The Bellyaching Attack on Christmas Carols

Don't eat a poinsettia.
If you do, you betta be ready
to get a bellyache.

Don't eat a poinsettia.
Or you might regret a bad day
when you get a tummy quake.

There is a considerable amount of creativity required for writing Christmas songs that have nothing to do with Christmas. It is one thing to have to replace the word 'Christmas' with 'Holiday', it's quite another to avoid all references to Christ. Traditionally the Catholic mind has been adept at teaching about Christmas all the while fooling secularist bullies who are staunchly opposed to such Christian beliefs. Holly and ivy are nice to look at I'm sure, but they take on an entirely majestic place in Christianity when the prickly leaves refer to the crown of thorns, and the red berries the drops of blood from Christ's head. As a Christmas song, it teaches that Christ was born not simply to tell us to be nice, but rather to save us with His own blood. Indeed, it is quite possible, if not down right effortless, to insert Christ into Christmas, even figuratively.

To remove Christ from Christmas, on the other hand, is a tiresome and nearly impossible task. Nothing proclaims the joy of the holidays, er, holidays as in not holy days, better than proclaiming that if you eat a poinsettia you might get a bellyache. Right? It surely must be perfectly safe for a grade three class to sing these meaningless lines at a seasonal concert. But it isn't safe. Curse the fact that poinsettias are made famous by the little Mexican Pepita who had no gift to give to baby Jesus... until the poinsettia's miraculously appeared. And further curse the idea that the actual plant is shaped like the Star, and that the red symbolizes the blood of Christ, the white ones His purity. Christianity spoils so many secular holiday songs.

Or consider Rudolph, our favourite, and only, red-nosed reindeer. What a jolly holiday song which includes both a good tune and non-offensive beliefs. It even impresses upon the listener that bullies never win. And they don't win. The secularist bullies must ultimately concede defeat, for Rudolph mentions the nasty "C" word. It does ring slightly better than, "then one foggy meaningless-seasonal night." And further, Santa, Mr. St. Nicholas himself, makes an appearance. Rudolph is history after all.
Or have you heard about the rock and roll snowman? Snow woh woh woah. He's always rocking in the snow. And everyone says, "go man go." You haven't heard about him? I guess because this song fails to even mention holidays or festivity. Seasonal songs need more than just snow and laughter to be considered seasonal. Undoubtedly, composing festive classics void of Christmas spirit is an arduous and thankless task. It is difficult to sound festive while not celebrating anything. Poor rock and roll snowman. He can just go man go.

Yet unoffensive mediocre ramblings of unexplained festivity continue to be chosen. They lack staying power. But they are effective nonetheless. The other day I was making ornaments with some grade five students. One student innocently asked for some help to glue two popsicle sticks together in the shape of a cross. "How come?" I inquired. "Didn't Jesus die on the cross on Christmas?" he responded with honest discombobulation. You see, unoffensive mediocre ramblings are successful if everyone buys into the secularist narrative. They successfully kill the reason for the season. They kill joy, mirth, and childhood delight in what is true and beautiful. How did this child go through five and a half years of school without knowing that December 25th is Christ's birthday? He doesn't have to be compelled to worship Christ at a public school, but to force upon him embarrassing ignorance? Christ was born at Christmas, and every child has a right to know this. It is the duty of Christmas songs to teach this truth.

To the local society of pastors who have reached out to me this week to thank me for secretly writing Christ into some Christmas songs for an elementary school concert, I maintain that it was easy to do. Like breathing or walking. The story of Christ is the story of humanity. It is written everywhere. So long as we do not take arduous pains to avoid the epic human saga. So long as we resist the secularist bully narrative. "And I went unto the angel, saying unto him that he should give me the little book. And he saith unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make they belly bitter, but in thy mouth it shall be sweet as honey" (Rev. 10:9). Indeed, though a poinsettia should make your belly bitter, it's meaning shall be sweet as honey to the mouth. For even stones will cry out in recognition of the Messiah.

And no bellyaching from the secularist bullies will overcome His power and glory.


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