3 more choir Christmas concerts today for a total of 7 (I missed 3 others which were during work hours or it would have been 10 total) and now I'm free from choir until the end of January. The 3 performances today were at 2 different elderly care homes in Malmö; the second one we sang in 2 different departments. It's kind of funny, the reactions we get from the people living there. Some of them obviously have no clue about what is going on or why they are being forced to sit there. Others obviously enjoy every minute, singing along with the songs they know and clapping enthusiastically.
At the first place today, the group of people seemed to have been shanghaied into listening, as they were still eating their fika when we filed in, and expressions ranged from dour to downright dismal. I always try to make eye contact with people as I'm singing and to smile as much as possible without overdoing it, and also to glance at the music as little as possible, which isn't always easy with all the new songs we had this season and all the Swedish verses to songs I'm used to singing in English. At one point, I snuck a sideways peek at the other ladies of the choir and was a bit exasperated to see that no one else was smiling at all. Very seriously singing along but no other real expression. I don't know...is that an American thing? Mia? Maybe you know. Maybe it's just my choir. Maybe it's just me.
I've heard comments before about my tendency and the tendency of other Americans, for example, to automatically smile big when a camera is aimed at us (as if that is a bad thing or a weird one), so maybe it it's a cultural thing: the urge to put on a performance face. But I think it must be nicer for the audience to feel as if the people performing for them SEE them, care about them as an audience and are engaged enough to want to make some kind of contact with them, rather than simply getting through the set and moving on.
None of the songs we sang today, except for one swingy arrangement of Rudolf (in Swedish) were songs that I'm particularly partial to. The set we use at the elderly care homes is much more traditional than what we did in our big Christmas concert, for example, and to my mind, more boring. The thinking seems to be that old people just want to hear the songs they're used to, their traditional favorites and that's it, so we only sang one song in English and nothing really modern or different at all.
These concerts always make me think about what living in one of these homes will be like by the time my generation is moving in. Most of them are so soulless and dull, full of institutional furniture and obviously second-hand stuff. In another 40-50 years they're going to be needing broadband and wireless connections in all the rooms, at least! A crappy old TV in the common room just ain't gonna cut it.
Anyway, both trees are up and decorated, the house is full of the smell of pine and cinnamon. Anders and Karin baked lussekatter sans raisins today. And I forced the kids to sit down and watch Rudolf with me this evening and then I read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to them before bedtime. I know quite a bit of it by heart, and suspect most Americans can rattle off at least the first couple of verses. When I checked The Christmas Treasury book we have in the stack of Christmas books, I was surprised to find it wasn't included, so we had to google it, since I couldn't remember the next line after springing up from bed to see what was the matter.
5 more days! 5 more days!
Decorated Deck the Hally Birthday Wishes to cap_killer!