With Christmas music blaring as early as November in every single shop, city sidewalk and radio station, inundating our ears from every angle, I, for one, sing along but find the action reflexive. I don’t even think about the words coming out of my mouth.
But for some reason I started paying attention to Christmas carol lyrics and found a few that I just love.
“It’ll nearly be like a picture print by Currier and Ives ...” Have you ever seen the Currier and Ives prints? They’re usually on cards or popcorn tins. The prints are of classic winter scenes from the 1800s, but when I hear the song I think of a modern adaptation — the house covered in snow, strings of lights that cover the eaves of the roof, warm lights on in the house, smoke coming out of the chimney, a Christmas tree in the window and usually a few deer in the yard. The picture perfect Christmas.
And it’s not just the look of the house that’s Christmasy; it’s the warmth of the picture on a snowy landscape. It’s a representation of the warm feeling of the holiday.
“Later on we’ll conspire, as we dream by the fire, to face unafraid the plans that we’ve made” (“Walking in a Winter Wonderland”). It’s always making the plans that is harder for me than following through with them; but, nonetheless, I like this line.
The reason I like this little section of lyrics is because of the joy I get from staring into the fire with friends and family, drinking something warm, telling stories that may be slightly exaggerated and making plans similarly enhanced.
And then I like the idea of facing the world unafraid, filled with grand plans and ready to go outside and meet the cold air.
Here’s another line: “Every mother’s child is gonna spy to see if reindeer really know how to fly.” The real meaning of Christmas doesn’t come from Santa, but I can’t deny the magic Santa Claus brought to my childhood.
Do you remember the feeling you had when you saw Santa in the mall? Or when you listened or gazed hopefully for a glimpse on Christmas Eve, and the excitement you felt when you woke up in the early-morning darkness of Christmas Day?
Finally, there are the words used in songs to describe the birth of the baby. A holy night, glories streaming from heaven afar, fall on your knees. No matter what, I get a sense of wonder from the origin of the holiday and the effect it’s had on our world.
So, have I over-analyzed Christmas music enough for you? Sing loudly! Have a wonderful Christmas, or whatever holiday fits your winter best.
“And so, I’m offering this simple phrase, for kids from 1 to 92. Merry Christmas to you.”