It’s December now, okay? No moaning about my talking about Christmas!
Earlier today, I went out with my mother to a garden centre that’s quite close to our home. I used to go there with my parents as a young child, around Christmas time, and now that we’re back in Birmingham we naturally gravitated towards it.
Walking through their Christmas displays was a bit weird. So many things were familiar but it seemed so different. In a way it all seemed less magnificent, less exciting, yet nothing had really changed about it. There were tacky little lights all over, glittering baubles, expensive gifts…
On a television by one of the walls was the new Snowman film playing away to itself, or so I thought. Looking down I saw a little girl, two years old a the most, sat on the floor. Leaning against the television stand she was watching the story, completely enthralled. Her mother called her to look at something and, after a moment, she dragged herself away from the screen to the next exciting thing.
There were children all around. They were entranced by little light up model villages, old-fashioned models of Santa. They were excited. They were excited in the way that only a child can be, in the way that I used to be. Looking at the items on display in the garden centre I noticed my own excitement growing. It is oh so easy to look at the world through childish eyes once again and Christmas seems to be the only time that society allows us to do this. It’s okay for grown people to have an advent calender (incidentally, my chocolate was cappuccino flavoured this morning… not impressed). It’s okay for upstanding members of society to don novelty jumpers and reindeer antlers. For a few weeks we all start to feel that joy, that magic that is in the world, the feeling we lost with the end of ‘youth’… or were told to loose.
Gosh, this is all getting a bit heavy. Didn’t plan for that!
Anyway, I got back home and decided to focus my evening on getting my cards and presents ready for my own little children in the form of my two youngest nephews. Although I won’t be there with them on Christmas day, I know they’ll have a wonderful time!
|Gifts and cards for the youngest nephews. Yes, I did have to make up
the chocolates myself because names like that don’t come on the shelf!!
Talking about how Christmas makes ‘serious’ people a bit, well, less so… My mother always tells the story about how she was working in the High Court and one of the solicitors was giving evidence. He lent forward to accentuate a serious point and all of a sudden ‘Jingle Bells’ starting playing out of nowhere. He then had to explain to the Judge that he was wearing musical underpants, must have leant on the button and there was no way to switch them off until they’d run their course. Naturally, everyone was quite amused!
Christmas song of the day
Ecci Mundi Gaudium, performed by the Mediaeval Baebes,
lyrics and translation here.
The Mediaeval Baebes are a rotating line up of female singers performing medieval inspired pieces. Their work tends to be a bit hit and miss, as far as I’m concerned. I love some tracks and other arrangements, seem to me, to be lacking in character.
This song, Ecci Mundi Gaudium is one of my favourites by them. I love the question and answer effect, I love the tune and I love the fact that the vocals aren’t too perfect and therefore soulless.
I also love the rendition by Schelmish, which is even rougher in tone and a completely different beast! You can listen to that one by clicking here. Which do you prefer?