“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas;
Soon the bells will start,
And the thing that will make them ring
Is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart.” ~ Meredith Willson, “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas”
With carols in the air and knitted stockings labelled and hung up, the countdown to Christmas begins. Tuning to the “Nine Lessons and Carols” which tells of the birth of Christ and the carol stories; carols have been an early accepted part of Christmas celebrations.
Derived from Old French “carole”, the word Carol actually means dance or a song of praise and joy. Although carols used to be written and sung during yer round, only the tradition of singing them at Christmas has really survived. During the early years of Christianity, the songs of the pagan solstice celebrations for Christmas were reworded with songs from the Bible. As time progressed and vernacular language of carols along with plays had set, carols gained wide popularity during the Christmas season. These days carols have become an essential part and parcel of Christmastime and a major time for meeting, singing, rejoicing, praising and celebrating.
While we busy ourselves with the songs and plays, decorating homes and trees, shopping spree, sending the express parcels and orders and wrapping presents; bringing everyone including family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and communities together is what gives the season its’ real meaning. To quote Harlan Miller, “I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.”