Miniature Minstrels and the Message of Christmas

My first grade Christmas show

As the school year gets ready for Christmas break (yes, Christmas break and not holiday break or Winter solstice) children seem to sense with hopeful expectation the time off from school and the coming of the red-suited Mr. Claus.  School music teachers had worked hard for weeks to put together a choral event for the parents and a first grader at Pinelock Elementary. I remember attending in a red sweater vest knitted by my Aunt Frances and while I can’t remember I am sure it was  a mixture of religious and secular Christmas songs. Some children squirmed while others were so shy they mouthed the words hoping to blend in with the others. It made no difference to the parents because they loved watching their prodigy from the auditorium. 

Children no longer sing of Christ

I am sure over the decades since I sang in my red sweater vest the programs have shifted. From Christian to secular with the motivation of not offending anyone, secularists have changed the focus away from Christmas as the birth of Jesus. They would never think of tinkering with other religious holidays like Ramadan, Chanukah, Yom Kippur, or Rosh Hashanah but have targeted the celebration of the birth of Christ to ridicule and derision. In 1965, A Charlie Brown’s Christmas debuted on CBS and amidst the activities of the other children, Charlie Brown yells out, and “Can anyone tell me the real meaning of Christmas?”  Linus tells Charlie Brown from Scriptures:           

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their  flock by  night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about  them:   and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you  good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a   multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 (Luke  2:8-14 KJV)

One of the many secular songs which children sing is We Wish You A Merry Christmas.  This old song of Victorian England wishes good tidings from carolers who would receive a payment of figgy pudding  according to one source ( much like American children get a treat on Halloween.  The angels pronounced a good tiding of great joy to the shepherds as well as to all of mankind. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see moms and dads hear these miniature minstrels sing the Message of Christ?

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