharing the Christmas story at Field House.
We have been visiting each month to sing nursery rhymes and actions songs with the residents and every time we visit the children and the elderly get to know each other a little better. It is so lovely to see children, who once were shy and timid, gaining confidence, handing out bells and shakers to the older people and the older people, who once slept through our sessions, waking up and joining in, especially when recognising songs from their childhood.
We have learnt ‘I’m a Little Teapot’, ‘Miss Polly Had a Dolly’ and ‘Wind the Bobbin Up. They have learnt ‘Zoom, Zoom, Zoom’ and ‘The Wheels on the Bus.’ Together we have shaken our bells and shakers high, low, fast and slow and done some gentle aerobics while singing favourites such as ‘Horsey, Horsey’ and “Jig Jog’. The day that we took in our silk headscarves to shake them like the falling leaves, and sing our Peekaboo songs, our older friends began laughing out loud at the children’s antics and Catriona and I looked at each other with recognition that this was a moment of real joy both to witness and be a part of.
And so, one Wednesday in December, we spent a very special half an hour sharing the Christmas story with our new friends. When we arrived there was a feeling of excitement and expectation in the room. The residents were eagerly awaiting our arrival, and the children’s faces lit up when they saw the huge and beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the lounge. We had a special time singing ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Rudolph’ and there was much delight when the song ‘When Santa Got Stuck Up the Chimney’ ended with resounding sneezes from our Toddlers!
Then, with the help of a knitted Nativity set, it was time to tell the Christmas Story. The age old story of Jesus birth was told, with knitted characters appearing during familiar songs and creating a tableau along the way. To hear the soft voices of the young and old joining together to sing Away in a Manger and Silent Night, Baa Baa Black Sheep and Here We Go Up to Bethlehem, was really special and ignited a gentle feeling of excitement for the coming season – and those who had heard the story many times before enjoyed it as much as the children, for whom it is still a new and wonderful tale.