In the video below, “I Believe in Father Christmas,” Greg Lake is singing about a process he went through, that many people go through as they grow older:
1.) The wonder and innocence of Christmas
I remember one Christmas morning
A winter’s light and a distant choir
The peal of a bell, and that Christmas tree smell
And their eyes full of tinsel and fire.
2.) The loss of innocence; the realization that “Father Christmas” isn’t real. In a broader sense this verse can be taken to mean the realization that Christmas is very much a commercial thing – the line in the prior verse, “They sold me a Silent Night” bears this out.
And I believed in Father Christmas
And I looked at the sky with excited eyes
till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him and through his disguise
3.) His own personal resolution as to what Christmas means. The understanding that Christmas is, in a sense, a “state of mind.” He proffers good wishes upon us, which is in itself an act of charity, then he concludes that “The Christmas we get we deserve.” And that’s really the key to what he’s trying to say. Each of us is free to keep Christmas any way he or she pleases, or not to keep it at all. It doesn’t have to be about commercialism: it is you who makes it about commercialism. The vast advertising media in the United States cultivates a two-way relationship with Christmas advertising: they sell you a concept, and either you buy it, or you don’t. But you don’t have to buy it. You can make Christmas about everything else – about charity, about caroling, about family, about togetherness, about plum pudding and mince pie. Those who are alone may reach out to others, and those who are not alone may reach out to those who are.
Am I saying: Do not buy presents? Certainly not. I am only suggesting, as I have suggested in other posts, that Christmas can be about so much more than presents, and presents will never be able to replace the things that really matter: the togetherness, now, and the memories that we will retain when we are old, long after the presents are forgotten.
Aim for joyful, memorable experiences this Christmas, and let the presents be the icing, not the cake.
They said there’ll be snow at Christmas
They said there’ll be peace on Earth
Hallelujah, Noel! Be it Heaven, or Hell,
The Christmas we get we deserve.
Read Full Post »