Secular Carols 1: 'Merry Christmas Everyone'

For the last couple of Decembers. I’ve written about Christmas carols, both the good and the bad. This year, I thought I’d consider some of the secular Christmas songs, so beloved by office party DJs and supermarket managers, who endlessly pipe them into their stores from November to January. By definition, these songs don’t focus on the Lord Jesus and His incarnation, but they offer a peek into our godless culture’s priorities and assumptions.

Sung by Welshman Michael Barratt, aka Shakin’ Stevens, Merry Christmas, Everyone is arguably the best known song of the mid-1980s. The video shows a relatively youthful Barratt wearing an oversized Christmas jumper, occasionally alighting from a Swedish Santa’s sleigh in order to throw snowballs at small children. The song is rather catchy; it’s all about a Christmas party, with children playing and girls being kissed under mistletoe. Outside, the snow falls; inside the fun continues apace:

Room is swaying, records playing,

All the old songs we love to hear.

All I wish that everyday was Christmas,

What a nice way to spend the year (woo, yeah).

In one obvious sense, it’s a very hollow song, truthfully reflecting the vacuum of a Christless Christmas. One intriguing line escapes this yuletide hedonism:

Love and understanding:

Merry Christmas everyone.

Christ came that humans need not live in the squalor of hatred and ignorance any longer. Love Divine became incarnate; the light of the world shone in our darkness. Our focussing on kissing under mistletoe, wintry scenes, excessive food and booze only dims our understanding further. The self-serving greed and materialism which characterises the festival is no product of love. Excessive consumption and bloated bellies are a poignant contrast to those with empty stomachs. Without Christ, there’s little love and no understanding.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins

1 John 4:9-10

 Photo: Youtube