Singer-songwriter and Salvo ambassador Samantha Jade says Christmas is a time to celebrate life and the birth of Jesus.
When Australian singer-songwriter and actor Samantha Jade went on a mission trip to North Queensland with the Salvos last Christmas, the experience affected her “in an incredible way”.
Samantha (Sammi) is The Salvation Army Christmas ambassador for the second year running, and will perform at Woolworths Carols in the Domain in Sydney, an event that raises money for the Salvos.
As part of her ambassadorship last year, Sammi spent time volunteering with the Salvos, touring schools and nursing homes in Queensland towns affected by Cyclone Debbie. She says one visit, to a woman’s home in Proserpine, will stay with her forever.
“That really, really changed me, when I saw this lady. We went to her house and I just sang to her and her son and they started crying,” she recalls.
“Obviously we are on stage and performing all the time but it’s a totally different feeling when you’re singing in somebody’s lounge room…it’s amazing to see how that really does touch people.
“I think it’s important to understand that giving your time and being kind to others actually makes you feel better as well.”
The trip inspired her to volunteer more with the Salvos. This year Sammi travelled to her home state of Western Australia helping at the Salvos services that bring hope to people in need.
On Christmas morning it’s amazing to receive gifts but it’s better to give them. I truly believe that if you live like that you’ll be a happier person.
The self-confessed Christmas ‘tragic’, who’ll start playing Christmas carols “as soon as it’s not ‘weird’”, has released a Christmas album The Magic of Christmas this year. It features a bonus track titled ‘This Candle Time of Year’ which was inspired by the Salvos and recorded with a Salvation Army choir.
With lyrics such as, “Hope begins when fear fades, it brings a new day… Let the candle burn bright, light the flame and share the light”, the song is a beautiful Christmas anthem and testament to the work of The Salvation Army, especially at Christmas.
“’This Candle Time of Year’ has that sentiment of hope and looking forward to things,” Sammi says.
“Hope is one of those words that I think runs so deeply with people. For me personally, I know when my mum was unwell, when she was sick with cancer, hope was all we lived on. That word means so much to me because to have hope truly is a reason to live.”
Christmas for Sammi is a time spent with family in Perth, where traditions such as adding one extra ornament to the Christmas tree, hold meaning and memories. It’s also a time of spiritual refreshment.
“It’s a time of love and grace and being reborn and…celebrating life and the birth of Jesus and I do believe that. There’s this beautiful essence in the air that everyone feels.”