by Andrew Bryden

The Spirit of Christmas through Your Speaker Five Times 

I enjoyed reading Brenda Grembowski’s devotion last week about the Sounds of Christmas. I particularly appreciated the reference to the fact that music crosses all kinds of boundaries (language, ethnicity, culture, identity, etc.). It is truly universal. 

I could have taken a few directions with this post. On the one hand I could have delved deeply into the spiritual meaning of some of our most cherished Christmas hymns. I could have probed into the logistics of how you roast chestnuts by an open fire (has anyone ever done this by the way?). Or, I could have tried to answer the question, who is Parson Brown? Not going to do any of that. 

Instead, I am going to be self-indulgent. I simply want to share some of the Christmas music I grew up with – and one that I discovered more recently – before I landed on American shores (yes, most of them originate from somewhere in the British Isles – not all). Some of the songs you may know. Some you won’t. I ruthlessly impose this collection of songs to my family every Christmas and I have limited emotions on how they feel about it.  

In one song, Jona Lewie laments about not being home for Christmas during a cold winter during World War II. Chris de Burgh sings about how a Spaceman Came Travelling from light years away. And, Mike Oldfield (of Tubular Bells fame, for those in the know) shares an instrumental version of In Dulci Jubilo (“In Sweet Jubilation” for the non-Latin scholars out there). 

You may not get the chance, but if you do, take a listen. I have shared the YouTube versions of these songs to strike a fine balance between those of us who are used to cassette tapes and vinyl, and those who are more inclined to listen to a video clip on TikTok. Either way, I hope you enjoy these if you have some spare time. 

Mike Oldfield – In Dulci Jubilo 

Jona Lewie – Stop The Cavalry  

Chris de Burgh – A Spaceman Came Travelling 

Sia – Candy Cane Lane 

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale of New York (video may not be suitable for children!) 

Seasonal songs can be very personal. They can bring back childhood memories. They can evoke a sense of joy. They can help you reflect on what is important, and what is not. Most importantly, they can remind you of why we celebrate the season – the birth of Jesus. Whatever you listen to during the Christmas season, enjoy it while you can. It only lasts a short time. 

Merry Christmas. 


Looking for previous entries?

Find our ’22 Advent devotional archive online.

computer screen and phone screen with advent candle wreath and info about our 22 devotion