Jolly old Saint Nicholas lean your ear this way; don’t you tell a single soul what I’m going to say. Christmas Eve is coming soon; now you dear old man, whisper what you’ll bring to me; tell me if you can…
One of my favorite songs from childhood, this peppy carol was first published as a poem by Emily Huntington Miller in 1865. The words were put to music and published by James R. Murray in 1881 – which is still the main version we use today.
Told from the perspective of the youngest among several siblings, this song reminds all of us of what it felt like in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas morning. We waited with bated breath to see what Santa would bring. Some worried about particular gifts, while others were just happy to be included.
At the heart of the lyrics is the true wish of the singer: to not get left out.
From a very young age, I learned that Christmas is about making sure everyone is included. When family friends had no where to go on Christmas Eve, they were always welcome at my family’s table. Taking part in sharing resources with those who needed them was a given in our household. And visiting our older relatives and friends who were unable to travel out was a regular practice.
There are countless ways that all of us can join Santa in making sure that no one gets left out.
So I encourage you, any time you see an opportunity to include others – be it through hospitality, gifts, smiles, caroling, visiting, or any other way you can imagine – take it. Inclusion is an essential part of the work of Christmas.
Traditional Hymns & Carols – Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
Lessons & Carols – I Wonder As I Wander