Advent activity #14

Now that you’ve decorated your tree, it’s time to PUT PRESENTS UNDER THE TREE. There are currently two presents under our tree, which since they came in the post I think we have to wait and open on the day. What with one thing and another quite a lot of our presents this year either aren’t physical things at all or are being posted directly to their recipients (as an extended family we are skipping the three-households-mixing relaxation because we have decided we’d rather not kill each other), but I intend to make sure we have at least a few more there before bedtime.

Most Christmas traditions can be traced back to pre-Christian rituals but I think that present-giving starts with the Magi, giving us the perfect excuse to revisit the King’s College rendition of We Three Kings, which sticks with the original arrangement whereby each king is sung by a different soloist. I like the whole carol, but the unexpectedly sad and sinister lyrics of Melchior’s “Myrrh” verse are the best bit of all, especially in this version, although they do have to compete with a dazzling final note.