I heard a short piece on the radio during the week about Christmas Carols. The presenter had sent a reporter out to a shopping centre to ask people about their favourite Christmas Carol, she also asked them when they had last sung a carol. The result that really surprised me was that many of those interviewed under the age of 40 had no particular carol in mind. Yes, they had a few Christmas songs that they liked, and certainly “I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus” was well known. But as for the religious hymns, beloved of carol services in schools and churches, many people didn’t have one that stood out for them and certainly couldn’t remember when they last actually sung one.
Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised and to honest it’s not something that I’d ever really thought about. I’ve been coasting along on the assumption that what is normal, enjoyable and seasonal for me, and the people I meet in Church and school, is pretty much everyone’s experience. But of course, that is rarely true! The fact is that there are those who adore carols at this time of year, and allow the simple story of Christmas to come alive as they sing seasonal religious songs with gusto. And yes, maybe there are others who let it all pass them by, but that should only make us all the more determined to participate in carols when we can. There will be many opportunities in church, and when we encounter choirs on the street, in the shopping centre and elsewhere raising money for charity, that we can use to stop and sing along, letting the carols lift our hearts and mark the season.
“Away in a manger no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head………….”