Do You Hear What I Hear?

 

It will surely happen: I know it! Promptly on January 1, 2016, the annual countdown will begin! Sometime during that day, without warning, a cheery, sweet voice will indubitably say, “Only 11 more months to Christmas dear!” It happens every year, and then…all year.

 

My Christmas fanatic!

I live with a Christmas fanatic, a holiday zealot, an ardent Adventist! She’s wholeheartedly committed and engaged with the impact and message of the Christmas season…and can’t seem to get enough of it! Yes, Christmas in July is something like the beginning of the runway toward the November takeoff into the sky of the main event!

I asked her during lunch at the restaurant today why (oh why) does she like Christmas so much. She said, to her, it changes the atmosphere and environment. This season helps many people turn away from self-seeking and anger toward gifts for others and planning special blessings. Generally people seem to be more upbeat; customers are not so grumpy and demanding because their focus is more often not on themselves. Oh, yes, there are media stories of people trampling others to grab sales items and perhaps to get a place in line, but mostly she says people are in a better mood.

“This is a dangerous world, even in our communities. We really need something that greatly impacts the whole neighborhood for good. Christmas does that best!” she says.

The joy of Christmas personally translates to her heart as she runs around the stores trying to find a special item for her favorite nieces and nephews, her friends, family and her husband (mmwa!). She loves to be creative in what we send to the little boys and girls in orphanages we support, and pack the Graham ministry children’s Christmas boxes we love to send. The needs of those kids often move us to tears.

 

Over saturation?

But, there’s another catch to this…Christmas music. It’s like an addiction requiring an increasing quantity to satisfy the daily demand, today’s emotional fix.

For me, by November 31st, the soft string sounds of orchestras playing “Silent Night!” and “Oh Holy Night!” are still gently peaceful at home. By December 10th every store, every radio station and advertisement is saturated with a Christmas theme and music. By December 20th when I hear the 7,000th rendition of ‘Sleigh Bells Ringing,’ I start rebelling. Some others rebel sooner.

Why do we rebel against Christmas music? Before doing the research, I thought I knew. For sure, it was because our ears are way, way over-saturated with Christmas music playing in the stores, on the radio, on TV ads, at church and everywhere. Enough already!

 

I changed my mind

But, I changed my mind. Consider with me the top Christmas music titles played on the radio in the country (literally hundreds of thousands of times in a holiday season). Some of these titles include, ‘Sleigh Bells Ringing’, ‘Winter Wonderland’, ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’, “Let it Snow’, ‘Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire’, ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’, ‘Frosty the Snowman’, ‘Jingle Bell Rock’, ‘Silver Bells’ and ‘Jingle Bells’. Do we notice anything strange here?

In fact, some places don’t even call it Christmas music anymore; it’s Xmas Music or Holiday Music.

Perhaps I’ve been a bit slow, but it came thundering through while attending the biggest, most ‘fabulosimo’ ‘Merry Christmas Party’ I ever saw. Despite the fabulous lights, costumes, displays and fireworks, musical presentations and church choir music…there was one important thing missing, sadly, terribly missing. The birthday boy was not invited to His own birthday party! No gifts for Him, no mention of Him.

And, if Jesus Christ is not received and not included, how can He bring peace on earth and good will to our hearts? The Apostle John tells us, “He came to His own, and His own received Him not. But to as many as received Him, to them He gave…” (John 1:11, 12).

And none of the top played Xmas songs included Christ either. None! If Christ is shut out and not included, how can He bring peace on earth and good will to men…to us?

No wonder we get slightly homicidal by December 25th. They’re not playing Christmas music; they’re playing secular Xmas music.

 

She’s the best!

Now I examine my wife’s favorite Christmas music and find, Christ is included. No wonder she loves the constant atmosphere of buying and giving and music playing. Christ is included. And when Christ is included on a constant basis, He brings us peace that passes our understanding. That’s what the terrorists need. That’s what the whole world needs.

Hmmm…I knew that girl was the best woman for me!

 

Steve Davis, Ed.S is an adjunct professor (adult development, research & writing) at Trinity International University. Now retired, he has also served as the registrar, advisor to the Master of Arts in Theological Studies and International Student Representative at Trinity International University, Davie. He can be contacted at sdavis@tiu.edu.

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