Not Another Summer Christmas

by tinsel time

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Driven to Darwin by an insatiable desire to see every shade of his bloody sunburnt country, a young man visited his childhood pal, who had been displaced two years earlier by his parents’ loathing for Sydney traffic. The two young men had planned to see the country, hit the outback, grab some tucker, go bush; in short, they wanted to be incredulous, appreciative tourists for a week. They met up, slipped past the airport’s egregiously inadequate car park security system, and ducked off to the Darwin resident’s home to prepare for all their touristry.

As Providence would have it, that short trip between the airport and the apartment unexpectedly satisfied all of their yearnings to travel. Swimming in sweat by the time they reached the air-conditioned haven, suddenly they were overcome by a wearying and debilitating ennui. The pair were no strangers to such wasteful lethargy; they once spent an entire week by the glorious beach in Forster battling the Pokémon League and kindling a nascent affection for Seinfeld. And here in Darwin, once again their optimistic plans were hijacked, this time by Mario Kart, The Simpsons, ginger beer, and the taxing composition of a pesky but ultimately triumphant valedictorian speech.

It somehow reached the final night before the visitor’s departure, and the two of them realised that time was transcending their grasp. What had they achieved, save multiple first- and second-place finishes and a greater understanding of the various ways in which one can drift around those tight corners in Waluigi Stadium? Nothing. To any sensible, All Bran-eating adult with a mortgage and a sedan, it had been a waste of a week.

Fuelled by the realisation of how much time they had squandered, a peculiar fury simultaneously struck them both. A squabble broke out between the usually agreeable pair, and as Master Yoda once said: “squabbling leads to shoving; shoving leads to stumbling; stumbling leads to broken walls.” One of them shoved the other, who stumbled into a wall, poking a hole through it. The instantly repentant and forgiving pair stared through this hole with wide, curious eyes. The dust quickly settled like a mother’s naturally graceful application of icing sugar to a cake, and it became apparent that they had stumbled upon something extraordinary.

The pair plucked their findings from behind the wall. Though living in a post-iPod epoch, they somehow still had sufficient knowledge to identify some old vinyl records when they saw them. Using a hand to wipe an arcing crescent of grimy soot from them, they immediately recognised the celebrated faces beaming back at them with festive joy: Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Sufjan Stevens, Frank Sinatra, and every other wonderful Christmas vocalist you or your venerated ancestors could ever think of. Flicking through the marvellous collection of records, apparently forgotten behind a slab of adobe, the young men marvelled at Providence’s favourable manifestation. Here was a substantial finding; that is, here was a finding of substance.

Christmas music lacks all the vacuous and unfulfilling emptiness of contemporary television and childish video games. Christmas music, brimming with potential and promise, invariably coerces the listener to abandon all melancholy and succumb to optimism. Just think about the positivity that shines through those lyrics. Even if you won’t be home for Christmas, you’ll still be home for Christmas in your heart. Listen up, the herald angels are singing. May your Christmas be holly and jolly, as it’s the highlight upon any calendar. If your nights are quiet, they may also be quite holy. Bells have been known to jingle. Wenceslas was a fine monarch.

The lads span these records, first in their grateful hands and then on an old gramophone that had been hidden under a tangled web of bunting. As the glorious, euphonious melodies of these sacred Christmas crooners nestled into their ears, the young men realised what they had to do. Although it was 4am by the time they’d depleted their newly acquired stock of music, and there was a plane for one of them to catch at 10am that morning, they both knew what they had to do in what little time they had left.

Together, the pair composed and recorded their own collection of fun festive tracks. Tapping into a rich vein of rare productivity the likes of which the world has never seen the likes of which, this remarkable feat was completed by 8am. This even left them enough time to each scoff a bowl of Froot Loops before the airport summoned them to wander past its meagre border security team whose effectiveness had been severely hindered by recent budget cuts. And, as the Darwinian waved goodbye to his friend, his visitor, they were both comforted by the thought that, though lethargy had threatened, Christmas had prevailed.


released December 8, 2014

Music by Miles Elkington
Lyrics and album story by Garth Travers
Vocals by Miles Elkington and Garth Travers
Artwork by Kathleen Travers



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tinsel time Sydney, Australia

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Track Name: An Angel of the Lord
An angel of the Lord appeared
To shepherds in the field
And though they feared him as he neared
The good news he revealed

"Dear shepherds I will not destroy
You," this he said to them
"I've news of joy: a baby boy
Is born in Bethlehem."

Although the shepherds still were scared
They didn't choose to run,
The angel shared what God prepared
This baby was God's son

Amid a wondrous, glorious blaze
More angels came and then
They sang a phrase of holy praise
To God and peace to men

The angels then to heaven returned
Their blessèd message sent
The men discerned all that they'd learned,
To Bethlehem they went

A stable for their fields exchanged
They saw the baby curled
Upon a manger, more than strange,
A shepherd for the world

The shepherds knew no teaching nor
That he'd be sacrificed
To save us all but here they saw
The birth of Jesus Christ.
Track Name: Auld Lang Syne
Should family members be forgot
And never brought to mind
Make sure you’ve got their presents bought
Ahead of Christmas time

Last minute shopping, you’ll be caught
In an eternal line
Make sure you’ve got your presents bought
Ahead of Christmas time

Ahead of Christmas time, prepare
Ahead of Christmas time
Prepare your cup of kindness far
Ahead of Christmas time

Ahead of Christmas time, prepare
Ahead of Christmas time
Prepare your cup of kindness far
Ahead of Christmas time
Track Name: Jolly Old Saint Nick
Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
Come this way tonight
Show up in your jingling sleigh
O how great a sight

Christmas Eve is here but I
Can’t say that of you
I’ll sit by the fire til
You come into view

Now the clock is striking twelve
And I’m still awake
I could do with company
And wine for goodness’ sake

And my wife, wherever she is
Might be sad as well,
If that’s true, then cheer her up,
Find a joke to tell

As for both my kids asleep,
They need your help too
Tom needs friends, Jess needs her Mum
I don’t know what to do

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
I can see the dawn
I heard nothing in the night
Have you come and gone?