I NEED A SILENT NIGHT
Are you listening to Christmas music yet? I love Christmas music, all of it, from the old traditional to the modern spins on the old, to the newest creations. I always pull out my Christmas music on Thanksgiving. Over the years, I’ve developed a kind of tradition of downloading one new album every year. This year it was the beloved Amy Grant’s first Christmas album in eight years.
Her Christmas music holds a very special place in almost everyone’s heart and Christmas traditions, having produced at least six Christmas albums over the years. It was her last Christmas album in 2008 that included a song I fell in love with. It wasn’t so Christmasy, or jolly, it was simple with an incredibly pleasant and soothing melody she penned herself. It’s called “I Need A Silent Night.” It touched me so deeply at a time when I wasn’t feeling too Christmasy and was under weighty pressures. It brought tears to my eyes and has been my favorite Christmas song ever since.
Here are some of the lyrics that need no explanation as to the message of the song.
I need a silent night
A holy night
To hear an angel voice
through the chaos and the noise
I need a midnight clear
a little peace right here
to end this crazy day with a silent night
The song always serenades me with the much needed reminders to not get caught up in all the chaos that ends up weighing us down with stress and dread. Isn’t it ironic how the happiest time of year ends up in some ways being the most dreaded? I’m pretty sure those lyrics resonate with you too. Almost no one gets through the holidays without some level of expectations, busyness, chaos. But I have to ask – what are your favorite things about the holidays, how much do you enjoy it?
The truth is, many of us feel a lot of anxiety. Partly because we’ve made the holidays into something that requires the decorating, the shopping, the cooking, the schedules and parties. So much work!
The decorations are magical, kind gestures seem to be more bountiful, the fun with family and friends becomes a precious memory. But amidst it all, the stress on most all of us has made it a time of year when depression and physical illness sky rockets. Studies have shown a spike in heart attacks during Christmas and New Year’s.
I need a Silent Night because it reminds me that there are no have-to’s about Christmas. I have permission to celebrate the way I want. I get to choose who I want to be with. I get to choose whether I want to go to the party or stay home, cozy by the fire with a glass of wine. I get to choose whether I do the thing that’s fun for me, or meet an imposed expectation. I get to choose what I spend my money on. I get to choose whether I’m the only one on the block that doesn’t have lights on my house. I love lights, but do I want to spend the money to have them put up and for the electricity, or do I want to spend that money on a special gift, or to treat myself to a dinner out with a friend, or maybe going to see The Nutcracker on stage.
I need a Silent Night to think about and experience the things I really love about Christmas. For me, candles are a huge part of the ambiance of the Christmas season. They are more important to me than having a tree. For me, putting up a Christmas tree is hard work. Yes, I love them, the twinkling lights always memorize me and make me smile, but my candles, a great Christmas movie or novel and a glass of wine are the Silent Night I need.
What are the things you love about Christmas? What’s your favorite tradition, your favorite thing to do or see? Maybe a Silent Night will help make sure those things don’t get pushed aside providing space for the things you really don’t want. It occurs to me that living in the stress and dread of the holiday season is kind of like opening a gift containing the last thing you would ever want. We’ve all gotten one of those, right?
My sweet friend, you can choose to gift yourself with the Silent Night you need, containing all the things you love about Christmas.
Peace to all, good will to man.