Christmas songs are unavoidable. You need only pop into the supermarket and you'll be subjected to a barrage of Jingle Bells or White Christmas or Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow, or (as if it has obtained naming rights to 'the' Christmas song) The Christmas Song.
You can probably recite by heart the lyrics to these songs ('Dashing through the snow / Just like the ones I used to know / But the chestnuts roasting on the open fire are so delightful'). It probably warms your heart just to think of that lovely yule log radiating its heat into your air-conditioned bedroom while you cower from the forty-degree total fire ban raging outside.
Therein lies the problem. Wintry Christmas songs are comically inappropriate where I live. Yet we belt them out without even thinking of the words in them, as if they were in a foreign language and we learned them phonetically (benedictus fructus ventris ).
It doesn't have to be like this. There are so many more appropriate Christmas songs for our modern Australian lives. And I don't mean novelty songs ('Six white boomers, snow-white boomers' ) or retrofits ('On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me / An emu up a gum tree').
Let us instead, celebrate Christmas with modern classics we can relate to, like Grown-up Christmas List ('No more lives torn apart / That wars would never start') or How to Make Gravy ('If I get good behaviour I'll be out of here by July') or White Wine in the Sun ('The old combination of socks, jocks and chocolates is just fine by me').
That would be something worth braving the heat to go to the supermarket for. As we say here in Australia—I'll spell it phonetically—Mele Kalikimaka!
- You'll doubtless recognize this catchy little phrase from the timeless hit Ave Maria. It means, literally: 'blessed is the fruit of thy womb'.