‘Tis the Season….

christmas-tree

I love this time of year that I call Christmas. I’m Catholic so there are religious connotations, but beyond that I also love the very spirit of the season. Whatever one celebrates this time of year, there’s often some form of the same spirit floating about: the spirit of joy and goodwill and kindness; of family and friends; of food, conversation and good times; and just the sheer energy of things and “general šŸ˜€ ” as I commented elsewhere. I don’t care what you’re celebrating at this time of year in name – Yule, Hanukkah, or something different. Have fun. The things I’ve just mentioned seem to happen regardless of what one calls it.

Though I dislike ā€œConsumerist-masā€, particularly the excessive use of the season as a ploy to drag people to shops. Toys/gifts are part of the seasonĀ and something thatā€™s looked forward to, but they come packaged with the conversation, food and good times. Theyā€™re not everything. The older I get the more I realise that itā€™s the experiences that matter, not the thingsā€¦and that my memories of Christmas are so special because of the people and fun in them, more than the things.

Another thing I love about Christmas areĀ the songs. As I said last year, however, I can be a bit picky about them!

From last year’s post:

“One of the funny things about living in Australia is that, as a lot of things have a Northern Hemisphere slant, some holiday songs just donā€™t fit the season. Of course, thereā€™s nothing wrong with singing the ā€˜traditionalā€™ songsā€¦..but when looking for non-religious carols, I like the ā€˜neutralā€™ (no reference to weather) or Australian-tailor-made ones better. There are plenty of those of course ā€“ you just have to find them.”

So no “White Christmas” from me. I’ve grown to dislike the song because I keep getting it stuck in my head and I do not want it there. I’m currently trying to think of a good parody to turn it into a Southern Hemisphere song…

In honour of the fact that it’s two daysĀ until Christmas, here are a few of my favourite carols, religious and otherwise, which are either Australian-based or don’t have a real weather indicator. This year, I couldĀ think of more religious carols than secular ones….

And see here for a five-hour-long selection of carols that a Facebook friend found.

Silver Bells:
A song about the joy of Christmas time “in the city”.

Carol of the Bells:
A fast-paced tune.Ā I sang this as in SSA arrangement as part ofĀ my high school choir some years ago – it gets really high, even for Sopranos, in the climax of the song.

Christmas Day (The North Wind):
I learnt this for the “Little Bit Like Christmas” concert I performed in recently. I quite like it – it’s a short Australian one.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas:
Another nice secular one. Some of these are a bit cliche, but I’ve had them in my head lately….

Christmas Day, Australia Way:
A song from the perspective of an Australian stuck overseas at Christmas and missing home. He lists a bunch of places in a wistful remembrance.

Noel Time:
A carol talking about the “Christmas bush growing wild”. Religious.

The First Australian Christmas:
Another religious Australian carol, talking of the summer sun warming hearts…

There Shall A Star:
By Mendelssohn. A powerful religious song which I also learnt for the “A Little Bit Like Christmas” concert. I like this one more for the musical composition (if that’s what you call it) than the words, though the words aren’t too bad either…

Sleep, Little Baby Sleep:
A beautiful carol I also learnt in high school for SSA. It’s soft and sweet and lovely.

Oh Holy Night:
Lovely powerful song.

The Shepherd’s Farewell:
Beautiful music that I heard at the “Little Bit Like Christmas” concert.

Silent Night:
An old favourite, of course.

O Come All Ye Faithful:
A second old favourite – I couldn’t resist.