Sunday, 25 December 2016

My Christmas Day Blog 2016

I started writing my blog in 2009. Early every Sunday morning  I 'post' my blog for the week. Today is Christmas Day, and rather like the Queen, I feel a need to post a brief Christmas message. Since 2009, Christmas Day has only fallen on a Sunday on 1 other occasion and that was in 2011. After today it won’t happen again until 2022. I wonder if I will still be writing my blog then. Confusingly for some, in Western Christianity, the first Sunday after Christmas is actually called 'the First Sunday of Christmas', which this year will also be the first Sunday of brand spanking New Year of 2017! So this is the last blog posting for this year. Many thanks to all of you who choose to read it each week.

A couple of things came to mind when I stopped and thought about what I could write for this blog. I wanted to include a carol, and given I am a long-time fan of the late great Leonard Cohen and thought I might bring you some of his Christmas music, but he never recorded a Christmas album. The only song he ever recorded is 'Silent Night', which he sang with Jennifer Warnes way back in December 1979 – which you can hear here. In case you are wondering, Christmas Day in 1979, fell on a Tuesday. The Leonard Cohen version is not the best one available, but it is better than mine. 

When I was very much younger and lived with my parents in North London, we had a harmonium in one corner of our dining room. It was a magnificent beastie. Black wood, ivory coloured keys, lots of pull out levers, 2 wooden paddles that you operated with your knees to make the sound louder or softer and all worked by 2 foot pedals which you had to pump. I am not aware that any of us 7 children could play, and I am almost certain my parents didn’t either. But as a child it was great fun to play with. The only recognisable tune I could ever get out of it was a one handed version of 'Silent Night'. One of my brothers went on to play the piano in later life, but as I had dreams of becoming a rock star it had to be the guitar for me. I can play 'Silent Night' and other assorted Christmas carols on the guitar and for a small fee I am available to play at a Christmas party near you.

The other thought that came to me was of all those people who will be working over the holiday to keep us safe, warm, healthy, keeping the lights on, the roads moving, the food on our tables, and for all of those giving up their time and energy in 'being there' for others in shelters, on the streets or at the end of a telephone line. Many thanks to you all, and for all that you do for the rest of us. 

And wherever and however you are celebrating Christmas this year I hope you are able to find time to enjoy, laugh, relax and if so moved, sing the odd Christmas carol or song in the company of friends and family. W and me, well as soon as I press 'post' we are off to spend Christmas Day (and the next 8 days) up in the House in Scotland 

Best wishes for Christmas 2016!