Listen to this song, by the almost unfairly talented singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith, “Maybe This Christmas”, which is a seasonal tune as featured on The O.C Christmas Album, from the TV show of the same name.
Sexsmith is a giant among his peers, if not the wider record buying world. Elvis Costello, Feist, k.d lang, and Paul McCartney are fans, among many others. This might be because his songs deliver often complex ideas in digestible form, yet never come off as being simplistic. And he seems to be able to translate this ability into nearly every tune and every genre he sets his mind to.
In this song, we get our Christmas spirit payoff in much the same manner. We get something about the state of the world too, a less-than-ideal state at that. But, it’s tuneful, and the lyrics are heartfelt, not preachy.
The Christmas story, whether you buy all the hype on a religious level or not, is still a pretty powerful one either way. I think ultimately the point of it was that even in the middle of struggles, in having to make due with inhospitable conditions like traveling while pregnant and bunking down with livestock before delivering your baby, there is ultimately a need to celebrate the hope that the world is not lost as long as we believe there’s enough good in it from which to draw meaning. When I think of the ‘Christmas spirit’, I think it’s this idea that shines through most. And in this, Sexsmith has captured the intent of every Christmas tune.
So warm your feet by the fire, and of course…