Christmas and the songs, books and movies around it

I think since time immemorial musicians, artists and authors have used the theme of Christmas in their work. Whether it is to sell their work or whether borne out of a genuine feeling for the time of year, Christmas is a time of year which certainly can pluck on the heart strings of all of humanity. I’d like to take the time to look at some of these works, celebrate them, and yes, wish you all Merry Christmas.

I don’t know why, but the one Christmas song that has been on my mind the whole week is Cliff Richard’s Mistletoe and Wine. I think I just like the lyrics – there are some very clever plays on words – a time for giving and for forgiving. A time for getting and for forgetting. But the song is comforting and warm, and so is the video. The whole production gives me a warm feeling – it’s about what Christmas is meant to be. One of the great Cliff Richard’s best, in my humble opinion. 

Josh Groban has released a number of lovely Christmas songs. In “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” from his album Noel, he sings the traditional Christmas song but makes it his own – he plays on the theme that some are far from home and are missed at Christmas time – reminding us that sometimes it’s not possible to have all those we love around us at this time. With his warm, trained voice, it’s hard not to feel in the Christmas mood after listening to this. We play Josh’s album every Christmas and maybe it’s this that makes this song irrevocably involved with Christmas, for me. 

Many people associate Christmas with specific movies – How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Tale, Home Alone, The Santa Clause, and some older ones – including Meet Me in St Louis. Now, cheesy or not, one of my all time favourites is It’s a Wonderful Life. Maybe because it was pumped into us every Christmas on TV, maybe because James Stewart was a wonderfully handsome man, maybe because it just feels good – or all of the above. Nevertheless – who can forget that when a bell rings, another angel has earned his wings. It brings me to tears every time! (I’m not ONLY cheesy – I’ll be watching Bad Santa this season too!) 

Lastly, Charles Dickens may have been the first popular person who realised that he could use the theme of Christmas to pluck a few heart strings, and maybe, make the world a better place, by influencing people to behave a bit more kindly, and A Christmas Carol is going to remain one of my favourite stories for all time. It would be interesting if we could somehow quantify the amount of good Charles Dickens has done for the world with his emotive stories. You know you’re being manipulated by the author, but you just can’t help it – after you’ve read it, you want to be a better person! 

The portrayal of Christmas in popular culture plucks the golden thread of humanity which runs through us all.  It’s up to you to decide how you are going to live your life through the rest of the year. 

I want to wish you all a VERY merry Christmas. 

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Writer, transcriber, proofreader, editor, lover of the arts.

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