Scary stories from a lovely place

The city and Sufjan save Christmas

All is not lost as far as Christmas spirit goes in the Reid household.

After my anti-Christmas rant from a couple of weeks ago we have managed to muster some semblance of festive cheer. We bought presents, we listened to Christmassy music and we’re enjoying the holidays.

Sufjan Stevens’ aptly named ‘Songs for Christmas’ has helped us to bring the spirit to the fore. We’ve been listening to his caroling for nearly three weeks now. Sufjan’s unmistakeable alternative folksy sound would struggle to not bring a little cheer to any bleak heart.

And after much internet searching I found Bec Recording’s ‘Happy Christmas Redux: Volumes 1, 2 and 3’. In what feels like another lifetime I worked at a Christian bookstore. Back then I listened to volume 1 time and time again in the lead up to Christmas. Volumes 2 and 3 are a bonus. When I told Stephen I had ordered a Christmas CD from a Christian website he was not looking forward to it’s arrival. But he was pleasantly surprised. He was expecting more music in the line of Michael W Smith and less punk, ska and other alternative expressions. I’m loving it.

I have always loved Christmas songs. In fact, Christmas, real Christmas – not all the presents, lights and other made up stuff – but the celebration of the birth of Jesus, is my favourite time of year. And again – not because of all the peripheral stuff that takes over. I could, and do enjoy Christmas all year. Silas has helped with that this year – Colin Buchanan’s ‘King of Christmas’ dvd has been his solid favourite since July. I must have watched it a million times. And why not celebrate this good stuff all the time? It’s all about the promise of peace, the method of the King’s birth which mirrored the legacy of his life and the joy and worship that would follow.

When I was pregnant with Silas Stephen and I read a book called ‘Disciplines of a Godly Family’ by Kent and Barbara Hughes. I don’t recommend it. It made me feel like a terribly mediocre Christian and us like we could never have a family like Ken and Barbie’s (as my friend Ellie calls them). As an example of the sickening perfection of the Hughes’ – they have a family tradition they use each Christmas morning. As each family member wakes up they start to sing a chosen carol which each person joins in until everyone is awake. Only then are they allowed to tear downstairs and rip open their presents (though I’m sure they do it in a much more orderly fashion).

We’ve often joked about this tradition but this year Stephen has chosen a song for us to use from ‘Happy Christmas – volume 3’. It’s a cover of ‘Do you hear what I hear?’ by a punk band called Hangnail. It starts off with fast and loud electric guitar and then the drumbeat takes over and the singing is frenzied and chaotic. It feels irreverent and part of me hopes that it is. But the lyrics are incredible. My favourite line is “A star, a star dancing in the night, with a tail as big as a kite”. I love imagining the shepherds seeing that star and knowing something very special was afoot.

Tonight we’re sleeping in a flat in the city. We spent the afternoon dragging Silas and Oisín around – to the Christmas display in the windows of David Jones, Hyde Park, Burgerlicious, the Botanic Gardens, Circular Quay. It was immense. Now I am writing this, Stephen is watching a wholesome Christmas movie – ‘Life of Brian’ and the babies are asleep in the other room. I can’t wait to go to sleep and wake up to our chosen Christmassy song.

Here are all the words to ‘Do you hear what I hear?’ if you have forgotten them.

Said the night wind to the little lamb
Do you see what I see
Way up in the sky little lamb
Do you see what I see
A star, a star
Dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite
With a tail as big as a kite

Said the little lamb to the shepard boy
Do you hear what I hear
Ringing through the sky shepard boy
Do you hear what I hear
A song, a song
High above the tree
With a voice as big as the sea
With a voice as big as the sea

Said the shepard boy to the mighty king
Do you know what I know
In your palace wall mighty king
Do you know what I know
A child, a child
Shivers in the cold
Let us bring him silver and gold
Let us bring him silver and gold

Said the king to the people everywhere
Listen to what I say
Pray for peace people everywhere
Listen to what I say
The child, the child
Sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light.


3 comments on “The city and Sufjan save Christmas

  1. Jenny
    December 24, 2011

    Kim – best ever. Thx. xx

  2. Pingback: Christmas miracles « Kimlovesjozi

  3. Pingback: Chinese slippers from New York « Kimlovesjozi

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This entry was posted on December 24, 2011 by in Beefs, Being a christian, Kids, Life in Australia and tagged , , , , .
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