“But I Quite Like the Songs”

Well. It’s December. And you know what that means.

It means I’ve already been listening to Christmas music for a couple of weeks.

To be fair, I have a rule: I can start listening to Christmas music when we have our first snowfall, or starting one month before Christmas, whichever comes first. I’ve written before about my love of Christmas music, as well as some of my favourites. Today I’d like to share with you a song I discovered during this past year, a Christmas song that I think nicely sums up many of my views on Christmas and Christmas music. Without further ado, Tim Minchin:

I’ve cried, listening to this song.

See, to me, this is what Christmas is about. It’s not a religious thing — I’m not at all religious. It’s not about the presents — yes, I’ll be happy to get them, but they’re honestly not so important to me.

Christmas is about family and friends. It’s that time when you get together with family, perhaps family that you haven’t seen for a while, or family that you just have more time to spend with now that you’re off school or work, and they are too. And seeing family friends that you only see once or twice a year, but who you’ve known most of your life. It’s about sitting around a dining room table, a glass of something in your hand, your stomach full, laughing at old stories and revelling in the warmth of each other.

Yeah, it’s cliche, but Christmas, to me at least, is about love.

And for that reason, Christmas has also become a bittersweet time for me. I’ve reached a point in my life at which I want to share that warmth and joy with someone. I sit with my family and I think about the family that I want to have.

I think about the joy that I want to bring to someone else. I think about being able to introduce someone new to our familial fold, something I’ve not yet had the opportunity, the joy to do.

I think about creating my own rituals of gathering and happiness, of decking my own halls. And yes, I’m young, and there’s time for all of that still. But these thoughts sit with me, as I sit with my family and friends, and laugh and sing.

They sit with me even as I enter the holiday season. As the air gets cold and I wrap myself in thicker sweaters, I want to wrap myself in someone’s arms. Sit by the fire. Share a good meal and be a shield against the cold. Find that mistletoe and that New Year’s midnight kiss. Sing and hold and love.

Perhaps that’s one reason I so enjoy the Christmas music that I do. A lot of it is about love. A lot of it is joyful, hopeful, but a lot is just as sad, and filled with longing. This year, I’m going to share my music with you, by trying to post one of my favourite Christmas songs every day until Christmas — a sort of musical advent calendar — as well as my thoughts of the day or the moment. I hope you enjoy, and share them with your loved ones.

“I really like Christmas. It’s sentimental, I know.”

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