Monday, December 14, 2015

I Still Love Christmas

But what I don't like is...

* The stupidity that precedes it, namely in the stores and on the road.  Yeah, the pushing around of your fellow customers because you're trying to get that anatomically correct GI Joe or Barbie that you just can't find anywhere else.  Yeah, the tying up of traffic because you're too busy shooting the breeze with your friends on your phone while maneuvering the streets in that fancified pile of nuts and bolts you pass for a car.  Yeah, the display of Christmas merchandise before Halloween's even started.  Who'd have thunk that I'd want to go out trick-or-treating dressed up in a Santa suit?  Not to mention the monotony of music that I shall describe in the next paragraph!

* Much of the crappy mainstream elevator music that seems to pass as Christmas music, whether it be the modern garbage, or some 1940's/1950's crooner trying to belch out an old standard (especially those annoying sleeper tunes), all in the guise of sentimentalism.  I can't stress enough: if you are going to sing a trashy "holiday tune" or trash a Christmas standard, at least be funny about it.  ENTERTAIN ME!  One day last week, I actually WAS entertained.  A website from Sweden came up with this cool collection of Christmas tunes called All I want for Christmas Is a Goat!  Guess what, it's Christmas standards sung by, you guessed it, GOATS!  I needed that to break out of the Dean Martin/Bing Crosby/Andy Williams/Johnny Mathis/Santa Baby monotony.  I needed that good laugh!

* Use of the phrase "happy holidays" because they're too afraid they're going to piss me off by saying "Merry Christmas".  It's OK!  You can say "Merry Christmas".  I'll actually be merry!  Otherwise, if you wish me a "happy holiday", I will be more than happy to choose which holiday I wish to enjoy.  Fourth of July looks good.  It's shortly after my birthday, which falls on Canada Day.  Labor Day looks pretty cool, too.  Christmas is more than just a "holiday".  It's a happy, festive, holy day, in which our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ comes from the womb of Mary and greets the earth for the first time.  Jesus is God's gift to us.  Talk about the ultimate gift!  Don't ruin it by merely saying "Happy Holiday".

I had a wonderful time last night!

One of the things I never got to experience until last night was a good old fashioned carol sing at the home a family who are parishioners at the church where I am organist.  After about three or four Facebook invites, I had a chance to go, and took my wife, Ann, with me.  We both enjoyed the singing.  We sang Advent and Christmas songs (REAL Christmas songs, not that mainstream media garbage, thank you very much) in five languages - English, Latin, French, German, and Swedish.  And lots of extra verses to go around.  Adeste, Fideles - all EIGHT verses, in Latin.  Stille Nacht in its native German, SIX verses.  O Tannenbaum, which reminds me so much of the hilarious meme pictured above.  We were singing even more than the Anglicans!

We were also WILDLY entertained by the family's dog, who did a show with his master!

As you can tell by the picture at left, I was one of FOUR organists who had a go at the family's 135-year-old reed organ, the first one I played in 25 years.  All of the organists who played were fantastic!  This was some really true old school fellowship and fun in the spirit of Christmas, all on Gaudete Sunday, Gaudete, meaning "rejoice".  And how fitting that the first hymn we sang was O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, whose refrain bids us:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel! 


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