We made it to November! I sort of feel like we’ve been breathlessly treading water and the tide finally brought us to the island – the island of holidays and the start of a new year. We’re going to make it. Things have been crazy but we’re all sort of winding down as the holidays approach.
Confession: I’ve been listening to Christmas music off and on since . . . July.
I could make excuses and say, “It’s been a weird year – don’t you think I can do something a little weird this time?” But that would be pointless to say because for me Christmas music has been starting earlier every year.
I won’t make excuses. I won’t apologize. In fact, I’m going to try to convince YOU to join me in my early festivities.
Besides the fact that putting up Christmas decor early can actually make you happier (thanks for finally getting behind us on that, psychologists), I have my own reasons for pulling out my Christmas playlists on Spotify way before the “normal” time.
It does make me happier! I feel nostalgic when I put on Steven Curtis Chapman’s or Michael W. Smith’s old Christmas albums. I think about driving through twinkling lights displays when I listen to Mannheim Steamroller even while it’s a sweltering 90 degrees in August. But it’s more than the feeling of happiness.
It’s about hope. It’s about peace. It’s about Jesus.
I listen to Christmas music whenever I can because those songs remind me that my hope is not in what I see around me. I listen to be reminded that peace comes from the Holy Spirit. I listen to meditate on all that Jesus left behind to come rescue me.
Obviously “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Baby” don’t make this list. But I skip those songs any time – whether before or after Thanksgiving.
If Jesus had not come to earth and been born in Bethlehem, the prophecies wouldn’t have been true and there would be no redemption. If He did not step down from His heavenly throne to this broken earth, we would have no hope. We would forever be enemies of God. But because He came, we have been brought nigh.
I’ve been thinking about the concept of hope frequently. I am hopeful about a lot of things. But my only hope is in Christ alone. That hope is a certain expectation: knowing, trusting, believing He holds me in the palm of His hand, He is preparing a home for me in heaven, and He is coming back for me someday. My hope in this world fails me day after day. Hope in earthly relationships or in myself and my own ability do not measure up. But Jesus never fails.
The Christmas account is not the beginning of the story of our redemption. That begins back in Genesis. But when Jesus was born, everything began to change. The promises were true. Messiah had come. God walked among us. “On earth, peace.” We could know fellowship with God. He is Almighty, Sovereign, Holy, Creator. But He is also Friend, Savior, Healer, Teacher.
So when I want to hear songs that remind me of Who my Jesus is, I listen to Christmas music. Real, good, scriptural Christmas music. I hope you’ll do the same. This world is dark, disappointing, heavy, sinful – and not getting any better.
But Christmas is coming. Jesus is coming. Hope is here. A light has come.
Christmas albums full of hope and light:
- “Heaven Has Come” by Sovereign Grace Music
- “Advent, Vol. 1” by The Brilliance
- “Advent Christmas Ep, Vol. 2” and “Light Has Come: Christmas” by Future of Forestry
- “Christmas Worship, Vol. 1 and 2” by Paul Baloche and friends
- “Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus in Song” by Sovereign Grace Music
- “Unto Us” by JJ Heller
- “The Promise” by Michael Card (oldie but one of my favorites!)
- “The Oh Hellos’ Family Christmas Album” by The Oh Hellos
- “Behold the Lamb of God” by Andrew Peterson (combination Christmas + Easter album)