I live in a village in the middle of England. Well, with about 6000 people, it is big enough to be called a town but we are a village. One of the best things about living here is Christmas.
On Christmas Eve, everyone wanders down on foot to the village square for "Carols on the Square", and with a brass band made up of anyone from one of the world's best trumpeters (who lives here) to school children learning how to play, we stand out in the cold and sing carols. All four churches in the village share the readings and there is a short talk too, and then there are fireworks from the churchyard on the hill afterwards. Father Christmas comes on his sleigh to collect toys to distribute to needy homes, and there is a collection for charities. The road is closed off, and the local services are all involved, like the firebrigade and St John's Ambulance, and it is a real village event.
Then we tend to wander off to each others homes for mulled wine and mince pies, and some of us return to the church for the midnight service at 11.30pm.
We go to carols no matter what the weather is like, and for a lot of people, this is the only time they are reminded of the Christmas story and this is perhaps the one time a year that our village is really united.