What Christmas Means to Me

I really like Christmas. It’s sentimental, I know, but I just really like it.

I am hardly religious: I’d rather break bread with Dawkins than Desmond Tutu, to be honest.

And yes, I have all of the usual objections to consumerism, the commercialisation of an ancient religion; to the westernisation of a dead Palestinian press-ganged into selling Playstations and beer.

But I still really like it.

I’m looking forward to Christmas, ‘though I’m not expecting a visit from Jesus. I’ll be seeing my dad, my brother and sisters, my gran and my mum. They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun.

I don’t go in for ancient wisdom. I don’t believe just because ideas are tenacious it means that they’re worthy. I get freaked out by churches: some of the hymns that they sing have nice chords but the lyrics are dodgy.

And yes, I have all of the usual objections to the mis-education of children who, in tax-exempt institutions, are taught to externalise blame, and to feel ashamed and to judge things as plain right and wrong.

But I quite like the songs.

I’m not expecting big presents. The old combination of socks, jocks and chocolate is just fine by me, ‘cos I’ll be seeing my dad, my brother and sisters, my gran and my mum. They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun.

And you, my baby boy & girl, my jet-lagged infant son & daughter: you’ll be handed around the room like puppies at a primary school. And you won’t understand, but you will learn someday that wherever you are and whatever you face these are the people who’ll make you feel safe in this world, my sweet wide-eyed twins.

And if, my sweet babies, when you’re 21 or 31, and Christmas comes around and you find yourself 9000 miles from home you’ll know whatever comes your brother and sister and me and your mum will be waiting for you in the sun. Whenever you come your brother and sister, your aunts and your uncles, your grandparents, cousins and me and your mum, we’ll be waiting for you in the sun.

Drinking white wine in the sun, darlings, when Christmas comes we’ll be waiting for you in the sun, drinking white wine in the sun, waiting for you in the sun, waiting for you…

Waiting…

I really like Christmas. It’s sentimental, I know…

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Not my words – I wish! – they’re by the brilliant Australian comedian / musician / all-round good-guy Tim Minchin from his song ‘White Wine in the Sun’. I’ve only editted them for repetition & a little personalisation, but I really couldn’t have expressed what Christmas means to me much better!

It’s being released as a single on December 1st, proceeds going to the National Autistic Society.

Here it is in full, performed live during Children in Need:

Beautiful, profound, brilliant, right? So let’s make it Christmas number 1!

It’s sentimental, I know, but I just really like it 🙂

#TimMinchinXmasNo1

 

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Happy Mother’s Day!

It was all very hush-hush.

At Wednesday playgroup the task was to glue petal-shaped bits of coloured paper onto a CD.

But as the only Dad there I was privy to Inside Information. The organiser took me to one side, looked around furtively, then whispered conspiratorily into my ear. “Don’t tell anyone, but this is actually for Mother’s Day. We’re going to take photos of the children & put them on the other side of the CD for you”.

It’s great being In on a Secret. She also told me that she was in fact Jesus’ great-great-great-great-great-great-great- (I lost count) niece, but I ignored that.

I don’t know what happened to the Mums’ CDs but mine, complete with photo, was thrust into my hand like a baton in an Olympic relay race as I left the building. Only pausing to point out that it was the wrong one, & those definitely weren’t my children in the photo, we quickly swapped & I ran off before our sordid little secret was uncovered.

It looks good I think (barring the loss of 1 or 2 petals):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mostly their own work too; I pretty much just pointed them in the right direction.

So, this morning, with a flourish, I presented it to the Mummy: “Happy Mother’s Day!”. She loved it!

She was also very good in overlooking the fact that Mother’s Day is actually tomorrow. Yes, I got the day wrong.

But it’s the thought that counts, right? Right?

So, er, Happy Mother’s Day, Mums! For tomorrow. Maybe you should read this again then…