“My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed. ” Psalms 71:23

Our family loves Christmas music!  In fact, we often break out the tunes mid-November and continue non-stop throughout Christmas, much to the dismay of the Scrooges around us.  As a family, we have some strong opinions.  I know some of you might find that shocking!  Some of us are strictly traditional and would prefer Bing, Frank and Dean to croon all of our favorites, while others enjoy newer favorites like Amy Grant, Pentatonix, Michael Buble’ and Seth McFarland.  We have even been known to debate who has the best rendition of some classics like “O Holy Night” and cover our ears to those who have failed miserably!

Photo credit to Margaret Collins

In my research about Advent, I found it interesting that our traditional Christmas hymns like “Joy to the World” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” were not sung in churches until Christmas day!  Instead, the traditional music of Advent focused on anticipating His coming with songs like “O Come O Come Emmanuel”.  I also learned that Christmas music drastically changed in the 1940’s and 1950’s, when most new music written focused on the secular nature of Christmas.  Now, I love Bing’s famous rendition of “White Christmas” and I am not opposed to singing “Deck the Halls”, but this research made me a little more conscientious about my music choices during Christmas.  I am choosing to be more intentional about my playlist, pausing a few moments to worship during some of the beautiful Christmas hymns and paying more attention to the lyrics.  I have also spent time listening to some modern Christmas hymns, like First Call’s “Heaven’s Coming Down” and Amy Grant’s “Emmanuel”.  This intentional playlist has kept me focused on Advent!  Yes, if you peeked in my windows, you might still see me bopping around to “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree”, but you might also see me worshiping to “Silent Night”!

For a little Christmas fun: my daughter took the following five pictures of Christmas songs, displaying her creativity. Share these pictures with your family and see if you can guess the songs. Feel free to make your guesses in the comments of the blog. I will share the answers in a few days!!!

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