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And you, my baby girl
My jet-lagged infant daughter
You’ll be handed round the room
Like a puppy at a primary school…
ERIN McGOWAN (12), singing under her breath while waiting for the school bus

I still get close to tears every time I hear this astonishing, lovely song. Tim acknowledges the complexities that swirl around the Christmas holiday for nonbelievers, then lifts deep and simple meaning out of that mess, expressing what this holiday has always meant to me. What a rare and beautiful thing it is.

Enjoy — and whatever you celebrate, however you celebrate it, have a happy and peaceful holiday.

White Wine in the Sun by Tim Minchin
I really like Christmas
It’s sentimental, I know, but I just really like it
I am hardly religious
I’d rather break bread with Dawkins than Desmond Tutu, to be honest

And yes, I have all of the usual objections
To consumerism, to the commercialisation of an ancient religion
To the Westernization of a dead Palestinian
Press-ganged into selling Playstations and beer
But I still really like it

I’m looking forward to Christmas
Though I’m not expecting a visit from Jesus

I’ll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun
I’ll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun

I don’t go in for ancient wisdom
I don’t believe just cause ideas are tenacious it means that they’re worthy
I get freaked out by churches
Some of the hymns that they sing have nice chords but the lyrics are dodgy

And yes I have all of the usual objections
To the miseducation of children who, in tax-exempt institutions,
Are taught to externalize blame
And to feel ashamed and to judge things as plain right and wrong
But I quite like the songs

I’m not expecting big presents
The old combination of socks, jocks and chocolate is just fine by me

‘Cause I’ll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun
I’ll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun

And you, my baby girl
My jet-lagged infant daughter
You’ll be handed round the room
Like a puppy at a primary school
And you won’t understand
But you will learn someday
That wherever you are and whatever you face
These are the people who’ll make you feel safe in this world
My sweet blue-eyed girl

And if, my baby girl
When you’re twenty-one or thirty-one
And Christmas comes around
And you find yourself nine thousand miles from home
You’ll know whatever comes
Your brother and sisters and me and your Mum
Will be waiting for you in the sun
Whenever you come
Your brothers and sisters, your aunts and your uncles
Your grandparents, cousins and me and your mum
We’ll be waiting for you in the sun
Drinking white wine in the sun
Darling, when Christmas comes
We’ll be waiting for you in the sun
Drinking white wine in the sun
Waiting for you in the sun
Waiting for you…
Waiting…

I really like Christmas
It’s sentimental, I know…

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Dale McGowan is the author of Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, and Atheism for Dummies. He holds a BA in evolutionary anthropology and a PhD in music.