We’re exploring the Seven Joys of Christmas today based on the themes represented in the choral piece of the same name.
The Joy of Love
There is so much love associated with the Christmas season. Parents’ love for their children. Husbands and wives love for each other. The love of humankind for each other through acts of altruism. The love of God for all of us.
The Joy of Bells
Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells / All seem to say: throw cares away Christmas is here bringing good cheer / To young and old, meek and the boldWho doesn’t love the tolling of church bells in the evening? Marking the time. Playing hymns. Waking the neighbors. Bells are a potent symbol of the season. They announce the good news of Christmas with a joyous noise.
The Joy of Mary
Mary, mother of Jesus, is revered the world over as a the embodiment of purity and spiritual sanctity as she has been for centuries. She’s got seven joys of her own that tell the story of how she fits into the Christmas story. Here’s the carol that counts them out for you.
The Joy of Children
So many of the Christmas traditions we enjoy are geared for children. Candy, presents, Santa Claus, TV specials… The list goes on and on. And why not? What is more delightful than bringing a smile to the face of a child? They are so full of wonder and excitement. To them, everything is new. That is part of the magic of Christmas. The joy and wonder of children at all of the sights, sounds and tastes of the season.
The Joy of the New Year
Smack dab in the middle of the Twelve Days of Christmas, the new year begins. It’s a time of fresh beginnings and a chance to start new habits. The anticipation of Christmas throughout Advent is a great opportunity to think about what changes you want to make in the coming year. Is there something you can do better than you ever have before? Is it time to try something new? You have a couple of weeks to really ponder and plan out how you’re going to make next year your best year ever.
The Joy of Dance
Another joy of the Christmas season is that of dance. A splendid way to enjoy the season in dance is to see a performance of The Nutcracker Suite. If you can’t find a local performance, I’ve found a classic performance from the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.
The Joy of Song
Without a doubt, Christmas isn’t Christmas without the carols. There are centuries of music associated with the Christmas season that we still enjoy today. Modern renditions of carols from decades past, classical music from the great masters, timeless TV and movie tunes, church hymns and seasonal jingles are all part of the musical fabric of the Christmas season. From the joyous secular fun of Jingle Bells to the ecumenical expression of Handel’s Messiah, music is an integral part of the holiday. So, sing loud and proud throughout the month. Christmas is coming. Celebrate it with song!
National Cotton Candy Day
Cotton Candy or Candy Floss dates back as far as 1400, but the classic cotton candy machine that you see at carnivals was invented by William Morrison and John C. Wharton in 1897. The great thing about cotton candy is that, like popcorn, it is mostly air. The machine is a bowl with tiny holes where hot air melts the sugar and spins it into long airy threads. These threads are then wound around a paper cone to create an iconic and surprisingly low calorie treat. There are 110 calories in an ounce of cotton candy, but the great thing is that an ounce of cotton candy is half of a jumbo bag. That’s a lot of candy, but remember that the reason it melts in your mouth is because it’s mostly just air. That’s what I like to call magically delicious.