How many weeks now have Christmas carols been playing, have holiday tunes been blasting at the supermarket? How long since you could find a station on the radio that doesn’t reference Santa Claus, Rudolph, or the term “jolly”?
Just saying — it’s easy to get aural overload with the sounds of Christmas this time of year.
Stockings have been on the shelves since Halloween; winter jingles have inundated coffee shops for weeks. Inside, you know the Salvation Army bells are supposed to signify joy, but their pealing tones are so insistent, one can neither confirm nor deny a sudden desire to throw the offending noisemakers across the parking lot.
I admit, all of this merry cacophony can overwhelm the unprepared soul.
Instead of getting lost in their repetitive tunes, however, here are a few other sounds we might focus on this December:
- the sound of gratitude. When was the last time you said thanks? Just a genuine, heartfelt note of appreciation to someone who might not otherwise hear what a difference they make.
- the sound of pure joy. To all the Scrooges out there (myself included), listen for the notes of unadulterated bliss contained in each child’s laughter. Even if most of the time they might not be the angels depicted in Norman Rockwell–bliss, for just those few seconds the small ones offer us a lesson in how to truly enjoy the time God gives us.
- the sound of peace. Call me cliché, but when seated in the pew after a long week (or sometimes a long year), and the final bars of “Mary Did You Know” linger in the air … this, my friends, is to feel love. It is to feel the comfort of the One Above, who always, unconditionally, looks after His children.
- the sound of service. Look around you — it’s everywhere. Youth volunteering to set up the community light displays, groups offering their time to visit nursing homes, friends putting together care packages for the troops. Soup kitchens running out of slots for volunteers at holiday meals, beleaguered victims (volunteers) organizing the children’s caroling pageant. (And yes, the Salvation Army bell ringers, too). Underneath the commercial glitz and glamour, this season brings innumerable opportunities to witness all of the good at work in our lives.
- the sound of hope. The sound of family. The sound of forgiveness. I might not know what tune these themes play in your life, but I’m sure they are there. Even if it’s just the Charlie Brown Christmas tune in the background as your sister bakes cookies, or the opening scene to Tim Allen’s The Santa Clause as everyone fights over the kettle corn — listen out for these miracles, when in the midst of an ordinary day, suddenly, for just a few short seconds, everything seems right.
These are only a few examples, but I know there are more in your own lives.
This Christmas, instead of bemoaning the overdose of Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole, let’s listen instead for God’s hidden blessings.
About Brett Beeson
Brett Beeson, officially, is an ensign (officer) in the United States Navy, currently attached to DDG54 Curtis Wilbur out of Yokosuka, Japan. She graduated in 2014 from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Arabic and a minor in Spanish. Unofficially, she is the “evil twin” (one of Jory’s twin daughters), that annoying-friend-who-won’t-stop-calling, perpetual questioner, ice cream enthusiast, scribbler, roarer-of-laughter, and eternal student of God’s amazing mysteries. After extensive travel in Morocco and Oman, she has become passionate about furthering her/our understanding of the Middle East and Islam. To enjoy more of Brett’s writing, please visit Randomness with Brett.