By Lucy Baker
This Christmas I went with my family to my Granny’s retirement home to sing a Christmas tune or two to her and fellow elderly friends. It has become something of a tradition, this being our third visit. Each year the home washroom is decked out with Christmas lights, tinsel, the works, the transformation of which is always acknowledged with delight by all the oldies;
“Have you seen the decorations? They’re simply marvellous!”.
One by one the grannies and grandpas tottered in. Some were helped by carers, others fiercely independent, and all had made the effort to put some red garment on to make the occasion extra jolly. It is strange quite how nervous I was before singing. It doesn’t matter what age people are, or how deaf they may be, it’s still absolutely terrifying.
We kicked off the afternoon with ‘Silent Night’, the oldies warbled gently in the background. It was absolutely charming. We also played some old 1940s tunes to rally them. ‘A Nightingale Sung in Berkeley Square’ made one man so nostalgic that he felt impelled to stand up and tell a story about his deceased wife who had loved that song. It was extremely touching to think we had reminded him of happy times.
It was a wonderful afternoon, completed with a few home-made mince pies. The oldies thoroughly enjoyed themselves, or at least they said they did… and I would recommend anyone to do something similar. You really do get that warm, buzzy Christmassy feeling. Excuse the cheese.