What is wrong with the Guardian?
Isn't it bad enough that the world is full of nitwits who like this Paulo Coehlo guy, without the Guardian encouraging them by publishing this vapid short story as a Christmas special. I mean, seriously, this thing is so putridly sentimental that even the folks at Doordarshan would be embarassed to make adaptations of it. It's the kind of story I would have rejected summarily if someone had sent it in for my college magazine. And the book section of the Guardian publishes it as Original Fiction (original forsooth! can you imagine anything more hackneyed?). What are they going to do for St. Valentine's day, publish Mills and Boons?
In the Guardian's defense, it has to be said that Christmas is, after all, a time for universal sappiness. Take the music for instance. Barely are we into the third week of December, before stores and restaurants everywhere are suddenly invaded by 'Christmas Music' - cloying syrupy tunes rendered in all their awful tinniness. I know it's all part of the Christmas spirit and c., but does the Christmas Spirit really have to be tone deaf.
John Eliot Gardiner, over at Guardian Blogs, makes a pitch for celebrating Christmas to the sound of Johann Sebastian Bach, a suggestion I strongly second, reaffirming my vote for the Christmas Oratorio from last year.
Other Christmas favourites include Lennon's Happy Xmas (which KM blogs about here), Simon & Garfunkel's version of Silent Night and, of course, Lehrer's immortal Christmas Carol.
But my all time favourite Christmas song is, without doubt, Joni Mitchell's River. Now there's the true Christmas Spirit for you.