The buskers were out in force today in the city. A family brass ensemble greeted me with Christmas carols as I went through the ticket turnstiles at Town Hall station this morning. And as I did my Christmas shopping at lunch time, a busker could be found on every other street corner or odd little pathway.
I realised something today – buskers make me smile – nearly all the time – for mostly the right reasons. Today’s exception was certainly the giggly pair of girls singing an off-key cover, into a single mic, to a backing track – that was more of a cringe.
But on the whole, there’s something encouraging about people sharing their creative ideas, their music, even their various renditions of Christmas carols with anyone and everyone. From the pair of primary aged boys on a trumpet and saxophone, to a classical guitarist, a beatboxer and the mini pop band playing as I walked back to the station tonight, they were all giving it a go. I’m thankful that people are allowed (within reason) to have this outlet for creative expression, even if they are asking for money. Music doesn’t pay well, so I think that’s probably fair enough.
And if I’m completely honest, as I try to be on here, I have a soft spot for buskers, because I have been one myself. Back in Year 8, I played Christmas carols with some friends in Chatswood Mall for a couple of days. It paid better than I expected, even in a group. A couple of people actually put in $50 dollar notes, so I remember being rather stoked to come away with $70 for playing my violin with my friends for the day.
I’m glad that Christmas seems to inspire generosity in many directions from all kinds of people, and space for people to share their creative gifts with each other. But I also really hope that people think anew about Jesus this Christmas, the reason we celebrate now, and the most generous gift that has ever been given.