Our secularized culture has put “Frosty the Snowman” and Santa Claus at the center of the Christmas season. Even so, Christ is still in Christmas.
Singing Christmas carols has become a tradition at our home when the family gets together. It is not a big production and takes almost no work but it is a great way to pass on our faith to our grandchildren. Needless to say, they love it!
We found ten little booklets containing Christmas carol lyrics which we pass around to all present in our home. We have sung before opening presents, after opening presents, or before Christmas dinner. When we carol is not as important as the fact that we always make it a point to sing.
Our grandchildren are actually more excited about Christmas (and getting presents) when we include carols because music communicates! It communicates what is most important to us—that the life of God is in us! Someone once said, “He who sings prays twice!” By singing a Christmas carol, our family is praying.
Christmas carols such as “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” don’t just move the soul, they also proclaim truth! The best carols for passing on our faith, like “Joy to the World” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” talk about peace, reconciliation with God, Christ’s eternal Lordship, the virgin birth, the Incarnation and the healing of our relationship with God via the Resurrection.
Singing carols is a powerful way to pass on the content of our faith to our children and grandchildren. By doing so, we are acting on our responsibility in regards to God’s commandments: “and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deut 6:7).
The Christmas season is a perfect time to discuss the Good News naturally with your grandchildren. A fun and enjoyable way to do this is by proclaiming the words of the classic Christmas carols together!
For discussion: How could we incorporate singing Christmas Carols into our celebration this year?
For action: We still hear Christmas carols in some stores. Go to those that play them and stop when a good one comes on. Sing along a bit and then say, “This is one of my favorite Christmas songs! Do you know why? Listen to the words!”
Tim DeWaters lives in Jackson, Michigan and has nine grandchildren.
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