An unpopular opinion, I know, but hear me out.
Songs like ‘Frosty the Snowman’, ‘I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm’, ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow’, ‘Sleigh Ride’, and ‘Winter Wonderland’, are entirely secular, and have nothing to do with Christmas, per se; in fact, ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Sleigh Ride’ have also had Thanksgiving assocations. (Interestingly, all of these other than ‘Frosty’ and ‘Jingle Bells’ were written by members of The Tribe.)
Basically, they celebrate winter.
I think that’s great; we who live in countries with winter should enjoy this season as much as we can (even as we’re inclined to complain about it); might as well.
But I think it’s unfortunate that these secular celebrations-of-winter songs have ended up mixed in with our Christmas celebrations, amidst Christmas carols and secular songs about Christmas which aren’t specifically carols or hymns but merely about the season (from ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’, ‘Carol of the Bells’, to ‘The Christmas Song’).
It detracts from the focus on the Incarnation of our Lord and Saviour, just as much as Santa does.
Or maybe that’s precisely the point! Notice how they’re only trotted out for the radio, shopping malls, stores, restaurants / bars, etc. just for the season leading up to Christmas, then as soon as Christmas is over, you no longer hear them anywhere in public – despite the fact that they celebrate winter and don’t mention Christmas.
But why should we let them do that?
Why not do the exact reverse; ignore the winter songs till AFTER Christmas is over, then, in the post-Christmas part of winter, the part where some, perhaps even many, suffer the ‘post-Christmas blues’, celebrate winter?
(And for our Oz and Kiwi friends, instead of hearing seasonally-inappropriate songs this time of year, given that it’s summer down under, they could instead celebrate their winter six months from now with such songs! (If they don’t already; that’s a good question for our Aussie and Kiwi friends: do your malls, radio stations, etc. subject you to winter songs during Christmas, despite the absurdity of it? I know there are some different secular Christmas seasonal songs down there; just not sure if y’all still also have to put up with our northern hemisphere winter-celebrating ones during the Christmas season, too.))
So, here’s to the rest of winter! Enjoy your sleigh or skidoo rides, or snowboarding, skiing, tobogganing, ice-fishing, winter hikes, or for that matter hot beverages beside a roaring fire indoors; all good. 🙂
And why not keep on enjoying these secular songs that celebrate winter, too?