I read an article the other day about how silly and diluted Christmas music is, when trying to explain the spirit of the season. Since October, Mary Alice and I have been listening to Christmas music, primarily because, like 40’s era music, the songs trigger something in her rote memory and she joyfully sings along. She giggles and smiles while together we kill the songs with our horribly off-key and loud sing along. So you can imagine, by the time Christmas rolls around the last thing I want to do is listen to the same five songs sung by hundreds of different artists in hundreds of diverse ways. The one song that always stands out for me is “It’s Beginning to Look A lot Like Christmas” primarily for one line in the song which says, “And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again”. Which makes me think, “Whomever wrote that lyric must have had kids like mine”. But I digress…
Over the years there have been great Christmas tunes to enliven our holiday and to be honest some clunkers. In truth, I’ve never understood the appeal to Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer… Then there’s the argument that the only true Christmas music are those hymns devoted to celebrating the birth of Christ. In my Christ centered world, those hymns evoke nostalgia of my youth-which make them more treasured each passing year.
All in all, when I was younger, I never wanted a hippopotamus for Christmas. I have wanted two front teeth and as I get older I suppose I’ll be wishing to keep them for as long as possible…regardless the holiday. I’ve never had to worry that I wasn’t getting something for Christmas for being “bad”–because somehow, regardless how often I beat up my little brother, I still made out in the present department. Rudolph and Santa Claus is Coming to Town aside, so long as I heard the Little Drummer Boy, I knew Christmas was really approaching.
I guess what I’m saying, is regardless how your family celebrates Christmas-whether in celebration of God’s gift to the world or as a non denominational holiday involving a fat yet jolly man in a red suit-So long as the good will and peace we all seek feels possible, then our Christmas is a success. For me, the song which brings that idea closest to home is “I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. If you take a moment to read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1872 Poem “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” or listen to Casting Crowns beautiful rendition you’ll understand.
Merry Christmas Eve!!
Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward all men and women-across the board.
PS. And thank God the Christmas music non stop radio onslaught has come to an end for another nine months (I hope).