Where Have All the Christmas Carols Gone?

by Steve Ray on December 25, 2018

I’m not that old. I’ll only be 64 years old this month but I still remember when the frosty month of December was filled with marvelous Christmas carols. It was like magic when the first snow covered the ground and the melodies sprang to life and everyone knew them, believed them and sang them with a smile on their face.

Christmas_Carols_HongKongI remember the glorious carols like “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Joy to the World”, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Silent Night, Holy Night.”

Those warm and cozy memories are rare these winter days. Something is missing. The new generation is being deprived and the world has changed.

I sat for an hour in a dentist chair and heard a litany of secular Christmas songs. Not one religious Christmas carol was heard. All about Santa coming to town, Frosty the Snowman, “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” and “I’ll be home for Christmas” and “jingle bell rock”

t54223134-b389781788_s400These are all nice songs too and I remember them from my youth. But isn’t something wrong when I walked through the airport today and I saw mythical Santa, reindeers, Christmas trees but not one manger scene or reference to what it’s all really about? Christmas songs reverberated through the airport but again not one of the beautiful old classic Christmas carols. It had a tinny shallowness to it.

Christmas-Carols-1960-billboard-650It’s Christmas after all. It’s named after Christ which was celebrated for millennia by a Mass — thus Christ-Mass! And it is so bizarre that all the music heard today explicitly and dogmatically refuses to reference Christ which is what the whole holiday is about.

The insanity of our current secularism and pluralism has deprived us of far more than we realize. Our political correctness forces us to retreat in obsequious silence for fear of offending someone. I weep for the current and coming generations that will be so separated from the past that they will never experience what I once knew as a boy.

no-baby-jesusPeople say “Happy Holiday“ to avoid the dreaded association with Jesus Christ. But even when saying “Happy Holiday” they don’t realize that they’re using another Christian phrase. Where do you think the word “holiday” comes from? It means, “holy day” made sacred by the birth of Christ.

I remember in my younger years that the joy around Christmas had to do with Jesus Christ and the joy brought to the world by this divine Savior. It was reflected in the music we sang from our hearts.

I may be giving away my age again here but it reminds me of the Wendy’s commercial — a little old lady looking up from her hamburger bun and saying, “Where’s the beef?“ Approaching December again this year I feel like asking a similar question, “Where’s the heart? Where’s the meaning? Why deny the obvious?”

2012-01-08_00008As for me and my house, we still sing the beautiful religious Christmas carols, honor Christ as the center of Christmas, we will still celebrate Christ at Mass and pray for the days when modern people will hopefully again understand the true meaning and joy of the season.

I’ll enjoy some chestnuts roasting on an open fire but the whole time I’ll be singing, “Oh Come Let Us Adore Him.”

Below: This is beautiful and what Christmas is about – it may even give you chills.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandi December 2, 2017 at 11:54 AM

Totally and wonderfully awesome!!! Outstanding. Thanks, Steve.

Jeff DiBacco December 2, 2017 at 4:12 PM

When the masses take the trappings of any other culture or holiday and leave it devoid of its true meaning it is called “cultural appropriation”. Halloween is long gone. I’m certain most people have no idea of its origins as the Eve of All Saints Day. Most still understand the true meaning of Christmas, but out of fear of offending others, it is being sanitized. If we stay the course, Christmas and Easter may one day be as bleached of their true meanings for the common man as Halloween is now.

In the meantime, do NOT wear a sombrero on Cinco de Mayo, or else!

David Bobe December 24, 2017 at 6:23 PM

Thank you for sharing. May you have a blessed Merry Christmas.

Bill912 December 25, 2018 at 7:04 AM

Retailers, in their commercials, tend to use “holiday” instead of “Christmas”, or “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”, because they are afraid of offending people. I maintain that the only people who would be offended by “Christmas” or “Merry Christmas” are anti-Christian bigots. I am offended by retailers who are afraid of offending bigots.

Jeffrey Miller December 25, 2018 at 9:41 AM

# c
Oddly, this phenomenon was an aspect God used to lead me into the Catholic Church.

As a longtime atheist I was drawn to traditional Christmas carols because of their beauty. I did not understand or care about their theological content and the myths to me they represented. But I loved hearing and singing them because of their beauty.

Years later I just couldn’t find radio stations playing the carols I loved. The content became mostly secular Christmassy content with an occasional actual carol. This made me continue to search for a station playing theses carols. This drove me to Protestant radio, which was playing them. I put up with the annoying content between carols, just to listen to the carols. Over time the other content became less annoying to me. This with the fact that my late wife had been daily playing St. Monica for me, my growing awareness of my sinfulness, and of course actual grace from God – eventually led me into his Church.

Now I recognize both the beauty of the Carols and the deep theological beauty of their content,.

Steve Ray December 25, 2018 at 9:58 AM

Jeffrey, thank you so much for sharing that moving story. I loved it! Welcome home!

Frederick G. Carty December 25, 2018 at 11:05 PM

You forgot “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” and the barking dogs songs. I change the channel or station when I hear them. I also dislike the traditional Christmas songs when sung without reverence; singing that’s selling the singer rather than the song. On the other hand, a movie that may seem to be secular, “A Christmas Carol” with Alastair Sim, I view as a story about Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The key line in the movie is “I’m not the man I was.” That happens when Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit enters one’s life.

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