Had I slaves --- the moral issue of ownership discarded, it being the natural state of mankind: the majority of my, your, and even the Kings of this earth's, ancestors having been slaves in one form or another [ we do our best not to boast of those producing for us from the poorest to the wealthiest in 15 hours a day Chinese factories or coffee plantations under the beneficent order of free-trade, yet they too exist in the peripheral view of our consciousness ] --- I should be a damn fine owner and probably only have them work two hours a day, and in the same conditions of life as I do; ideally, I would prefer neither slaves nor servants, merely utterly faithful retainers who fawned a lot and nodded acquiescently whenever I gave out a pithy gnomic utterance fitted to their state of understanding; however, no matter how ideal their lives and how well-protected I should keep them from harm, illness or education, under no circumstance would I ever swap places for a day with them, even in so limited a fashion as was minimally performed by the ancients. I not only have a tedious sense of propriety, but it's imperative never to give them ideas; so rather cheerful Yule, or happy Solstice than the orgy of Saturnalia... Still, all three undoubtedly included one tradition that has carried over into our modern Christmas, which is some depressing guest wondering aloud how many of those present will see the next. In that spirit I offer a foretaste of Christmas, with many ingredients I should undoubtedly overlook were I to wait a few months for the real thing. Even supposing we were all alive then.
Firstly, two contrasting Swedish renditions of O Holy Night ( O Helga Natt ), by Jussi Bjorling and Sissel ( not together ). [ No video. ]
A lone Swedish girl offered her love to the world last Christmas:
Whilst some others briefly sang the by no means Christmasful, but undoubtedly perfect, song: Mein Hut der hat Drei Ecken [ Full Lyrics: Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken, drei Ecken hat mein Hut. Und hätt' er nicht drei Ecken, so wär' er nicht mein Hut ! ]
Then, flying on a goose's back straight from Rumsfeld's Old Norse Europe to the raw energy of the New, one can see the immediate contrast from the decadence of ruins with 'Hannah Montana's' vibrant Rocking' Around The Christmas Tree; not only has American civilisation the pure innocence of vacuity, and an awesome instantaneous sharing of screaming community --- along with godknowswhatthosecreaturesare; but it appears to be set in summer's lease.