By David Dawson
I’m sure most of you are familiar with the song “We Need a Little Christmas.”
Well, as much as I like that song, I believe we need to change the lyrics this year. When it comes to 2020, we actually need A LOT of Christmas.
After the year we’ve had — a year marked with sadness, confusion, tension, fear and uneasiness — I have sensed that most of us are craving Christmas, and the feelings that come with it, more than ever before.
We are starved for the happiness and excitement that this magical season always brings. For me, personally, the simplest of acts — like sitting in my living room, with the Christmas tree fully aglow — has meant even more to me this year than it normally does. (And that’s quite a statement, considering that I’ve always been a card-carrying Christmas enthusiast).
I think the heaviness of 2020 has left many of us utterly exhausted, both physically and mentally. We have been bombarded with nine months of negative news and saddening statistics every time we turn on the TV or log on to the internet.
We have dealt with illness, unrest, severe weather, and certainly, the loss of lives. We have also seen hatred gain a stronghold in our nation’s culture, and it has come pouring out on social media posts every day.
So, yeah, we need A LOT of Christmas, right this very minute. And here’s what I mean …
We need the MUSIC of Christmas. I am fully aware that not everyone loves Christmas music as much as I do. But even those who don’t share my passion for holiday hymns and hits will surely agree that, this year, Christmas music feels especially meaningful. “A THRILL of HOPE, the weary world REJOICES!” Let those words wash over you for a second. Let them resonate in your soul. Such amazing lyrics — and so true for a time such as this.
We need the MAGIC of Christmas. At our house, there’s a small dose of Christmas magic every night in December. My two boys, ages 10 and 7, wake up every morning, anxious to see what the Elf on the Shelf (and his sidekick reindeer) have done while the family was asleep. And their enjoyment permeates throughout the whole house. It’s a small thing, yes, but it demonstrates the power of Christmas magic.
We need the MAJESTY of Christmas. Whether it’s the flowing robes of the wise men in the Christmas play or an elaborately detailed ornament on the tree, I have always loved the pageantry associated with the birth of the newborn King. “And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with great joy!” Oh, how I love that verse. And yes, let’s indeed rejoice, everyone. A Savior is born! Oh come, let us adore him.
We need the MOVIES of Christmas. This year, more than ever before, we need to see George Bailey running through the streets of Bedford Falls, shouting Merry Christmas. We need to see the triumphant look on Clark Griswold’s face when the lights come on. We need to see Charlie Brown’s friends transform that scrawny little Christmas tree with “a little love.” We need to see the Grinch’s heart grow three sizes. We need to see the happy ending from that Hallmark movie. (You can pick whichever one you want; they’re all exactly the same).
We need the MOMENTS of Christmas. I love thinking about ALL the things that make Christmas special, both big and small. The moment of excitement when we get the tree(s) down from the attic. The smell of sausage balls coming from the kitchen. The Christmas concerts and cantatas (even if they are online this year). The anticipation of giving a gift to someone that you KNOW they are going to love. The laughter, the time off from work and school, the family gatherings, the candlelight Christmas Eve services, finding the perfect hiding place to tuck away a certain present, and Christmas music. (Oh wait, I mentioned that one already).
Mostly, we need the MIRACLE of Christmas. Here, I am not talking about the miracle that took place on a certain street in New York. I am talking about the true Christmas miracle of a virgin giving birth to the Savior of the world — an event that was foretold by the prophets, heralded by the angels, and celebrated by the shepherds. An event that changed all of humanity and eternity. An event that brings us peace and comfort and joy. An event that is far bigger than anything that happened in 2020 or 1920 or 1820 or ever. The birth of Jesus! A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices! Amen! B&R