I must confess that I don’t turn on the radio to listen to Christmas carols, as nothing puts me more out of the season’s spirit than listening to the likes of Chestnuts roasting on an open fire… These songs—for that is all they really are—have precious little to do with Christmas and certainly aren’t carols. They can’t even claim to be good ol’ honest secular carols like Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls.
Last year I regaled readers with a short history of the Christmas carol and provided ample encouragement to all families to once again take up the honorable tradition of caroling around the tree, or wherever best suits your family. I would echo that encouragement again this year, only more passionately. Your children’s view of the Incarnation will be influenced more than you could ever imagine by the Christmas music they listen to and sing, by the Christmas movies they watch, by the decorations you have in your household, by the general way you celebrate the season and most importantly, by the way you and your spouse conduct yourselves (especially your prayer lives) throughout Christmastide. Christians must take a stand and take back the culture. Do at least one special thing together each of the twelve days of Christmas, even if it is something as simple as playing a game or drinking hot chocolate and eating Christmas cookies. At least a couple of those nights should involve extended family and friends. Here are a few of my family’s favorites:
- Continuing our family’s routine of prayer even though we are with extended family
- Caroling (that was a given)
- Playing cards (about 4 hours worth last night)
- Visiting, especially older relatives who live alone
- Playing board games (unfortunately I am typing this as some family are on the other side of the table playing Connect Four)
- Eating and drinking, and eating and drinking, and eating… did I mention eating? (fudge and English toffee accompanied by coffee with Bailey’s Irish Cream are my downfall)
- Maintaining an attitude of wonder and awe at the Incarnation (it snowed this year on Christmas Eve and on St. Stephen’s Day, and for some reason every time I look out the window it reminds me of God’s gift of His Son)
- Reading the fantastic books I received as Christmas gifts (David Clayton’s Way of Beauty, James Monti’s Sense of the Sacred, Sir Winston Churchill’s History of the English Speaking People and Barry Singer’s Churchill Style: The Art of Being Winston Churchill
- LEAVING UP THE CHRISTMAS TREE UNTIL AT LEAST THE EPIPHANY (we DO NOT fudge on this one, folks!)
Some day I wouldn’t mind cooking up a good ol’ fashioned Christmas Ball, but ’til then have to content myself with adding a few pounds (or more than a few) in honor of our Lord’s birth. However you and yours decide to celebrate, I wish our readers a very blessed and Merry Christmas!