“Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle, Jingle, Jingle. O what fun it is to ride, Jingle, Jingle, Jingle!”
I could not help but overhear the small child of about 4 years old singing with gusto and joy as she walked hand in hand with mum through the shops. She had the tune right, she captured the sentiment but she couldn’t quite get the words – there were gaps and what made me stop and think were the bits she was missing out.
Interestingly, Jingle Bells was not a Christmas song but was written by James Lord Pierpont in 1857 for Thanksgiving. It is a song that celebrates winter, snow and driving around in horse drawn sleighs. It has of course become the best known and most widely sung Christmas song and it seems for many to evoke the passion of the season. But just like the small girl who was trying to sing it, the song itself has gaps and does not really convey the meaning or the purpose of the celebration of Christmas.
Christmas for most of us is a crazy time; shopping, presents, parties, food, catching up with relatives and singing ‘once a year’ songs. However, even though our time is filled, even though there is a sense of stress and sometimes angst, it is possible, in fact easy, to miss that which should be at the very centre. We can end up having a ‘holely’ Christmas, a bit like singing the wrong words to Jingle Bells.
As we approach Christmas this year what are you going to remember and what are you going to forget? I hope that your house is decorated the way you enjoy, I hope that you meet up with all the family and friends you desire, I hope that you give and receive gifts that bring joy, laughter and celebration – but most of all I hope you remember the reason for Christmas – the centre of it all – the fact that we were given the greatest gift possible – the answer to every one of our needs!
“And the virgin will give birth to a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
So don’t have a ‘holey’ Christmas – make sure that you make room for Him who was destined to be the centre of it all.