Friday, December 23, 2011

A Christmas Carol (not by Dickens)

Christmas is usually one of my favorite times of the year. I love the decorations, the cookies, the movies, the shopping, the cookies, the gifts, the music, the cookies, and, of course, the reason for it all – celebrating the birth of Jesus. As I’ve gotten older, the childlike wonder and excitement has faded a bit each year, but I’ve still always loved the season… until this year.

I have to be honest, this year I’ve had a lot of trouble getting into the Christmas spirit. Rather than giving into the joy of the holiday, I’ve been overrun by the stress of life. My job’s not been going well; my truck committed a gruesome suicide on the side of the road and cost a lot of money to repair; I have family and friends with serious health issues; I lost a check I really needed to deposit; my cat keeps clawing my furniture and playing in the toilet… even the little stuff - like thinking I had one more ice cream sandwich only to discover the box was empty – makes me feel like kicking my Christmas tree.

Am I alone in this problem? What’s the cure? I wish there was a quick fix, a pill for instant attitude adjustment. Of course, even if there was one it’d probably have horrendous side effects like nausea, insomnia, bleeding ulcers, toes falling off, and purple skin. And you wouldn’t be able to operate heavy machinery.

I’ll tell you the one thing that’s helped me the most this season: music. Christmas music, to be exact. I loooove Christmas songs (note the extras “o”s in “love” – that tells you it’s an extreme devotion). Every year I start playing them November 1st. I know I’m supposed to wait until December, but I can’t; they’re just too good to only hear them for one month. Anywho, when I’m feeling grumpy, my Christmas Ipod list is my go-to plan. I love the old traditional carols, the new contemporary Christian songs, the fun secular ditties… all of it. It’s very hard to stay grumpy when belting out words like

Joy to the World, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her king… Joy to the World, the Savior reigns… no more let sins and sorrows grow...

Just hear those bells jingling, ring-ting-tingling too, come on it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you… giddy up, giddy up, giddy up, let’s go, let’s look at the show, we’re riding in a wonderland of snow...

Hark now hear the angels sing, a king was born today, and man will live forevermore because of Christmas day...


Long lay the world in sin and error pining till He appeared and the soul felt its worth… fall on your knees, oh hear the angels’ voices, oh night divine, oh night when Christ was born

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know...

Can’t you hear them bells ringin’ ringin’, joy to all, hear them singin’, when it’s snowing I’ll be going back to my country home...

And still he calls through the night... a voice of peace to weary ones who struggle with the human soul.. the years they come and the years they go, though we may forget somehow, that the child once born in Bethlehem is still among us now... Emmanuel, God with us, Emmanuel, the Son of Israel...

I could go on and on; you should see me now, singing in front of my computer, trying to type correctly while dancing in my chair.

This year, more than any other year, I’ve been really trying to pay attention to the words of Christmas songs – almost every single one of them talks about hope, family, joy, love, peace… and the majority of them attribute those things to the birth of Jesus. The fact that so many people, both believers and nonbelievers, sing these songs all season long is a true Christmas miracle, in my opinion.

Every day this month (with one or two exceptions), I’ve posted one of my favorite Christmas songs to Facebook. I don’t even think most people noticed it, but I’ve had so much fun picking out which songs to do, going through the lyrics to find just the right one. It’s been the highlight of my day each day. And it brings me back to the joy of the season.

And you know what? Just by writing this blog, talking about Christmas songs and such, I already feel more Christmasy. So I’ve got a question for y’all? What’s your favorite Christmas song? That’s not an easy question, actually – I’ve been posting my favorites for 23 days now and it’s hard to pick just one (kind of like eating potato chips).

(And yes, I used the word “dittie” in this post. I couldn’t help it; I couldn’t think of another synonym for “song.”)



  1. Love your post, Janda! My favorite Christmas "dittie" is Mary's Boy Child which you've included above. The steel drums (in Boney M's version) make it fun, but the message is so profound that I cry every time I hear it. Thanks for making me think about the lyrics and why Christmas music is so special.

  2. I haven't heard that version. I'll have to check it out. :)

  3. Thank you for sharing, Janda! I had a difficult time getting in to the spirit of Christmas this year, too....and I'm not sure why. Christmas "ditties" DEFINITELY help! Not sure I can choose a favorite, either -- maybe "Do You Hear What I Hear." I've liked that one since I was a kid!