Everyone has their favorite Christmas songs (except for a few Scrooges here and there). “White Christmas” comes to mind as well as various carols such as “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” These all exude the meaning and/or emotions of Christmas. Whatever your special yuletide tune happens to be, I’m sure it’s just not Christmas until you hear it at least once.
I’m a skosh weird, as you may know. So, the song I need to hear to make my spirit bright is “Blue Christmas.” It can’t be just any rendition of Blue Christmas, mind you. With all deference to Elvis, it has to be the Porky Pig version for me. This just cracks me up every time I hear it. It’s not merely the way the Porkster sings it with his patented stutter; it’s also the classy, kazoo lead in the middle. But the thing that really tops it off is the guy in the back of the audience losing it every time Porky messes up a line. He just makes my day. His laughter is infectious.
“A song can make or break a season.”
I hadn’t heard it this year, so I pulled it up on YouTube as I began to write this blog. It worked its charm on me once again. The Pork-man has brightened my Christmas season one more time.
It’s funny how certain things will trigger the best responses from within us (or the worst). A song can make or break a season; a smile can make or break a date; a laugh can make or break an outing.
Still, it’s a little sad that much of what spurs us on in the Christmas season are things that don’t remind us of the New Born Savior and King (like my favorite Christmas song). In fact, we seem to be surrounded (even surround ourselves) with things that steer our attention away from “the reason for the season.”
“It doesn’t take much…”
When my kids were growing up, we tried to build traditions that pointed to Jesus and reminded us of why we celebrated his birth. Songs, gifts, family gatherings; all things that can (and probably should) be used to highlight the Incarnation were employed in our efforts. It really doesn’t take much to talk about Jesus, record programs that emphasize the real meaning of the season, and rent movies that fortify a Christian understanding of giving.
Engaging your family in activities that serve others rather than ourselves, buying and sharing gifts for the less fortunate, and/or sharing your home with someone who will be alone are all ways to reach out rather than close ranks. These things often become more important over the years than opening the packages under the tree on Christmas morning.
And just in case you’re wondering, Porky is not the only Warner Brother star who brightens my day. I also love the Elmer Fudd rendition of “Kill the Rabbit.” (Although, I think that one is actually by Metallica.) It doesn’t exactly fit into the spirit of Christmas, however. We can save that for hunting season.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently the pastor of Smith Chapel, in Great Falls, VA.]