Lately I've been thinking a lot about "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." You may have heard of it; it's a song, kinda popular this time of year…
Anyway, I love it because it's a classic that's brave enough to be sad. And by "sad" I mean in an honest, subtle way, not a "manipulate you with a children's chorus at the final key change type thing." Take a look for yourself:
Let your heart be light
Next year all our troubles will be out of sight.
This lyric, matched by that gorgeous melody, implies that the person being sung to isn't quite "there" yet. The ideal Christmas merriment hasn't taken hold because their troubles are just too big to ignore. And you know what? It happens! Especially when we all know what our "golden days of yore" are "supposed" to look like…
That nostalgic view of the past, however, presents a problem. If time marches on with us changing right alongside it, then sometimes the expectation to recreate our Christmas joys can seem like "a bough" much too high to reach.
What's beautiful about "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," though, is that despite all its troubles and "muddling through somehow," it still manages to deliver a graceful message of hope. And it does so through one word, it's final lyric: "now."
The wonder of the Holiday Season is we don't have to wait for things to get better to enjoy it. The hope and light it's founded on are strong enough to help us see beyond what our eyes can behold. Peace on earth may seem like a far away dream, but decorating that same earth with colored lights reminds us it's a glorious possibility.
So let those troubles come. Life can be life, and Christmas will still be Christmas. All it takes is faith, hope, and maybe a ladder to reach that highest bough. So, my wonderful friends, have yourself a merry little Christmas now.
With Love to You and Your Faithful Friends
(both dear and near if the fates allow)
Jeffrey Scott Parsons