A discussion of Christmas Carols isn’t complete unless you get into the debate over traditional vs. contemporary style. On the one hand you have your traditionalists who favor using historic carols in historic style in an effort to keep things as they were. On the other hand you have contemporary fans who wish to maintain the content, but update the instrumentation with modern style. Groups like Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Mannheim Steamroller force people to discuss as they push the boundaries of style during the Christmas Holidays.
Music is not the only thing that forces such conversations about staying the same vs. changing. People debate real or fake Christmas trees. Families talk over what dishes are served at which meals over the Christmas Holiday. (You’ve got to have some pickled herring in the Pekari house, but my wife’s family must have Lutefisk! Uh Oh, I smell a battle on the horizon!) I’ve heard of families becoming divided over when to open the presents. Chants of “we’ve always done it THIS way” are rebuffed by cries of “why can’t we try something new for a change?”
If you’ve been involved in any of these “change” debates you know how vicious they can become with people on all sides trying to take the high road in honor of baby Jesus. Theological arguments even get tossed in: Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever so our Christmas experience should reflect that by keeping consistent. But, the incarnation substantiates the need for Jesus to be reflected in human cultures thereby making necessary modern style encapsulating historic content.
You’ll notice in these debates that the only mention of Jesus is to defend one’s position. This is not the meaning of Christmas. Jesus didn’t come into the world to allow us to be right. Don’t let your celebration of Jesus be derailed by debate over superficial arguments. The Devil hopes your Christmas is filled with debate and division. Don’t let it happen.
Unite around Jesus. Talk about Him. Worship Him. Celebrate Him. Find joy in Him!