Wednesday, December 16, 2009

God rest ‘ye Merry Woman

My LSS (last song syndrome, for you non-acronym loving reader) for the past few weeks has been this Mariah Carey (I know. Heh) version of “God bless ‘ye merry gentlemen”. The song gets to me like mad, and not that I detest it, I actually find it comforting and –er exciting. With how things are looking up these days (or maybe age is a factor), Christmas for me has suddenly turned stressful and non-episodic. There good Lord, I said it. Non-episodic in a sense that it no longer brings out this excitement usually felt by kids, probably in anticipation to presents they’ll be receiving or I dunno—just the simple joy of knowing its Christmas. What I know now is that Christmas day is a celebration of someone’s birthday—a friend’s birthday. And while it’s not yet due, and I have A LOT of things to attend to (new office hours, meetings by default, deadlines until the 24th), I’m just carrying on like it’s a normal day, until ‘I get there’. And I realized, just this morning, that this has to stop. But where and when do I stop? So far, the only thing that ignites the Christmas spirit in me is this song.

Upon googling the ‘correct’ lyrics of the song, I got to know more than just lyrics. According to wikipedia (don’t we all), it was referred to in Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’:

" the first sound of — "God bless you merry, gentlemen! May nothing you dismay!"— Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action, that the singer fled in terror, leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost."

Now, I have read that book when I was eight, and there’s a back-story in it. It starred a small girl who was given this book and one more (Beauty and the Beast, not the Disney version--as far as she can recall) almost twenty years ago, and that time, it took her a year to take interest in each book and read. Each book was lengthy and had scary pictures (well, the beast and Scrooge’s ghost friends, on a non-Disney packaging are dead-on). When she finally decided to read Dickens, it took her almost forever again, to finish it, as she’ll read from the beginning then forget where she ended up, then re read from the start—for how many times. You need to know that that girl lost her mother one month after Christmas, and we wouldn’t remember whether she did finish the book even before her mom passed away, or a year after that. But she did finish reading it. It was a troubling story for her, because it was not a normal kid’s story. It bespoke of all these adult-sy things like being ‘human’ and greed. Most of all, it featured death undeserving characters in the story, and on a Christmas day. However, this story taught the girl the power of a person to change for the better, and how powerfully magical Christmas can be in this process of change.

I have no idea how to wrap up this entry, but perhaps writing this just made me realize one thing I’ve always promised myself to do, which is to seize the day like a kid anticipating for Christmas morning. Do it for yourself and those people around you. Remember—Scrooge did so, in the end of the story. When we age, our priorities will change, and so do our temperament. But that does not impair us from being like our ‘old, younger selves’, only wiser and with waay more baggage. Haha.

May peace of mind and a kid’s sense of anticipation dawn upon all of us this holiday Season.

God rest you merry, gentlemen,

Let nothing you dismay,

For Jesus Christ our Saviour

Was born upon this day,

To save us all from Satan's power

When we were gone astray:

O tidings of comfort and joy,

comfort and joy,

O tidings of comfort and joy.

Comfort and Joy. Just what I need.


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