A comedian once said, “There seem to be two kinds of people in the world: Those who say there are two kinds of people and…those who don’t.”
So, falling knowingly and foolishly into the first category, here we go: there seem to be two kinds of people this time of year — those who love Christmas music and those who don’t.
Of course that’s an oversimplification. I love a lot of Christmas music but grind my teeth when I hear seasonal “muzac” that waters down both the music and meaning of this holy season. But generally speaking, I fall solidly in the camp of those who love Christmas music. It deepens and enriches, enlivens and touches the season with beauty.
And I don’t care if the music is “spiritual” or “sacred”, carols or Christmas songs. What’s important is that the music connects. If the music you hear strikes a chord in your soul, raises memories of significant moments or important relationships, gives you a sense of connection with our faith or with the Holy (any of the above will do), then in my book it’s sacred.
Whether you’re talking about your favourite Christmas music or an experience you would call “sacred”, it’s about connection: connecting with family/friends, connecting to Jesus/God/Spirit, connecting to the wider world.
Christmas is about connections that matter; connections that make our brief time in this world meaningful. Does Christmas help clarify what’s important in your life? Is it a seasonal reminder of the people and things and way of being that really matter to you? If so, then I suspect the Spirit of Christmas has visited you again.
As we approach the solstice, does Christmas music brighten these long, dark nights? If so, does it help you connect? If it does, then does it really matter if you’re singing Winter Wonderland or Joy to the World? Once again, we see that the sacred and secular intermingle.
There seem to be two kinds of people this time of year…you now know where I land: Let the season sing!