Don't forget to strike the right note this Christmas
Published: 20 Dec 2012 09:300 comments
Now that we're only a few days away from the day, I think it's safe to discuss these things. October is barely out these days and you get the sound of "It's beginning to look a lot like...."
Er, no it wasn't.
But closer to the time, you don't mind; and the happy glow of this season makes me think that, really, "I wish it could be Christmas every day."
I don't really, of course. All that sudden goodwill all the year round! Don't think I could take it!
My favourite Christmas song is "Fairytale of New York." At least it was until I heard Ronan Keating butcher it in his version last week.
But then I heard The Pogues' Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl's version again and all was well. It's hard to believe that it's now 25 years since the song was released, and it would seem I'm not alone in liking it because it consistently tops polls of favourite Christmas songs.
But did you know that your favourite festive song reveals a lot about your character.
Apparently, because I like "Fairytale of New York", it suggests I have a curious, open-minded nature. I like to challenge expectations - and in the same way that this is a beautiful, festive song about a low-life break-up - I hate to be judged on first appearances. In relationships I'm stimulating and lively, always up for a debate, but sometimes I can be controversial for its own sake.
That's me summed up by Smooth Christmas Radio.
I wish now I'd gone for Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" which would make me "steady, safe and sweet."
Or is that my favourite Americano coffee. None of that milky rubbish. Milk is for putting on cereal. There I go, you see, being controversial for its own sake.
It's a bit disconcerting to think that some amateur psychologist in an office somewhere is working out what sort of person I am simply by asking what my favourite Christmas song is.
That's the way we are now, isn't it? Look for a simple label.
If I put my Twitter profile as "Spurs fan. Christian. Journalist. Likes Fairytale of New York", well you'd have my persona and whole identity sussed.
Identity, eh? There's that word again.
I was interested to hear it crop up again on Sunday, in church of all places. Aha, bet you thought "flegs" and all came up in the sermon.
Actually, no. It was a thought-provoking one about our identity as Christians at this very important time of the year for our faith.
I wonder how many of you think that simply putting up a Christmas tree, giving presents and throwing a few bob to charity gets you off the hook as regards celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.
Should our symbols of Christian identity not be backed up by our works all the year round?
Sometimes the truth gets blurred at Christmas. Fairytale of New York is basically a conversation between two people, whose hopes and dreams have been damaged over the years by alcoholism and drug-taking.
Even the line "And the boys of the NYPD choir's still singing Galway Bay." isn't right. Apparently, the New York Police Department doesn't have a choir!
That's life, isn't it. Often we base our likes on some romantic notion or other, and our dreams are shattered by the pressure of life.
But, if we can't see hope through it all at Christmas when the Saviour was born, when can we?
Use this Christmas time to enjoy yourself if you can. You're allowed to. Take a break from the pressures of life, enjoy time with your family and recharge the batteries.
But don't forget those who are having it hard this Christmas and don't forget what the true meaning of this time of year is.