It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go. Take a look at the five and ten, glistening once again with candy canes and silver lanes that glow… It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – soon the bells will start and the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing right within your heart.
Written by Meredith Willson in 1951, this song was first recorded by the Fontane Sisters and Bing Crosby within a month of each other.
There are several popular legends about the sights mentioned within the song. It would appear that Willson was writing either in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, or Mason City, Iowa. The later of the two has the only remaining hotel standing that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
The song has been recorded numerous times by various artists over the years. It has been used in movies and commercials and every other media associated with the season.
In addition to describing many traditional elements of Christmas, there are two elements in particular that speak so well. First, is the strong sense of anticipation. Rather than saying Christmas is here, this song reminds us that the season takes time to build (rather like Advent in the Christian church).
More importantly, however, this song moves repeatedly from the common sights we experience together to how each of us embraces the holiday as individuals.
For some of us, the holidays season is a very difficult thing. Though it is full of magic and fun, there are losses that weigh us down and challenges that seem too difficult to surmount.
Nevertheless, I do believe that one of the best parts of Christmas is finding that carol that sings in our hearts. Even if it is not easy to hear, I always hope that everyone will find the Christmas spirit alive within them before the twelve days of Christmas have ended.
So listen carefully for your own song. And if you’re unsure where to start looking for the joy of the season, start by making someone else smile. Whether it’s through a gift, a treat, or even just a hug, you will find it very difficult to remain down when you take part in brightening someone’s day. Cheers!
Traditional Hymns & Carols – O Lord, How Shall I Meet You?
Lessons & Carols – Sing We Now of Christmas