Yesterday’s post took a bit of a turn towards the end there and gave me an idea about an interesting topic. This post will be about death and Christmas. If you don’t want to read about death, turn away now. Don’t let it be said you were not given full warning.
The year 1995
The ensemble Trans-Siberian Orchestra
The song Carol of the Bells
Death is so 2016, this year is all about sex pests being uncovered. That being said, it’s today’s topic. The season just brings it out of me.
I can’t help it. I used to spend every Christmas with my granny. My other grandparents always visited in the afternoon. Then one year they all stopped, and that was it. They were gone. My fiancée recently had a death in the family. I’ve been thinking about it a lot.
Death is terrible. It makes us talk in cliches. The “there, there”, that same sympathetic phrase. It’s unexplainable so we have a hard time forming a response to it. It’s a massive experience we’ve all encountered but we hardly mention it.
It’s also an undercurent of Christmas.
Because Christmas is an everything holiday. It’s quite happy, a bit sad, full of reflection and meditation, and at the same time superficial.
‘Carol of the Bells’ has always sounded a bit grim to me. It’s the sound of Krampus, the anti-Santa, hurtling towards civilisation on a train to condemn naughty children. It’s the sound of impending doom.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s version, then, fulfills two purposes. First, Trans-Siberian comes from a railway. Second, metal has an air of death about it.
Christmas is sold as being a time of life, the birth of Christ does that to a holiday. Even taking it further back to Pagan practices, it celebrated the growing longer of the days, the solstice just passed. It has an extra meaning, though. Christmas symbolises that Winter is Here. That the days will grow colder. In the days before central heating and fairly effective global food production and distribution, this meant people would die.
People would die a lot.
For a good few months it’d happen.
And so we should reflect on it a little.
It’s sad, but to many people last Christmas was their last Christmas. To others this Christmas is their last Christmas.
Make sure it’s a good one.
The writer of this post hates writing about death but probably wouldn’t like to meet the person who does. Remember to love each other this year.