#CC17: 7 Days to Christmas

After this weekend’s frivolities, I think it’s time to return to the true meaning of Christmas.

I may be cheating a little here, as Amazing Grace isn’t a Christmas song, but it does remind us that when we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate the birth of God’s son, who He sent to save us.

It was also one of the songs at my wedding in July, and I have always felt that it is a powerful reminder of my faith.

That power is being presented here in catalan, as Mónica Naranjo performs the adaptation Avui Vull Agrair (“Today I Want to Thank”).

Whilst I’m sure most of you have heard the original in English, the Catalan version is not a direct translation. So, if you wish to compare the words behind the music, the Catalan lyrics roughly translate* as follows:

Today I want to thank life in heaven,
and celebrate that I’m alive with you.
Yesterday I suffered so much, but that is past,
with you I want to pray so strongly.

Today I will be reborn once again,
I will make the darkness become light.
I will live without fear, enjoying the world,
I will have my love close.

We fight because we love,
never be unsure about it.
Love gives meaning to this world.
We will win, we suffered most, do not cry any more,
we believe in hope today.

Thanking God that I am alive today.

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

#CC17: 8 Days to Christmas

Last night was the annual Christmas dinner for the staff and civilian committee at my Air Cadet squadron, and, being the eccentric that I am, I decided to go dressed as Santa Claus.

No, seriously:

Ho ho ho

A post shared by Alan Collins (@alancollinspdb) on

In honour (if that is indeed the right word) of my madness, today’s Countdown to Christmas instalment features the incredible Sia with Santa’s Coming For Us.

And don’t worry, that outfit is back where it belongs: in a locked box in a darkened room, never to see the light of day again…

#CC17: 9 Days to Christmas

As with last year, I will be injecting a few Catalan installments into the Countdown to Christmas, reflecting the fact that, whilst I (and most of you) are used to hearing English Christmas songs, my wife and her family may be more familiar their Mediterranean counterparts.

Today I present you with Lutiana, who were contestants on a singing competition called Oh Happy Day on the Catalan television channel TV3 (featured also in last year’s Countdown, singing a beautiful song which encapsulates, perfectly I feel, one of the most important messages during the time of peace and goodwill to all.

The lyrics roughly translate* as follows:

Like every year in December
Christmas gets closer
and with some hare steps
New Year’s approaches

And you will have a new agenda
and maybe you will make a balance
and you will plan on the coming year
being better than before

And when they play the twelve bells
maybe you will have some grapes left
with every grain that is left on the table
a wish is dying

That every night
will be the most beautiful night
that this New Year
will bring peace all over the world
that every child will be born under a star
it is a wish
and we want it for everyone

Long December nights
preferring the front doors
in the black night there is the promise
of the light that will come

And when they play the twelve bells
we will still stay all night
each new journey begins
long before leaving

That every night
will be the most beautiful night
that this New Year
will bring peace all over the world
that every child will be born under a star
it is a wish
and we want it for everyone

It is a wish
and we want it for everyone

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

#CC17: 10 Days to Christmas

If “events” are what a prime minister most fears, then the same must surely be true of bloggers.

For I had happily set up the next couple of days’ Countdown to Christmas posts ready to auto-publish on the given dates, knowing that my time at home would be somewhat limited.

And then, and then, comes the news that Fox is to sell its film and TV empire to Disney and suddenly the traditional mouse-inspired installment I had planned for tomorrow made much more topical sense today.

So please do enjoy the dulcet tones of Donald Duck, Winnie the Pooh, Lumiere, Mickey Mouse and more as they take you through some of your festive favourites – all performed by the incredible Brian Hull.

And if you like what you see, please do subscribe to his channel for more amazing impressions.

#CC17: 11 Days to Christmas

I spent last night writing all of my Christmas cards out, as, despite ordering them from Bipolar UK, they declined to assist with the hard part:

So, having exhausted myself with the tedium of writing the same message over and over again (it is heartfelt, honest!), I have decided to take today’s Countdown to Christmas installment down a few notches.

Ok, so it may not be the happiest of Christmas songs, but who doesn’t love a bit of Coldplay on a dark December night?