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Christmas 2020


old man emu
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We have sung this song sing Judy Garland sang it in the 1944 movie Meet me in St Louis, but I think in 2020 it is a lament, sweetened with a dash of Hope. It's worth contemplating the lyric.

 

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on
Our troubles will be out of sight.

 

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the Yuletide gay sway
From now on
Our troubles will be miles away

 

Here we are as in olden days.

Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more

Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow.


Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now

Here we are as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithfull friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

 

Someday soon we all will be together

if the fates allow.

Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow
So hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

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I assume that you are not suggesting that yuletide should be LGBTQI, but are using the real meaning of Gay.

Today on local ABC being run from Mackay rather than Rocky, I heard a woman ask on a phone call for a Christmas carol. They played a christmas song rather like the Rudolph song, except it was not that one.

Keep up the posts OME we enjoy your input and have a great Christmas.

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I would like to think that all our troubles of 2020 are behind us - but personally, I believe a lot of our current problems will still be with us in 2021 - regular resurgence of the virus, more problems with China, and more financial woes for many (except for those well-insulated with massive wealth).

 

One small bright light, is reading about how the ex-wife of that miserable corporate scumbag Jeff Bezos, is giving away vast amounts of her wealth (well, formerly, largely Jeff Bezos wealth gain) to needy charities, and the less-well-off.

I'll wager a few of those less-well-off, are in that position thanks to Bezos' corporate greed and tightwad attitude towards "spreading the wealth". 

 

But regardless, I'm going to enjoy our Christmas, because I am very thankful I live in a great country, with none of the major problems of the "old" countries, and I have enough to live on comfortably.

This Christmas, we're gathering up a bunch of "orphans" to celebrate Christmas Day with - people who are separated from their families by great distances, work requirements, virus restrictions, and in some cases, fractured families.

 

We're heading up into the "Hills" (Stoneville), about 50 kms E of Perth, to the stepdaughters 5 acre block, where we'll be able to "commune with nature". That probably means communing with the flies, as well as the resident livestock, both native and introduced.

But the stepdaughter is a very "homey" person, and I'm sure she'll go to great lengths to make it a very enjoyable day. Have a great Christmas, everyone, even if you are having it under the virus restrictions cloud.

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SANTA CAN COME!!!!

 

I thought that Santa would have to undergo 14 days' quarantine when he arrived in Australia, but I've just read the quarantine exemptions for international air crew:

 

Red zone flight crew

Airline, medevac and air ambulance crew are exempt from the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirements. Airline crew who have been on international flights must quarantine in their crew accommodation or home for 14 days after arrival, or until their next international flight. Whichever is shorter.

 

Since Santa flies in to Cape Byron and does a heap of touch and goes until he leaves from Northwest Cape, W.A., he should be OK to do his run.

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How is this for a cruel irony?

Meet me in St Louis was released in the United States on  22nd November 1944. Given the popularity of Judy Garland especially with the young people serving in the military, it is highly likely that the song was popular with them soon after the film's release. They might not have been able to see the movie, but the song was probably broadcast by the various radio stations. In that context, it is a song to make people far from home and in mortal danger think of their families at home.

 

So you can imagine these young soldiers humming this song, only to be interrupted by the sound of massive artillery fire and the rumble of tanks as the Germans launched the Battle of the Bulge.

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I was driving home from my sister's place last night. She lives in suburbia in a back street and all the streets I drove through had lights up. Not the overdone ones where whole houses are lit up, but nice subtle ones with things like fairy lights wrapped around the street trees. It got me thinking that even if you're not a Christian, or are a non practicing Christian, there really is a Christmas spirit. It's a magical time of year and the lights, Santa hats, good will, connection with family, and the looks on little kids faces when they open their presents all make it worth while.

 

 

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The worst part of the Aussie Christmas time is that it doesn't mark the end of short days/long nights and cold weather as it does in the Northern Hemisphere where the custom of mid-winter festival began. Since the temperature lags behind the calendar by about a month, here we know that the heat is still coming.

 

The best thing about the Christmas weather this year was that the wet conditions have meant that this year I wasn't covered in dust and straw as I mowed the grass into the appearance of a manicured lawn, and I wasn't sweating and being pestered by flies as I did it.

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The Northern hemisphere Christmas marks the start of a couple of months of cold wet misery, at least in England.

I have noticed over the last few years that the ABC seldom plays Christmas carols. I was happy about that for a year or so as non stop carols from November on used to piss me off, but I wonder why now. I have heard three tiny snippets of Christmas carols this year, not even a full verse, but just a line and a bit. I have heard a few Christmas songs and they piss me off as much as Carols. I just wonder who made the decision to ban Christmas Carols and also why? Could it be someone does not want to upset the Muslim minority?

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The thought crossed my mind that the ABC radio had suggested the staff not use the term Merry Christmas. All of last week I didn't once hear them use the term, only Happy Holidays. Then the day before Christmas I heard one presenter say Merry Christmas, so it must be optional and not enforced by the ABC.

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A quick search comes up with abc carols in the park in Canberra and another Christmas concert plus numerous Christmas shows for kids.  

I dont really think there is a war on Christmas as conservative media would have us believe. Having been a music teacher for over 30 years, I can see that kids are less interested in the old traditional Christmas carols, many of them think these carols are a bit naff. 

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At dusk on Christmas Eve we were helping our Son in Law and Grandkids arrange Xmas lights over their house and garden. 

Although they live in a new subdivision where almost all neighbors are strangers, everyone walking by called up cheery Merry Christmas greetings. This included Moslem families who made a point of getting into the Christmas spirit.

 

A few weeks ago we shared celebrations of Dewali, the Hindu festival of light, with the people next door.

 

My wife is a practicing Catholic and appreciates the chance to make friends with people from other religions.

This is a special time of year when most peoples are at their best.

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Where did this idea of ABC not playing Xmas music come from? Lately I've had to turn it off because I'm sick of them playing Xmas music. And there hasn't been a shortage of Xmas talk either.

Maybe not a lot of american wwII 'classics', but never the less plenty of Xmas stuff.

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Long before I emigrated from Australia the first time (end of 1996), I use the term, "Happy Festive Season" to people I did not know. However, as with many Christmases past, I have received Christmas cards from Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs, wishing me a merry Chirstmas.. And this is in the same way I wish Muslims the best for Ramadan; Hindus a Happy Diwali; Jews a happy new year for their Yom Kippur. Most people of most religions will happily receive best wishes from other religions for their religious holidays; and wish those of other religions the best for their religious holiday.

 

Yes. there is a vocal and usually tiny minority that are attention seeking and play the please don't offend me card. It is not limited to Muslims or other non-Christian faiths. In North Dakota, I was (as a much younger bloke and on the lee of the Croc Dundee popularity in the US) introduced to a young lass who was, well, lets just say, without makeup, was hot.. We got on like a house on fire (even the shmultzy linking arms to sip our drinks), and I thought "steady on ol' chap.. you're not long out of Aus and the last thing you want is to get serious with a lady, because, well, to be honest, it is the reason I emigrated from Aus (long story - when we finally do a get together at a pub or licensed aero-club, I will tell you all about it - if you're interested).

 

Anyway, after a bit, she started how she was a devout catholic and, yada yada yada.. Well, you could say it was like a red rag to a bull, but more like a bloomin large snapper siding up to the tinnie and winking at me, as if to say, "C'mon.. Have a go ya mug.. See if you can catch me.."  So, while she was yapping away, I was searching for some bait to stick on the 5/O patenoster. Mother Theresa had just been sainted... and "wasn't it wonderful?!?!?".  Darn, that was great bait.. "What was so good about her?" I asked - seriously, because I honestly had no idea..

 

"Well, she gave dignity to slums dying in the streets of India!!" she retorted most indignantly.. "Huh..." was my initial response as I was trying to contextualise it with what scant knowledge I had (and still have) of Indian life...

 

The caste system came to my mind.. "Hang on.. those people dying in the streets are usually the lower castes, who believe they will re-incarnate into higher castes... what if she wasn't giving them dignity in their death,but in their beliefs, taking dignity away?"

 

OK, in her defence (or, as this was in the US, should I spell that defense?) But, jeepers.. think if it as casting for a Coral Trout (absolutely beautiful and tasty), and landing a Mako Shark... Her response was ferocious.. "How dare you question my religion - how dare you question me... " followed by a tirade of how her religion was gods religion, blah clah blah.. I mean, if it were really fishing, the fish was thrashing about, breaching the surface and may well have snapped my rod...  So, rather than answering my question with a reasoned (or otherwise) response, took total offence at what had to be a reasonable question..

 

Darned shame though, because up to that point, I thought she was rather nice...

 

My point is most people from most religions don't take offence, and usually wish those of other relgiions the best for their holidays... And all religions have their whackos...

 

 

Edited by Jerry_Atrick
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Isn't it rude for people to think any type of music is a bit Naff?

I am mythtified as to why people think the ABC play Christmas music, they certainly don't between 6 and 9 am on radio Capricornia, nor during the daytime any time I have tuned in. Nor do they play oldies, beatles type, rock and roll or jazz.

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Yenn although you may not have heard much music on your local ABC there was plenty on abc classic fm and abc tv.  In Canberra the ABC organised their usual carols in the park which is still available to watch online. The suggestion that no Christmas music on ABC is not correct. Whether there is more or less than last year is open to debate. ABC classic fm plays plenty of classical and some Jazz. For those who like Jazz there is ABC jazz which is completely jazz.

 

When I used the term naff I was refering to the younger people I teach. Generaly when given a choice they tend to reject the usual carols. 

This is not my judgement on other peoples musical taste. Personaly I listen to and play a wide selection of music and can enjoy most types of music as long as it is well performed.   Saying something is a little bit naff surely is no more rude than some of the opinions expressed on this forum about opera.

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What's naff about the non-liturgical Christmas music is that it's basically American 1930 -1940s. Most Christmas songs prior to 1930 were of a traditional religious character, the Great Depression era of the 1930s brought a stream of songs of American origin, most of which did not explicitly reference the Christian nature of the holiday, but rather the more secular American themes and customs associated with Christmas.

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