In the old days, if I remember correctly, Christmas was truly a great moment. The radio would air Christmas songs for weeks in a row. As a kid I was marveled by the twinkling of the lights in my grandmothers Christmas tree, the colors of magnificent glass balls, the funny faces of a plethora of Father Christmases, and the sweet angel laughing from the very top of the tree.
And then, there where the carols. All the kids would sing “Silent Night”, or “Petit Papa Noel”. The more musically gifted ones (mostly everyone except me) would bring their flutes, their piano, hoboes, trumpets or clarinets. There would be music. And singing. And someone would tell a story. Very often it involved a shining star, a baby, some shepherds, and voices singing from heaven. All this, together with a nicely prepared duck would set the scene for a great night. A holy night. A night that would warm me from the inside, that made me feel warm, loved and comfy. Most of that seems to have gone. Radio 1 shouts “Katie” from the Barenaked Ladies, and “Thunder” from ACDC, with a week to go. It forgets “the Little Drummer Boy” completely.
Thousands of Belgian people are spending over half a billion euro on mostly useless presents that will be sold on Ebay within hours. Still on the radio, people seem to be more worried about the number of glasses of alcohol they could drink without losing their driver licence than about world peace. Well, we have a government now. Kids will bring their Playmobiles, PSP’s, TV’s and DVD-players on Christmas Eve. I could not tell you if they can sing. Or play music, or tell stories.
Well, call me sentimental. Or old. Or an over-romantic sot. But I miss the old-style magic. A lot. I still am moved by the stardust, the angel hair, the secret smiling spirits in the decoration, the old stories. Can I wish you an Old-fashioned Christmas? And peace and harmony for you and your loved ones…