#CC17: Glória in excélsis Deo!

When I first started planning this year’s Countdown, I knew I wanted to bring it to an end with this beautiful version of Angels We Have Heard On High.

It is a video I came across part-way through last year’s Countdown and would have featured, but I felt its rightful place was as the finale – and I had already prepared that post so held it over to this year.

Knowing how the Countdown was going to end, it was a really beautiful feeling in Church yesterday morning when this was one of the hymns chosen to lead the Christmas Eve worship. And it is, clearly, apt for the task.

It is a powerful reminder of why we celebrate Christmas: remembering the birth of the son of God, who He sent to walk with us and, ultimately, to die to save us.

Whilst the presents and the turkey (and possibly the alcohol, if you are that way inclined) may make this the happiest day of the year, knowing God and accepting Christ into our lives also brings us joy today and all through the year.

Glória in excélsis Deo, glory to God in the highest, indeed!

As it is Christmas, I am also presenting a second video today, for my Catalan followers. It is no less symbolic of the meaning of the day, and recalls the events 2,000 years ago that brought, and continue to bring, people like me across the world closer to God.

Whilst I would love to follow this with a personal message for my Catalan followers, I will save it for next year, by which time I will have (finally!) published my Catalan blog. Instead, I will simply direct those to whom this applies to a tweet I sent yesterday afternoon:

Whatever you are doing, however you are celebrating Christmas, and whether you are a follower of Jesus or not, I wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas, un gran Bon Nadal, and I hope and pray that all your hopes and dreams for the season may be granted.

See you in 2018!

#CC17: 1 Day to Christmas

If I were ever pressed to give a definitive “favourite” Christmas song, there would really only be one contender: Fairytale of New York.

Imagine my delight, then, when listening to Un Altre Nadal de Cançons, a Christmas album in Catalan, I heard a version of my favourite Christmas song in my second language.

Conte de Nova York sticks very closely to the original (so closely, I don’t think it’s necessary to provide a translation today) and is fast becoming my favourite Catalan-language song, although I don’t envisage playing it full-blast in the car in mid-July as I have been this week!

Happy Christmas Eve one and all! The countdown is now on to that wonderful time we can open our presents, eat our turkey, drink our tipple of choice and be generally very merry.

All together now!

Les campanes sonen fort perquè és Nadal…

#CC17: 2 Days to Christmas

Another day, another parody … or two.

The main video I am showcasing in today’s Countdown to Christmas installment is the Parody Project‘s unique take on the classic 12 Days to Christmas.

Reflecting on the first year of Donald Trump’s controversial presidency, 12 Months of Trump’s Mess takes aim at some of the more outlandish policies seen in 2017.

Mr Trump is, of course, always worthy of a parody (his own Twitter feed is almost a parody in itself), as we saw two years ago with CollegeHumour invoking The Grinch and producing You’re a Mean One, Mr Trump.

With only two days left to go before Christmas, I really couldn’t decide which video to include, so I hope you enjoy both.

#CC17: 3 Days to Christmas

Like many people, today is my last day of work before Christmas.

It has been a busy year for me at work, and the past couple of nights I have stayed late to ensure my desk is clear until 2 January.

While I’m driving home tonight, there will likely only be one song in my head, so I thought I would share the Chris Rea classic – complete with some beautiful scenery – with all of you.

#CC17: 4 Days to Christmas

Today there are important elections in Catalonia.

Imposed by the government in Madrid following their controversial application of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, the elections to the regional parliament round off a turbulent 4 months for the would-be republic.

With one party leader in jail in Madrid, another in exile in Brussels and increasingly damaging, divisive rhetoric characterising the campaign, the Christmas spirit is very much noticeable by its absence in Catalan politics today.

So for today’s Countdown to Christmas installment, I have decided to try to inject a little bit of upbeat Christmas cheer with Obeses and Regala Petons (“Give Kisses”).

Passi el que passi a les urnes d’avui, tothom ha de recordre que mentre només hi ha una Catalunya, és ple de persones qui pensen de maneres diferents -i qui tenen diferents prioritats. Tothom ha de respectar els resultats -independentistes i constitucionalistes- i treballar per millorar el país per a tots.

Des d’Anglaterra, Bon Nadal a tothom i visca Catalunya!

The lyrics roughly translate* as follows:

Give, give kisses.
Give, give kisses,
wrap them in your lips
and accompany them with chocolates.

There are a thousand ways,
all fascinating:
there are some more crude and elegant,
there are some which seem magic or tragic,
there are some more subtle, or restless,
aesthetic and poetic.

There is the big diva kiss,
with a little saliva.
The beautiful kiss of love with great fervour
and the famous movie kiss.
There is the kiss like the one your grandma gives for Christmas,
and the one you give to me is heavenly.

Give kisses, give kisses,
because it is Christmas and they are rampant,
all the passions.

Give, give kisses.
Give, give kisses,
wrap them in your lips
and accompany them with chocolates.

There are all types,
it’s marvellous:
Some are simpler and some pompous,
there are some which are like plastic, they are very disgusting,
there are some very sensible, self-assured,
beautiful, liquifying.

The dense aunt’s kiss
will leave the face clean.
And there is a dangerous one very luxurious:
the feared cannibal kiss.
The lipstick kiss is the most enchanting
and yours will take me to paradise!

Give kisses, give kisses,
because it is Christmas and they are rampant,
all the passions.

More, more, fill the streets.
More, more, fill the streets.
We cannot live without them!

* Roughly translated by me, so apologies for any errors!