"Strings of street lights" at Westlake Park, Seattle

“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks,
Dressed in holiday style.
In the air
There’s a feeling
Of Christmas  . . .
— from “Silver Bells” by Ray Evans

The colors and sounds of the holidays cheer our dark days of December.  Here are some photos from an evening in the city:

Lobby of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle

Carolers in Nord Alley, Pioneer Square

Gingerbread Exhibit, Sheraton Hotel lobby

Carousel and Macy's star, Westlake Center

Santa photos behind the plate-glass window at Nordstrom's

Wish upon a star

“O Star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright.
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy Perfect Light.”
— from “We Three Kings of Orient Are” by the Reverend John Henry Hopkins

 

“Mark ye well the song we sing,
Gladsome tidings now we bring . . .”
   — Wihla Hutson, “Caroling, Caroling”

Carolers ornaments

“Our richest gifts are loving hearts,
So hearts of love we bring.
With deeds and gifts we voice our love
And Christmas carols sing.”
     — Oliver Murray Edwards, “Christmas”

Few things put me in the holiday spirit like Christmas carols.  Yesterday afternoon my friend Carol (yes, her name fit the occasion!) and I attended the annual holiday concert presented by the Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle.  We enjoyed some unfamiliar songs, hymns, and carols sung in Norwegian, Swedish and Danish.  We were also treated to songs on accordion by guest artist Richard Svennson.  It was a delightful concert.

The Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle in concert

Voice lifted in song

The Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle performing at Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church

Intricately embroidered Scandinavian dress and purse

Caroling, Caroling

December 17, 2009

Strolling carolers at Molbak's Nursery

 

Costumed carolers

 

Carolers entertain the shoppers at Molbak's Nursery

 

Hands holding song book

 

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.  And certainly the traditional carols contribute to the festive atmosphere at this time of year.  We enjoyed the strolling carolers who entertained us at Molbak’s Nursery.  They brought a touch of merry old England with their Victorian costumes. 

One of my favorite chapters from Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows is when the adventure-weary Mole and Rat seek refuge from a cold mid-Winter night in Mole’s old, foresaken home.  While Rat summoned up food and fire, they were visited by a band of neighborly carolers: 

“It was a pretty sight, and a seasonable one, that met their eyes when they flung the door open.  In the forecourt, lit by the dim rays of a horn lantern, some eight or tien little field mice stood in a semicircle, red worsted comforters round their throats, their forepaws thrust deep into their pockets, their feet jigging for warmth.  With bright beady eyes they glanced shyly at each other, sniggering a little, sniffing and applying coat sleeves a good deal.  As the door opened, one of the elder ones that carried the lantern was just saying, ‘Now then, one, two, three!’ and forthwith their shrill little voices uprose on the air, singing one of the old-time carols that their forefathers composed in fields that were fallow and held by frost, or when snowbound in chimney corners, and handed down to be sung in the miry street to lamplit windows at Yuletime.”