‘Tis the season! Â I’ve got the Nativity Set (or “activity set,” as Matthew calls it) arranged on top of the TV armoire; there’s a felt-lined basket sitting on the table, just waiting to be stocked with Christmas cards; my eclectic collection of snowmen and Santa Clauses are perched on the mantel. Â And, of course, being me, I’ve got the CD player loaded up with Christmas music. Â (Happy sigh.)
I know that (liturgically speaking) we are really in the Advent season, not yet the Christmas season. Â I also know that some people deliberately avoid listening to Christmas carols until December 25th. Â To be honest, I’ve never found that necessary. Â Hey, the season is SO short; I’m going to savor it unabashedly, from now until January 6th. Â And nothing makes me reflect on the Incarnation more than listening to a really lovely religious carol.
Here’s one of my current faves. Â It’s fromÂ Winter Magic by Hayley Westenra (a terrific album with an unsual mix of songs). Â Â The carol is “The Little Road to Bethlehem,” and it is absolutely beautiful … the melody, the gorgeous singing, the lyrics, everything. Â I actually got teary-eyed the first time I heard it, because it made me think of how I used to rock my own tiny boys. Â Â It also has the added bonus of being a song about Mary, which is always a plus in my book.
“The Little Road to Bethlehem” — Lyrics by Margaret Rose; music by Michael Head