Recovery in the Media: #27. Christmas Songs

Josh Groban Believe

Christmas songs can be wonderful but also can bring up difficult feelings.

27. Selected Christmas Songs

With Christmas coming up, holiday songs can be heard on the radio, in stores, and just about anywhere you go.  These songs leave me filled with joy and warmth.  However, many of these songs focus on simply happiness that can fade with time.  So, I decided to find some festive songs that address recovery and hope without being depressing or too sappy.  Hopeful you will enjoy this Christmas edition of Media Monday.

Selected Songs:

    • “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane
    • “I Pray on Christmas” by Harry Connick Jr.
    • “Grown-Up Christmas List” by David Foster and Linda Thompson Jenner
    • “Night of Silence” by Daniel Cantor
    • “Believe” by Josh Groban

Recovery Pluses: “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” first gained fame when Judy Garland sung it in Take Me to St. Louis.  Although it might seem the stereotypical happy holiday song, the message of sending love to others lifts my spirit.  Also, the original version is filled with a bittersweet feeling.  Rather than a joyful person singing of a wonderful year, a sister comforts her younger sibling with this optimistic song in a difficult time.  Garland’s voice is beautiful as is the message of this carol.

Instead of focusing on oneself, “I Pray on Christmas” thinks about those who are suffering.  Harry Connick Jr. asks God to help people realize the sorrow and need in the world.  Also, guidance and wisdom are wanted by the singer.  For those who have a strong faith or simply desire good for all people, this song’s message inspires seeking greater understanding and healing on earth.

In a similar way, “Grown-Up Christmas List” tells the story of an adult who desires peace, love, friendship, and much more.  Speaking to a Santa Claus in a store, the singer lists Christmas desires.  I love listening to this song, especially the Amy Grant and Michael Buble versions.  When you feel bogged down by commercialism, greed, or lack of joy, try listening to the words of this carol.  Even if you are in a good mood, “Grown-Up Christmas List” is a good reminder of how to create a better world.

Not as well known as “Silent Night,” the carol “Night of Silence” explores the darkness and fear before Christmas.  Entering into this season with that attitude helps me to appreciate the day more deeply.  In the winter, sunlight and hope seem frozen forever.  However, this song reminds listeners that hope and light remain.  As far as traditional Christian Christmas carols, this one is certainly my favorite.  I recommend that you listen to it, maybe even with “Silent Night” playing at the same time.

Finally, Josh Groban sings the beautiful song “Believe” in The Polar Express.  This song speaks of not abandoning your beliefs, dreams, and hopes.  You can do so much to change this world if you are willing to take a chance and believe.  Not only is this song magically sounding, it also sends a lovely message.  Christmas can be a time of hopes despite difficulties that may surround it for you.

Cautions: All of these songs are acceptable for the entire family.  There are some Christmas carols that are not, but those would be found on a different list.

Christmas music usually garners love or hate.  Few people seem indifferent about carols.  While many people hum these songs all year, others cringe at the thought of these cheery tunes.  Although I enjoy Christmas songs, I also struggle during this holiday.  Thus, my sympathy and understanding goes out to all who dislike this genre of music.  Hopefully this list will encourage and cheer up those who love and hate this time of year.

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