Why We Need Christmas Songs This Season

My soul aches today.

It aches for some delightful reasons, as well as some horrendous ones.

First, my soul ached when I heard Charles Dickens’ classic tale, “A Christmas Carol” today. Yes, “heard,” as I am currently the “Costume Queen” for a play adaptation of the story, and cannot watch the show as I preform major Ninja magic to help with 15 quick changes in an hour and a half.

“Oh Holy Night” revolved like a broken record in my head as I stood backstage camouflaged in my standard all-black crew attire, with Scrooge’s next costume in hand. “A thrill of hope… the weary world rejoices…” Suddenly, the lines of the familiar story onstage halted my song.

“I will not be the man I was!” screamed Scrooge, after he awakes in his room, having completed his journey with each of the three ghosts, and most recently, that particularly terrifying scene of watching Tiny Tim’s wake, not to mention seeing his own lonely grave.

And Scrooge realizes it isn’t over.

That his life isn’t over.

That he has another chance. That his narrative is still in motion and there is no such thing as “too late.”

Thank God.

“I will not be the man I was!” promises Scrooge with new joy, new resolve, and new effervescence.

And the most beautiful of all: Hope.

I teared up again later when I received horrified texts demanding the whereabouts of my dad, who works very near the location that was terrorized by three shooters today.

He is fine, thank God. But there are others who are not. And it breaks my heart to know that other families do not get to share in the relief I felt.

And immediately, “A Christmas Carol” became stupid. Ridiculous and silly and a waste of time.

Who has the right to listen to Christmas stories at a time like this? How dare the radio play Christmas songs after such constant, devastating news of terror, this time in our own backyard?

But yet again, persistent as ever, the song stuck in my head rang out once more:

“A thrill of hope… the weary world rejoices.” 

Hope. Hope is what heals, delivers, strengthens, and triumphs.

Though it’s considered a children’s fairytale, “A Christmas Carol” delivers the promise of hope in its own way, as do Christmas songs.

So even though the world seems to grow darker, and suffering prevails, may the Christmas songs that follow you this season remind you to hope.

May their lyrics inspire you with truth, the comfort of tradition, and the promise of redemption.

“Play on,” I said to that broken record still whirring around my mind.

“Sing of your hope.”

Because the story isn’t over.

There is still time, there are still stories that may be rewritten. This hope is my prayer this Christmas.

“A thrill of hope… the weary world rejoices.”