What is your favorite Christmas Carol? Do you prefer the old “standards” or more contemporary songs? Classical or country? Both? Neither?!
I have always loved the music of Christmas, and have an extensive collection of CDs. I guess I would have to say my taste leans toward the more traditional carols and classics. Sometimes a contemporary artist records one of these and it becomes a new favorite. Depending on my mood, I even like some of the sillier ones sometimes!
This year, as my ALS progresses and I can no longer actively participate in many of the usual activities, I find that I mostly enjoy listening to Christmas carols of a more contemplative nature. “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”, “I Wonder As I Wander”, “Gabriel’s Message”, and others are among this season’s favorites.
Of course, not all the music of the season is religious. Everywhere we go we hear now-familiar tunes such as “Happy Holidays” and “Jingle Bell Rock”. I can take some of this for a while. Some of these are pretty catchy and add to the joy of Christmas. But I think I could very happily do without “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” ever again. Humbug!
Speaking of humbug, I am currently taking a leisurely read through Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. I have not read it in quite a while and had forgotten how much I enjoy Dickens’ almost conversational style of writing. Having seen many versions of the story portrayed on film, I can hear much of the dialogue in my head as I read. It truly is a timeless classic with its lessons concerning our attitudes toward our fellow-man. It is quite possible there is a little Ebenezer Scrooge in all of us. But let us hope there is also a bit of Tiny Tim in us, one and all!
Our local cable TV company provides music channels and always has one devoted to holiday music this time of year. We turn it on occasionally but often find ourselves hitting the mute button when one of the more annoying songs is played. Unfortunately they seem to have a very limited playlist.
In a city as large as San Diego there are many opportunities to see and hear Christmas music performed live. But it is hard work to get me out and about. Fortunately there are alternatives. TV and the Internet bring music to me! And this past Saturday afternoon brought us a lovely surprise. Friends from our previous church visited us and sang a few Christmas carols right in our own living room! (Thanks, guys!)
We had just returned from a Christmas party
hosted by the Muscular Dystrophy Association where we were entertained by, among others, several Star Wars characters! All in all, it was a beautiful day.
One of the perhaps lesser-known Christmas carols, I believe, is “Noel Nouvelet”, a French carol known in English as “Sing We Now of Christmas”. I found a lovely harp arrangement on YouTube. Take the next 3 1/2 minutes and just breathe. Let the wonder of Jesus’ birth soak into your soul.
“Sing we Noel for Christ the King is born!”