Christmas is one of the few times people feel they can sing together. Christmas songs are one of the few remaining national repertoires.
As you go in from a cold night into a warm pub full of people who want to share the songs, you gain a deep sense of pride and connection, and you're sharing the traditional with past and future generations.
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Until recent times, community singing was thought to have decreased in popularity, suggesting less of a sense of tradition than there used to be.
But in recent years, there have been signs of a revival in community singing, suggesting people want to get involved again.
The first verse of the Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, evolved as a festive memory game. The list of objects or animals builds with each verse and forfeits are imposed for forgetting anyone.
According to one interpretation, the carol was created in the 16th century. The list of bizarre gifts given by the 'true love' became a secret code for Catholics. The 'true love' became God himself, the 'partridge' Jesus Christ. The 'two turtle doves' are the old and new testaments, 'three French hens' the Trinity, 'four calling birds' are the four Gospels, the 'twelve drummers drumming' the twelve points of the apostles' creed.
Every year, at this time, there is a surge of rentals and viewerships in the movies related to the holidays, where Christmas stories and family bondings are lapped up by viewers wanting to glimpse a world that could be.
Christmas movies offer the ideal world where family values, love and care in the community and a harmonious atmosphere is showcased. Movies like Home Alone, Love Actually, or the 1946 classic It’s a Wonderful Life provide an alternative, fantasy version of our world.
In 1964, TIME magazine showcased a new Christmas trend - polyvinyl trees that looked more realistic than ever before.
Fifty years later, artificial trees still dominate the Christmas tree industry. They have a lower environmental impact when transporting them to retail outlets are factored in. But some argue that real trees support local economies.