Last week after my sweetie went back to his work camp (lol), my daughter and I dressed ourselves up and went to enjoy the Carols on the Foreshore...
I had foresight enough to pack a few ham wraps for daughter to enjoy (ah yes, that ham), I had foresight enough to take a warm wrap for myself, I had foresight enough to ask if my daughter wanted something warm to take - ha ha ha ha - not enough hindsight to take the darned thing anyway!
Anyway, got there and man, was there a turnout - live in a small town where 60% of inhabitants (and about that of visitors) are retirees and a night of hearty Carols, Nativity Play and the Salvo Army band and they will turn up with their warm rugs and folded chairs (NOTE TO SELF - when talking about foresight, contemplate the folding chairs).
As another 39 1/2 % inhabitants have children, we had a pretty crowded foreshore.
Now, in their infinite wisdom, many councils have decided to step around the whole "Christ" bit from "Christmas". Fair enough, their call - myself, I want to be able to celebrate the spirit, not just the marketing - and if I knew enough about other religious festivals I would like to think I was big enough to respect the spirit of them - but that is me and one thing I have learned is I don't rule the world or anyone in it.
Here, nuh-uh - if our council is going to do Carols for Christmas then they are darned well going to do it with the combined churches of the area and get the whole message across. So none of your namby, pamby Santa Claus-y carols here. No sirree - the standards used were "The First Noel", "Hark the Herald Angels Sing", "Mary's Boy Child" etc, etc. All very much about the Jesus part of Christmas and all good belters for the average caroller to vibrate the chords on.
And not only that - seems that some of the combined churches are those modern institutions where they don't feel beheld to just trot out standards - no sirree, apparently Colin Buchanan has a few stirring tunes out soon and they were featured. They are also of the "this is what the Christmas message is all about" ilk, rather than the "ho ho ho, more presents and chocolates for you" variety of carol.
(aside - my most unloved carol is "The Fairy on Top of the Christmas Tree" found on a cheap casette a few years ago, is about - well, the fairy on top of the Christmas tree - and how it is so sad that no-one notices her. What is that about? Have you got a worse one? What IS the worst Christmas carol?)
Anyhow, so there I am, proud Mummy attempting to see my darling through the other children carolling near the front, chortling away myself, when I notice this little group beside me.
Now, it is Christmas and I hate to be uncharitable, but really - I could not work out why they were there. It obviously was not because they had any joy in the event - sure they shrieked with hilarity at their witty riposte to each other, but they were not actually "engaged" in the action available. It certainly was not because they enjoyed the feeling of being in a crowd - any notice they had of those around them was how to be as upsetting and rude as possible. Perhaps it was to show the child they had with them how to ruin a large group of peoples joy. And that is being charitable.
And then they noticed me and the lady beside me, exercising our lungs - and made us the feature of their mimicry. Oh, they were hilarious. It is a very good thing we were singing such Christian songs, as the sentiment is the only thing that held my violent thoughts towards them at bay.
How (insert swear word of choice) dare they attempt to ruin it for me and others. Yes, woo-ha, this prissy woman has come to Carols to sing - can you imagine? Why, goodness, she is actually enjoying the singing - ha ha (insert swear word of choice) ha.
Lady beside me turned during a break and said she was going to say something to them if they continued, and (the woman is a hero) she was true to her word. I wish I wasn't such a wuss - so timid and meek and (insert swear word of choice) useless sometimes - but this lady was wonderful. Of course, the moment she sat down they roared with laughter and continued - until the man behind them put his bit in. Oooh - did they shut up.
It was a joy to behold, and gave me great Christmas cheer! I don't know that they have learned anything about respect, but hopefully they will think twice before going to Carols again (and I wanna find that lady and sit near her again!!!)