Even though it has been running for a good 20 or so years already, this year marked the first time ever that I attended the Rotary-organised Carols by Candlelight fundraising function held at Kirstenbosch and all I can say is “Wow, I really should have done this sooner!”

As always, Kirstenbosch provides the most beautiful of backdrops to this very special Christian celebration of all things Christmas, and as per usual when it comes to hosting musical events, the grassy venue was absolutely packed with friends and families sharing in this very special event. For a change, Chantelle and I actually arrived pretty much on time and thanks to some nifty placeholding by Retha, her mom, dad, brother and sister-in-law, there was more than enough space for us to lay our blankets down and relax in style. Andri, Malcolm & Corban joined in as well, not to mention Andri’s Mom and Dad, Sister and even Gary and Michelle, making us a pretty big bunch in the end!

Of course, what is a visit to Kirstenbosch without snacks, and so we arrived with our little cooler bag packed to the brim with sausage rolls, cheese and chocolates and after a little munching and chatting, we got down to business as the event finally got underway. Now I must say, Rotary certainly did a fine job of organising the event, and together with primary sponsor Pick ‘n Pay, they made sure that each entrant received a candle, waxy paper bag in which to put said candle and finally a song sheet, containing the full list of all the carols that were to be performed on the night. They also made sure that there was ample parking on hand, enough ticket attendants in the front, ushers, emergency services and even a big tent at the back selling some much needed coffee and snacks – which Chantelle and Retha thoroughly appreciated of course!

We were led into the carols themselves by an absolutely brilliant Cape Town brass band and men’s choir and soon found ourselves happily singing along and waving our candles about as we watched the classic nativity play unfold on stage down before us. The event was an absolute success and a beautiful thing to partake in, meaning that if you are a Christian and have never done this with your family before, I would seriously urge you to join them next year for a stunning example of carols done right! :)

(P.S. Still, I was amazed that no one managed to burn Kirstenbosch down to the ground. It’s like one giant fire hazard up there I tell you! :P)