Watch video here: Let it be Christmas
Turn on any Christmas country station or listen to any of this genre’s playlist, and this song will eventually play.
Let It Be Christmas had a great deal of success on the airwaves in 2003 when Jackson introduced to us to a new song to be the backdrop of our Christmas season.
The song captures the universality of this season, as well as the hope of what it can bring for the upcoming year.
My favorite lines arrive in the second verse:
In the smiles of all children asleep in their beds
In the eyes of young babies their first fallen snow
Elderly’s memories that never grow old
Christmas is a time machine. We are formed by the magic of this season as children. As we grow older, if we are not careful, we may only come to appreciate these years when we look back in time. The smarter of us soak it in, desperately hoping to capture what is most sacred.
My daughter, 14 months, is fascinated by every light and ornament. When the snow falls, she will understand it more than she did a year ago when she was only a few months old.
God-willing, she will grow old to live a life full of joy and love. She will not remember these days, although the thousands of photos that I take will provide some insight that I imagine she will seek.
She will make her memories, and in time, decorate her own tree with her friends and new family. Christmas will take on a new meaning for her, as it did for me in comparison to my family.
So why do it?
I believe it forms her, ignites a spirit that values family and friends. As the days grow shorter, the lights remind her and us the power we all have to make the lives of others brighter.
Last week, in talking with my wife, I shared my fear that after I die (Hopefully not anytime soon), that she and my daughter may not celebrate the season because it may be too much of a reminder of me. As we mourn, the pain can be too much at first. For some, the pain never leaves.
This fear emerged from a conversation with a friend who said that her sister does not celebrate the holidays because her mother loved them so much. It hurts too much. I get that. Sometime the reminder is too much for us to handle at this time. The decorations and tree is just not worth it.
As I imagine the future, I pray that my wife and daughter will celebrate as if I was there, recognizing the unifying power of this month. Ultimately, they will journey as they can, but there is that part of me that hopes my love for this season remains as a part of the love I shared with them and with this world.
Jackson’s song also brings me back to past Christmas days, including those tougher ones when loved ones recently passed, and often a reminder of how many years it has been since others last sat at our table.
We recently discussed at Thanksgiving that my grandfather was gone for 27 years. That is a life-time. My other grandfather has been with God for 45 years. This is the pain my family, especially my parents, bring to their Christmas tree.
This song, simple in nature, invites us to look at the season, with its good and bad. As it is with the reminder of the baby Jesus in the barn, knowing his painful fate 33 years later, it is for us a season of mixed emotions and complexity.
But as it was in that baby who’s birthday we celebrate in a few weeks, there is hope for what occurred after he passed. It is the hope we have for all of us, that death is not the end.
Jackson sings, “Let it be Christmas everywhere.”
I am not sure what heaven is like, but a big part of me sure hopes that it is the most magical of Christmas seasons, where all who once shared in the joy of this season can once again celebrate together.
It may sound childish, or too simplistic.
I find that Christmas is exactly that. And it is fitting. Didn’t Jesus say we should become like children.
May we find time this season to do exactly that, to be as vulnerable as that baby in the barn, and as excited when the tree is lit. May we share in the joy when we see loved ones, hear that favorite Christmas song, and experience the magic of this season.
Let it truly be Christmas everywhere, letting the heavenly music fill the air.