My dad posted Tim Minchin’s Christmas song White wine in the sun the other day, about atheist Christmas:
Some of the hymns that they sing have nice chords
Though the lyrics are dodgy
And yes I have all of the usual objections to miseducation
Of children forced into a cult institution and taught to externalise blame
And to feel ashamed and to judge things as plain right or wrong
But I quite like the songs
Just like Minchin, and just like my dad, I’m not religious, but I still love Christmas. I prefer the Christmas songs about parties in the winter to the ones about Jesus, because I like to relate to lyrics. But I think Norway would have a big feast centered around lighting candles with family members even if there wasn’t a single Christian Norwegian, if only to have something to look forward to when it starts to get cold and dark. Just like Minchin, I will be travelling to another continent to meet up with family this year, and that’s what I’m looking forward to, not the presents, and certainly not the church service – which I’ve skipped for the past few years to watch over the turkey and hang out with my dad.
For two years in a row, I attempted a Christmas-music-themed advent calendar (here’s the original, with links to the old blog), meaning I blogged about Christmas music every day in December. Both years, real life got in the way. This year, I am a busy grad student, and there is no way I am going through that blogging schedule again. But as I sit here in my living room, next to blinking colorful lights and a (plastic) Christmas tree, listening to a playlist of Christmas pop/rock music, that Christmassy feeling is pulling my focus away from my Economic History essay (this week’s topic: the role of technology and policy in global trade integration in the 19th century) and towards walking around in a winter wonderland while listening to jingle bell jazz songs.
So here’s a selection of blog posts about Christmas:
- Have yourself a lonely, depressing little Christmas – Why my favorite Christmas music is sad
- Wonderlaaaand – Christmas in Brooklynese
- What are you doing New Year’s Eve – survival guide to a potentially disastrous night
- Happy bilingual holidays – Why my favorite Christmas music is in English
- Have yourself a traumatizing Christmas – Carol of the Bells freaks me out
- You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile – Why the original Grinch cartoon is the best Christmas movie ever.
- Am I really dreaming of a white Christmas? – What that song is really about
- Why I probably won’t be buying you a Christmas present
- Christmas music economics – The price of French hens, milkmaids and a partridge in a pear tree