I absolutely love Christmas music. From raucous renditions of “Jingle Bells” to the powerful, pipe-shattering performances of “O Holy Night.” I never get tired of it.
When my 3-month-old daughter needs to settle down before her naps, I sing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to her. The soothing melody works like a charm.
This is my first Christmas as a mom, and it’s been tough to find time to fully immerse myself in the season like I normally do. It’s made me that much more thankful for the tunes that can immediately have me feeling less hectic and more holly jolly during the most wonderful time of the year.
But lately, it’s in those quiet moments at night, when I’m rocking my sweet girl and the world is finally still, that I’ve been thinking a lot about the familiar words to some of my favorite carols. Many of these songs were written a long time ago, but it’s amazing to me how much they still resonate. And if you think about it, the lyrics can take on a special meaning depending on where you are in life.
Silent Night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin, mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace.
There’s no better Christmas carol for new parents than “Silent Night.” While this point was completely missed by Planned Parenthood supporters a few Christmases ago, Pampers clearly understood it when they created their popular holiday diaper commercial. You can watch below if you’re in need of an extra dose of cuteness today.
Now having a baby of my own, I can start to appreciate these words even more. There’s nothing like holding a sleeping baby in your arms. And I can’t imagine what Mary felt as she held baby Jesus for the first time.
Was she thinking about what the angel Gabriel said to her—that Jesus would be called “Son of the Most High,” and that His “kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:30-33)? Or was she just enjoying the peaceful outline of his face and the subtle pout that babies have when they sleep? Maybe it wasn’t until the shepherds and wise men showed up that it fully dawned on her—this is God’s Son.
Let’s just say any Christmas Eve candlelight service that plays this song will never be the same for me.
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you
Babies are full of potential—they have their whole lives ahead of them. When I look at my daughter, I can’t help but wonder what her life will be like. Will she be more like mommy or daddy? What will her passion be? What kind of man will she marry? Will she hear normally or have my genetic hearing loss?
It can be overwhelming sometimes to think about her future—the unknown. But here’s what I do know: just as God sent His Son into the world for a specific purpose as the carol “Mary, Did You Know?” reminds us, he has a plan for my daughter too. No matter what lies ahead of my baby girl, her talents, her challenges, her hopes and dreams, she was fearfully and wonderfully made for a reason (Psalm 139:14). And God will equip her with everything she needs to fulfill His plan for her life (Hebrews 13:21). Whether she ends up with two perfectly working ears or not.
I encourage you to take some time this Christmas to reflect on the words of the carols you sing, whether in church, in your car, or at home. I found meaning in the music this Christmas—and maybe you will too.
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Former public school administrator Emily Mais filed a lawsuit against the Albemarle County School Board for creating a racially hostile work environment.