Christmas Carols

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

Everywhere you go you hear Christmas Carols. They begin in October in stores, so by December you don’t really notice them, they are part of the background noise while shopping.

I happen to love Christmas music. Today I thought of different seasons in my life and how Christmas music has affected them. When we had our first Christmas in Virginia, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” brought tears to my eyes. It was the first Christmas away from Pennsylvania and I missed the snow.

In Japan the song “I’ll be home for Christmas” made me cry each time it played. For three years I did not like hearing that song. I just wanted to be home, with my sisters and with family. It was strange to be in a foreign country and celebrate Christmas without talking to family and laughing over the day.

In Maine, we had plenty of snow and we were home in the States once more. We could easily call home and hear familiar voices at the other end of the phone. Our oldest enjoyed her first, second and third Christmas there and life was busy and happy.

While in San Diego Dale worked or was gone for several Christmases. “Merry Christmas, Darling” by the Carpenters truly hurt my heart.

After our second was born (and Dale was away) “Away in the Manger” brought floods of tears. Remembering the humble birth of our Savior, but also holding onto a three month old baby and being in a big city where I knew there were babies with no place to rest their heads. It broke my heart as I clung to my baby while her older sister chatted away.

Music brings memories instantly. You can hear a song and know what you were doing when it plays. A first dance (Turn around, Look at me” by the Lettermen. A first date, “Maggie Mae” by Rod Stewart. A song played at your wedding, “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof. Your first dance as a married couple, “Silhouettes on the Shade”.

Each of those songs evokes a strong memory complete with feelings and smells. The same with Christmas Carols. Memories of past Christmases. They form part of the season. They mold your memories.

And although the songs I play bring back memories and smiles, there is a song sung daily over me that keeps me going, even though I do not hear it or know the words. “For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears.  He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)

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