Last night was the annual tree lighting in Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. For many, that joyful occasion marks the official beginning of Christmas. Others, however, believe that the holidays start the day after Thanksgiving, on Black Friday. Even though I had both days circled in red and green on my calendar, the true Christmas season opened on Sunday: the first day of Advent.
Advent is one of the happiest times in the Catholic calendar. Churches throughout the archdiocese are holding Advent and Christmas concerts in celebration. As the person at Catholic New York who receives the listings for concerts, this is by far my favorite time of year to read the emails and letters people send in. Just think of the names and lyrics to a few of the carols that make it onto many of our local play lists: “Hallelujah!” “Gloria!” and “Joy to the World.”
My favorite Christmas song of all-time is “O Holy Night.” Every time I hear that tune, I’m almost overwhelmed with happiness and joy. Another favorite is “Silent Night,” even though I can’t listen to the song without a tear coming to my eyes.
For many people, music is a large part of the appeal of the Christmas season. It’s one of my favorite things, too. I’d love to hear what your favorite Christmas song is – religious or otherwise, please share!