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Monday, December 12, 2011

Amazing Grace

Well, here I am. It's the first official day of my holidays and I'm awake before noon. And blogging. Rest assured, however, that I am in my pyjamas and intend to stay in them all day.

Now that it's less than two weeks away, it's hard not to think about Christmas. I love Christmas. I love hanging out with my zany family, playing games, and eating too much food.

I also love Christmas carols. Primarily for the nostalgic value, I think. I remember going to my school Christmas concerts as a tot and belting out the words to Joy to the World, even though I didn't really know what it was about.

My favourite Christmas song isn't traditionally considered a Christmas song. Sufjan Stevens does a beautiful cover of Amazing Grace that's included on his 2006 five-disc whopper of a Christmas album, Songs for Christmas.

My mom took me to New York a few years ago, and Sufjan Stevens (my favourite artist at the time) happened to be playing while we were there. I frenziedly bought tickets, despite my mom's protests she would be the oldest and least cool person there, and wouldn't be able to relate to the "weird hippie" music at all.

She was wrong on all counts.

Umm, you can't really tell, but that's Sufjan Stevens. It's the best picture I could get from our upper upper balcony seats.

Sufjan Stevens, or "Surfjam" as my family affectionately calls him, is now a Hughes family staple. Especially around Christmas-time. Our love of him, and my particular love of this song, goes back to what I've mentioned in previous posts about good music being universal.

Surfjam does make weird, hippie music, but it's undeniably good. I enjoy it. My classmate Kristin enjoys it. My middle-aged parents enjoy it.

Amazing Grace is a religious hymn.

It's also a simple, beautiful song.

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