Christmas has always been a difficult one for me to get into.  It’ s like trying to swat and shoo away the mosquitoes of commercialism, materialism, and secularism while trying to enjoy the warmth of the Christmas fire.   Immersing my mind with music that I need usually helps turn my mood and my heart as I try to sing along…for what I sing, I slowly become.  So here are a few songs that have helped move my mind and heart.  I love them for the lyrics and the messages they give.

Christmas Shoes

We have an older couple as our neighbors when we first moved into our home.  We befriended them, and they became close to us.  Eventually, the wife became diagnosed with terminal cancer, and I was just surprised at how quickly the chemotherapy and cancer took her.  She died just before Christmas, leaving her husband in his old age.   Before her funeral, I discovered that this song was her favorite song, and I sang it in the car on the way home from work.  I couldn’t help the poignant similarities, and the tears flowed freely.  They still do.  Sometimes, some songs make hearts tender.

God Bless Your Way

I discovered this song many years ago.  Although the storyline itself isn’t necessarily true, its message intrigued me.  It came at a time when the busyness and commercialism of Christmastime became tiresome to me while I struggled with knowing what to give.  The story presented to me the ways we offer what we think are gifts…when, oftentimes, they’re just excuses for things we could have really given.  It made me really think about what I offer to someone else, and if I really give just to have something to give…or if I give because I love that person.   Do I offer presents…or do I offer all that I have or all that I am?

Chain of Love

Although not necessarily a Christmas song, I love the story and message of giving that it has.  The idea of service and serving with no expectation of anything in return has become lost to a lot of us.  We often expect something in return for our services…and our service.  Unfortunately, the present-giving mentality of Christmas has become the same way too…where you’re compelled to give a present because you are given presents.  Ever since I heard that song, I challenged myself to do the same…to give and serve without expecting anything in return…even recognition.  I wanted to just do it because I wanted to, because it was what was needed at the time.  I have done so…many times…as a computer techie of sorts…and it’s always amazing to see how that which you give out, expecting nothing in return, comes back to you ten-fold.   While I strive to give something meaningful whenever I give or help someone out, I don’t expect anything anymore.   I know it’ll come back some other way, when I need it.

Stories and Songs

Stories told through music have a compelling way of moving hearts and minds.  These are just a few that have helped soften my heart and anchor me during a time when the whirlwind of activities and expectations seem to blow just a tad harder than usual.  May you find the stories that anchor you and guide you as you navigate the paths of life.   I’m glad our paths crossed today.

“Good luck on your journey, and God bless your way.”