When I told Stacey it was okay with me if she took the earbuds out and play the Christmas music so we all could hear while cleaning the kitchen I didn't realize what I was saying. She has all of my Christmas favorites in her playlist too. There is a song I always like to start out with when I get the Christmas music out and it is Matthew West and Mandisa singing "Christmas makes me Cry".
It was released not long after my grandpa died and when the first line starts off "I think of loved ones who passed away...and I pray their resting in a better place". But the more I listened to the song, it is the whole message. My favorite (and therefore where the tears flow freely) is the last verse "I think of Mary and the virgin birth...and I'm amazed at how much God thinks we are worth...that He would send His only Son to die...and sometimes Christmas makes me cry".
There is something about Christmas music that we pull out once a year and listen to straight for a month and a half or more. For me it is like going through my journal entries for the last year and looking forward through the lens of the last year. Each year there is something(s) that I never would have imagined we would be experiencing just one year earlier. Needless to say, I have shed some tears as the Christmas songs we love have played in the last week in preparation for our celebrations this week.
There are so many other favorites and I know that I have blogged about them all before because that's what happens when Christmas comes every year. My heart is linked to music that inspires me. I have to admit, most of my favorites are sung by Christian musicians but I also have to admit that one of my top five albums is Chicago's Christmas album and my favorite song is Child's Prayer. When I was little I had always been a little fearful when I heard "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take."
As an adult, I certainly would want that but as a small child it was a little morbid and scary. I would prefer just to pray that I would wake up in the morning. So years ago as an adult when we started collecting our favorite Christmas music and are huge Chicago fans we could not pass up purchasing the CD whether we had heard the music or not. Who doesn't love Chicago style Christmas music with the full brass section and harmonies.
I sang "night night" songs to my kids and still do to two of them. When the triplets were babies during December I would always sing "child's prayer" to them and when they grew into preschoolers the girls would beg for it well into January. "Now lay me down before I sleep, pray the Lord my soul to keep. Stay with me Jesus through the night til I wake in the morning light" Now those were lyrics I could sing to my kids.
There are so many other songs that I love and if anyone has some great favorites, I am always open to hearing what inspires others. I will have to share the story on one of the coming December Fridays about the Christmas song that God used to call me to Him. I was five it isn't your typical Christmas or salvation story but as I grow older becomes more and more sweet. It is the reason that at every Christmas Eve service when I watch my children singing "Away in a Manger" there will be tears on this mama's cheeks.