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The Holidays in Verse

December 9, 2008

Instead of answering yesterday’s post—by Janie—in her comments I thought I’d keep the thread going.

Unlike Janie, the written word wasn’t really part of my holiday tradition when I was young. Both my parents were singers, active not only in the church choir, but in Barbershop/Sweet Adelines as well. The holiday season was a hectic blur of rushing from one performance to another, often being drafted as an additional voice, or the head of an impromptu children’s chorus to round out the caroling. There never seemed to be any time to read.

For me the holiday stories that evoke the most vivid memories are the stories told in carols and Christmas songs, and the stories most often performed during the season—‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and A Christmas Carol.

I remember choir directors telling rooms full of people the stories of O Tannenbaum, Silent Night, and The Twelve Days of Christmas, and baritone-voiced pastors reciting ‘Twas the Night to spellbound kids.

Years later I started to seek out Christmas Stories to read, but generally not the classics. I’m a big fan of modern Christmas stories, and retooled classics—Scrooged is my favorite Christmas movie.

But to me Christmas has just never been about the written word.

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