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Norfolk Christmas A-Z for the festive season

The outdoor Nativity scene at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Bill Smith/Norwich Cathedral
The outdoor Nativity scene at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Bill Smith/Norwich Cathedral

An alphabetical round-up of festive things across Norfolk in 

Angels from the realms of glory soar over a Norfolk Christmas, alighting on the stained glass, medieval screens and roof beams of our treasury of churches, bringing long-awaited, ached-for, awesome tidings of great joy. At

Barton Turf a stained glass angel rolls back the Bethlehem stable thatch to glimpse the baby below. And painted angels with gold-feathered wings glow through six centuries.

Contemporary Christmas angels don’t always fly by with wings and haloes. Glimpse them collecting for the homeless and hopeless. Hear them playing carols to lift the spirits of stressed-out shoppers.

Delia has been taking the stress out of Christmas for decades.

Eat, drink and be merry with our canary queen, but first bake a batch of her easy mince pies for

Father Christmas.

Gloria in excelsis deo. Gulp in the frosty air and send your song to God on high – in the words of a 19th century Little Walsingham vicar.

The parish priest kept bees, wrote poetry and loved bell ringing. Twas In The Year That King Uzziah Died was his too, but did not quite hit the heavenly heights of that joyful stalwart of carol services, Ding Dong Merrily On

High. The Holly and the

Ivy was not his, but Norfolk has ancient groves, harking even further back than the birth of

Jesus in a Bethlehem stable. Occupied then by cattle, occupied still. A prince of peace and bringer of light born into strife and darkness.

Kings and shepherds came and went.

Light still sparkles through the bleak midwinter. On Christmas trees, on Christmas trains, from city shops and country pubs, in gardens of Blickling and the woods of Sandringham, sending out a promise of a path through the dark. See also the candles of

Midnight mass, the star of a nursery school

Nativity.

Oh holy night for all who keep the faith. Oh no it isn’t and oh yes it is for

Pantomimes playing to a partying crowd. He’s behind you, and in front too, in the

Queues for shops, pubs, car parks and Santa’s many grottos.

Reindeer rise above the earthbound laws of nature to whirl the joy of Christmas,

Sleigh bells ringing. Shhh, they’re over Sandringham where an earthly king snoozes and the smallest royals sleep with stockings ready.

Thursford too brings tidings of great joy in vast swathes of superlatives, the biggest Christmas show, the longest stage, the highest chorus-line kicks, the purest voices, the tens of thousands who travel to

Unwrap a Norfolk Christmas of shows and songs, a feast of festive food and drink from Norfolk bronze, black and lavender turkeys to Norfolk beer, wine and gin. Norfolk gifts and, way back, Norfolk stories, a

Vision of the Virgin Mary at

Walsingham, near Wells-next-the-Sea where Father Christmas arrives by boat on the

Xmas-tide.

Yule-tide.

Zzzz, whisper it on frosty winds, it’s coming, a Santa’s whisker, a reindeer’s antler, an angel’s wing, a newborn baby’s first breath away; zero sleeps til Christmas.



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