I just pulled out the two Christmas CDs that have been languishing at the bottom of my desk drawer at work. They (one especially) are not my favorites, but they sure suit another day of cold weather here post-Thanksgiving.
I'm listening to O Holy Night on Point of Grace's A Christmas Story CD. O Holy Night is my favorite Christmas song. Even when I don't have a cold, my voice isn't quite up to the challenge. I can hit the high notes, but it's a stretch and it shows. Even so, I love to sing it, in English and in French (leftovers from junior high school French class). And I love to listen to it.
I wrote a Bread several years ago about this song. A woman in the singles group I attend sang it during our Christmas party. She had been a professional singer/actress on Broadway and had come back home. Earlier that year, she played Dulcinea in The Man of La Mancha locally, and she made me weep. Listening to her sing O Holy Night was one of those times for me that I could close my eyes and believe that I had touched heaven.
It's strange, with the way the world is--the way France is--these days, to know that O Holy Night was written by a Frenchman. Perhaps in the mid-1800s, the French weren't as passionately secular as they are today. Perhaps Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure was a religious aberration, even in his time. Perhaps.
All I know is that Christmas is a special time that too easily gets lost in the whirlwind of decorating and shopping. It's a time for remembering that Holy Night when heaven descended to earth in the form of a baby boy who was the Hope of the World.
My prayer is that we (myself most of all) will take the time this year to remember and celebrate that oh-so-Holy Night.