Last night, Jane and I popped over to the chippy in Wood Farm to pick up our supper. A surprise bonus was the Salvation Army band standing outside and finishing off a set of Christmas carols. There was something beautiful about those familiar melodies drifting through the night air and it brought on a prayerful mood. Wood Farm is not one of the most highly desirable regions in Oxford but the tunes stirred a sense of hope.
Tonight I found a contrast as I did some shopping in both Sainsbury’s (discount vouchers to spend) and Tesco (for the bits Sainsburys didn’t have). What both stores had in common was Christmas music piped across the shop floor. After an hour or so I was glad to make my escape; tonight’s prayerful mood was more sparing a thought for those who have to work in such places. It must be challenging enough without the constant muzak soundtrack.
I think Christmas is definitely more like the beauty of a competent live performance, old tunes but given fresh flesh by musicians, than a selection of so-called favourites which have lost all their soul through their repetition in the service of Mammon.