Okay, it’s a Christmas Tree and we’ve put it up early. This wouldn’t normally be blog-worthy but the fact that it’s the first time I’ve put a tree up in a home of my own makes it unusual for me – Ros only had to threaten me once or twice before we got round to it.
So, without further ado, may I present the exciting transition of one corner of the living room from “junk area with a table with my CD and DVD collection on it” to “evergreen shrine, life in cold deathness and table with my CD collection on it and DVDs underneath”.
…except for the non-shitty Christmas music which I do like.
Okay, so Sharks Took the Rest, whom I saw earlier this evening, weren’t really a Christmas band, but the fourth Sunday in Advent is as close to Christmas as “damn-it” is to swearing and they were utterly awesome. Three quarters of a string quartet, a guitarist, pianist and Becky Owen singing her heart out and banging a big bass drum – this band had me grinning ear to ear, almost crying, and going ‘hmmmmm’ within the space of a couple of songs. They claimed it was only their fourth real gig – on the strength of tonight’s performance, we should be hearing an awful lot more from them.
Last year, Glasvegas recorded a Christmassy EP. ‘A Snowflake Fell (and it felt like a kiss)’ is a wonderful little recording – a fragile, ugly, beautiful, angry and (ultimately) hopeful piece of miserablism, it begins with the (very sweary) story of a relationship breaking down irreparably, and moving through the consequent homelessness, it climaxes with the final verse of the title track:
The ringing from the bells keeps screaming out love
As snow fell from heavens above
Directionless no more
Emptiness no more
Now I don’t feel so all alone in the cold – wondering where I’m going today.
Then a snowflake, and it felt like a kiss.
Now I’m OK
Christmas at its best brings healing and wholeness where it is most needed, and I would argue that that is the whole point.
Oh, and ‘Fairytale of New York’ is still one of the best Christmas songs ever.