The Milestones of Christmas Music
Christmas is considered a time for universal love, hope and happiness. In this mood of hope and great joy, the Christians take this season as a time to reflect on their Saviour’s birth, and the hope of salvation brought to all people. As Erma Bombeck chimed in her two coins on Christmas, she described it as a time to forget all of one’s adult routines and become a child for once. Although the Christmas time has been largely characterized by stressful last-minute shopping, the real spirit of Christmas ought to be one of reckless joy.
The wonderful Christmas music adds a lot of life to the bustling festive season. Between the ancient Saviour’s birth announcement Bible story and the current themes dominating Christmas music stands a huge difference. Right from Louis Armstrong Christmas music which defined the 20th century back to days when Santa Claus themes ventured into Christmas. Santa Claus features most of modern-day Christmas songs which describe him carrying a bag full of gift-toys while riding his reindeer sleigh.
The Santa Claus Christmas songs sprung from Netherlands and Belgium, with one Saint Nicolas. As a favourite of many, he had nicknames such as “Sinterklaas” or “De Goede Sint”, which means “The Friendly Saint”. In his memory, a celebration was held annually on the 6th of December through giving of gifts. At a time when Christianity was undergoing a revolution in the 16th-17th century, protestants changed the celebrations in honour of St.Nicolas to the honour of Jesus Christ, the born Saviour. Dates for this effectively changed to the 24th of December.
The origin of the renown “Santa Claus” title from “Sinterklaas” sprung from the North American British colonies. From the bishop Sinterklaas was birthed the plump Santa Claus in red and white apparel. A book was published in New York, 48 years later, with the title, “A New Year’s present, to the little ones from five to twelve”. Amidst its contents is a poem dubbed, “Old Santeclaus”, which describes an old man bringing gifts to children while riding on a reindeer sleigh.
St. Nick is also featured in another poem entitled, “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, which many have known as “The Night before Christmas”. The poem highlights the common traits known about Santa which include riding on a sleigh and landing on roofs. Santa then stealthily enters the house through the chimney with a bag full of gift toys. St. Nicolas is portrayed as a chubby, round, happy old man with a nice, round belly which shook in cue with his laughter.
The history of today’s Christmas songs is quite a journey worth recounting.