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Christmas songs all year round

16 December 2021

Christmas songs all year round

Good news, joy and peace can mix with struggles, difficulties and concerns 

Words Dean Clarke 

How soon after Christmas must you stop singing carols and when is it too early to start? Christmas carols, and movies, were matters of dissension in my home. 

Our ‘Grinch’ (does every family have one?) believed Christmas should be enjoyed in a short time frame with minimal music and movies. We also had to wait to put up the tree and decorations until after a December birthday. However, in my car, the carols could begin much earlier. 

Each year I created multiple playlists of Christmas music. Traditional. Jazz. Acoustic. Orchestra. Choirs. Contemporary artists. New releases. Favourites. I would go for long drives just to get through all the music. 

Now, don’t confuse me with those fanatics who wear Christmas shirts, socks and suits, although I may own a few socks, pyjamas, and a pug Christmas T-shirt. I enjoy the season without being fanatical. But why? 

What is it that I enjoy about Christmas music? It is not just the traditional carols, but all the different styles of music with a Christmas theme. The theme of Christmas can be found in the lyrics of the first Christmas song. The song story and lyrics are recorded by Luke (in the Bible) as he recalls the birth of Jesus. 

Luke tells of the choirmaster introducing the song by sharing how the song is a celebration of “good news that will cause great joy for all the people”, before conducting the choir who sing “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests” (Luke chapter 2, verses 10-14). 

There is good news which prompts a song of joy, for all people, because peace is coming. Good news, joy, and peace. For all people. 

Life is hard. And over these last few years, life has been harder. It is easy only to hear bad news, because there is so much talk about it. For too many of us, joy is not an emotion we readily connect with. Joy and bad news don’t go together. Nor does peace very often mix with struggles, difficulties and concerns. Life doesn’t always lead to a happy song. 

Christmas music began with good news. God cares. God cares so much that Jesus comes to the neighbourhood to walk with us, sharing in life, challenges, and anxieties. My worries become his concerns. He gives courage for the circumstances with the hope of a better tomorrow. Jesus is the good news. He is with us. He understands us. He is for us. 

Good news can often lead to a song of joy – a song for all. In days past, I have sung a hymn in church that lists the different types of people who can come and sing this song of joy. The song sums up the list in one line – “Whosoever will may come.” Who can benefit from the good news of Jesus? Whosoever! 

Like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality, every Christmas has the repeated hope of world peace. Except the Christmas theme of peace focuses upon the person, who then influences their world. Peace in my heart. My life. My family. My community. My world. 

I do love my Christmas music. Music that is not defined by style, lyrics, or tunes but takes hold of the meaning of Christmas – there is good news resulting in great joy for all the people. Peace is yours. 

I may not sing Silent Night in March next year, but I will sing songs of good news, joy and peace. I hope that you get a similar song in your heart. 

Merry Christmas. 

Major Dean Clarke is a Salvation Army officer (pastor) in South Australia. 


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