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 😀 ” 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 “Consumerist-mas”, particularly the excessive use of the season as a ploy to drag people to shops. Toys/gifts are part of the season and something that’s looked forward to, but they come packaged with the conversation, food and good times. They’re not everything. The older I get the more I realise that it’s the experiences that matter, not the things…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 are 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 don’t fit the season. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with singing the ‘traditional’ songs…..but when looking for non-religious carols, I like the ‘neutral’ (no reference to weather) or Australian-tailor-made ones better. There are plenty of those of course – 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 days 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 could think of more religious carols than secular ones….
And see here for a five-hour-long selection of carols that a Facebook friend found.
A song about the joy of Christmas time “in the city”.
Carol of the Bells:
A fast-paced tune. I sang this as in SSA arrangement as part of 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.
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.
An old favourite, of course.
O Come All Ye Faithful:
A second old favourite – I couldn’t resist.