This special season would never be the same without the beloved sounds, carols, voices, and music. A young child stopped me this morning:
- Child: Do you hear what we hear today?
- Me: I hear carols playing softly in the background while you work!
- Child: So, Mrs. Van, here’s your question today: What would be your all-time favorite Christmas carol?
- Me: Oh dear…this is a tough question! May I choose a couple at least?
- Child: Only because I like you and the choices you make!
Choosing only two songs to share was a complete challenge as I pondered my final answer (I knew they might ask me to sing them next). My first choice was one my grandmother sang often to me, a French carol called The Holly and the Ivy (you can see her handiwork here):
The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown;
Of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown.
The rising of the sun and the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ, sweet singing of the choir…
The second carol is one we sing frequently in our church. Gustav Holst composed the music in 1906, set to Christina Rossetti’s beautiful 1872 poem, In The Bleak Midwinter:
In the bleak midwinter, frosty winds made moan;
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow;
In the bleak midwinter, long ago… (there are two more verses and this final one)
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him; give Him my heart.
Both of these carols have deep and personal meaning to me; they are just two of a long list. So here’s YOUR question today: What are your favorite Christmas or seasonal carols/songs you always wish to hear and sing during the holiday? Here’s hoping you hear some beautiful seasonal sounds during the season too!
Speaking of hearing seasonal sounds, our LME third graders will present their program, “Holiday Hoe-Down,” this Thursday evening in our cafe @ 7:00 p.m. We look forward to a festive performance indeed!