The carols by candlelight service is one of my favourites, as I'll know all the hymns so I can get stuck into the service without feeling too awkward about the whole religious aspect.
This year a very lovely man was playing the organ, complete with backing 'band' (a button on the organ that played a drum beat). The result was that he couldn't hear if we were singing or not, so ended up stopping mid carol. When the minister asked him to keep playing, he started up in the wrong place, so we ended up singing the verse to the chorus tune and vis-versa. I was keeping it together until I glanced up and saw the minister, head bowed, shoulders shaking with laughter. I've never been to a more innocently hilarious service.
The service itself was more like a meditation session (with added Jesus). The minister asked us to sit and think about all the things we were grateful for. This has always been an exercise that I've found difficult - not because I'm not grateful for things, but because it feels silly to say all the things I'm grateful for. Maybe it's a British modesty thing, who knows, but it's something that I want to get better at.
So one of my goals this year is to be more thankful - and vocalise this. I need to thank my loving parents and family for all the things they do. I need to thank my friends for always being there. I need to thank my boss(es) for giving me wonderful opportunities. And I need to thank myself when I do something right for my health.
Here's to 2016 - the year of thanks.