Carols

It’s exactly one week until Christmas day. This time next week everything will probably be over for us and my family and my parents will be sitting and snoozing together in the lounge room (and playing with lego).

So far this season hasn’t felt too Christmassy to me. I haven’t decorated the tree yet (that’s happening tomorrow) and I haven’t been to any carol singing anythings. I haven’t even heard any carols on the radio – today I heard a Christmas greeting followed by ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ and I was just getting into it when it cut to another song. (‘Baby don’t cry’ which made me laugh). The most I’ve heard are the Christmas songs in the supermarket. I don’t count them as carols. I don’t like them much.

The songs that are just about winter – “Let it Snow” “Frosty the Snowman” – are just inappropriate in this hemisphere. They have nothing to do with Christmas and they have nothing to do with summer in Australia, they drive me a bit crazy. Then there’s “I saw Mummy kissing Santa Claus” which is a bit twee but I could cope with it if it were sung by someone less than ten years old. When it’s sung by a choir who are all at least 40 by the sounds, then it’s a bit hard to handle. And then, another carol came on and all I can say is, if the song is supposed to be sung with a reggae beat and an African feel then don’t change the grammar so that it’s correct, just don’t!

But I was sorting through some music with my Mum the other day and saw a list of carols for a Christmas service that she had run in the USA. She had performed a little selection of Australian carols and my sister had sung with her. There was the Carol of the Birds – ‘Orana to Christmas day!’ and the Bushman’s carol ‘three Drovers riding, blythe and gay’ (our minister used to say that those were the names of the two horses – he never said why three drovers were riding two horses, a bit of a strange sense of humour that one!) and

the North wind is tossing the leaves,

the red dust is over the town,

the sparrows are under the eaves

and the grass in the paddock is brown,

as we lift up our voices to sing

to the Christ Child the heavenly king.

A beautiful Australian carol! (By William G James and John Wheeler)

It all made me feel like singing. I love singing carols with people who will belt them out and not look strangely at me when I force my alto voice to sing the soprano descants because they just have to be sung! I think I might get a chance to do that this Sunday and again at Midnight on Christmas eve but that’s only twice!

So I’ve decided to invest in Christmas music this year, to find the carols I love, in a version I can enjoy, and to play them for my own pleasure when I feel like being Christmassy. And for the next little while, I might just gorge on the Christmas feeling, and then pleasantly sleep it off this time next week.

Wishing you all a fabulous Christmas! Goodness knows if I’ll have time to blog in-between the tree, the present shopping, the groceries and the cooking, so if not, I pray that you feel the joy, that you know the peace, and that you remember the Reason for the season!

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