Over an elegant evening of Christmas drinks on the weekend the host's brother, who was visiting from Doha, lamented that the meaning of Christmas had been lost. He asked a few of us if we were planning to attend Christmas mass. We were relatively nonchalant and it clearly concerned him. So in an effort to make amends we recommended the best church around for the mass and offered that we used to attend when our children were younger.
The truth is that some are far too busy to attend these days, and others may have lost the impetus to do so, but that doesn't mean the spirit of Christmas has vanished. Christmas is a time for pause, to remind ourselves of the atrocities of war and that in the 21st century there are still children living in poverty. It's often also a time when relationships, past and present, are reflected on, and when some good old-fashioned fun can still be had.
So in the spirit of Christmas I have selected five Christmas tunes that remind me of what's important at this time of year and always.
- 1. Forty years after John Lennon hoped for world peace, we are no closer to reaching it.
Happy Xmas (War Is Over), John Lennon (1971)
- Almost 30 years ago the world's biggest names in the music industry banded together to raise money to end poverty. We are no closer to a solution.
Do They Know It's Christmas, Band Aid (1984)
- A song from my teenage years that brings back a tonne of memories: Christmas will do that to you.
Last Christmas, Wham (1984)
- This is the theme song from my favourite Christmas movie because of its pure joy.
All I Want For Christmas, Love Actually (2003)
- I love the sense of adventure of a flash mob at Christmas time.
Hallelujah, Flash Mob (from 2010)
Wishing you and your family good health and happiness from everyone at Women's Agenda. See you in 2013.
Marina Go is GM of Hearst-Bauer, publisher of Harper's Bazaar, ELLE and Cosmopolitan. She is also chair of the Wests Tigers, a director of Odyssey House McGrath Foundation and a member of the advisory boards of the Walkley Foundation, The Remarkables Group and Women's Agenda. She has an MBA from The AGSM and is a member of the AICD. Her new book is Break Through: 20 Success Strategies for Female Leaders.