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Emma Spencer spreads festive cheer as she remembers the Christmas Carol Service at the Rigg-Rut fountain on 2 December.

It is well and truly that time of year; even the scrooge cannot deny it. Everyone is able to recall some of the old Christmas carols and often cannot get them out of their heads, even if they deem them old fashioned.

There was a big turnout at the Christmas Carol Service around the Rigg-Rut fountain, put on by the university’s Welfare and Diversity team. Quite a lot of the crowd was made up of students and some locals. The local Salvation Army gospel choir and band provided the instrumental accompaniment.

Yet, while this shows that some people are still interested in celebrating Christmas this way, perhaps it’s been lost among the younger generations. Considering how many students go to the university, the amount of people that opted to stay in was disappointing.

Some of the regular, confident singers expressed their joy whilst some (mainly myself) were embarrassingly attempting to sing in a broken, deep voice. Regardless, it was the atmosphere; standing out in the cold with a free cup of the hot, and rather sweet, mulled wine in one gloved hand and a free mince pie, glow stick and song sheet in the other.

In the –cheesy as it sounds- ‘season of good will’, Rag were also collecting money, and with the freebies that were provided, I hope that many gave back in return.

In between recalling the familiar tales of the Birth of Jesus, some of the classic carols sung included: Once in Royal David’s City, Hark! The Herald’s Angels sing, Away in a Manger, We Three Kings and O Come All Ye Faithful. Although there were moments when people sang out of time, much of the crowd enjoyed swaying to the familiar rhythms. There were also definite feelings of nostalgia to singing in school assemblies from an OHP. My housemate and I were even moved to sing – in the wrong order – the 12 days of Christmas on our walk home.

Concluding the service with We Wish you a Merry Christmas was definitely a good idea; from the looks on people’s faces, many people left with a happy spark ready to light the Christmas fire. The highlight of the night had to be a lady turning around and nodding her head to me with a smile when singing the song. Call me old fashioned, but it was a nice way to begin the festivities of the season.

On that note, Label Wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Emma Spencer

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