I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rum-Pum-Pumming Along

Recently, I took a poll to find out when most people start listening to Christmas music. Did you know this is a hotly debated topic?

On one hand there are those who finally put their CDs away in February, but have their iPods all loaded up with Christmas music again on July 1. Then there are those who will not pull out the twinkle lights or listen to carols or even think about Christmas until the dishes are cleaned up from Thanksgiving dinner. I have a theory that these are the people you need to stay away from on Black Friday—it can’t be healthy to keep all that Christmas spirit pent up for so long!

There’s something special about Christmas music. The old songs bring warm fuzzy feelings and reminders of dashing through the snow as a child, then gathering around the tree with your grandparents and cousins. The new songs sometimes put a different light on the familiar message.

One Christmas song I never liked is Little Drummer Boy. I mean, all those rum-pum-pums might have been fun when you were in first grade, but after a while it’s just annoying. Am I alone here?

But then I heard this version by MercyMe. It didn’t seem that unusual at first. The rum-pum-pums were still there. They pepped it up a bit, of course. But then, the build-up: I played my best for Christ. I played my best for Christ…After that, it quiets down. No more rum-pum-pums. Just this:

Then He smiled at me.

And that’s the end. Because really, what more do you need after that?

What more do I need? Not the twenty or so books on my Christmas wish list. (Although it doesn’t hurt to hope, right?) Not new clothes or a new car or a new book contract. I need to strive to do my absolute best for Christ—for my audience of One—and let His smile be more than enough reward for any and all of my labors. Like Casting Crowns says in Lifesong, I want to sign His name--or give His smile of approval--at the end of each day, each year that I live. 

I’ve shared about this song before, although not on this blog. But with the rapid approach of 2012, I need the reminder.

So what about you? Is there a Christmas song that speaks to you every time you hear it? And, just because it’s fun to debate this…when do YOU start listening to Christmas music?

~ Jenness Walker


  1. "Then there are those who will not pull out the twinkle lights or listen to carols or even think about Christmas until the dishes are cleaned up from Thanksgiving dinner. I have a theory that these are the people you need to stay away from on Black Friday—it can’t be healthy to keep all that Christmas spirit pent up for so long!"

    Oh my goodness, I laughed so hard at that!! I'm cool with people listening to Christmas music whenever their hearts desire. Freedom, people! :) Myself, I'm generally ready to hit the Christmas tunes in mid-November...and am willing to risk the wrath of those who feel it should wait until after Thanksgiving. :)

  2. I'm one of those crazy "not until Thanksgiving is over" Christmas people. We put our tree up the weekend of Thanksgiving. This year, I did Black Friday shopping in my pajamas in my living room, so no worries about staying away from me. ;)

    The Little Drummer Boy is one of my favorite Christmas songs. I have sweet memories of watching the claymation story on TV as a child.

    I'm not sure when I start listening to Christmas carols. I guess when the spirit hits me.

    I love O Holy Night, What Child is This, The Little Drummer Boy, and my all-time favorite--Away in the Manger.

  3. I loved, loved this post! From the first LOL paragraph to the wham! you're so right--what more do I need than to do my best for Christ?-- near the end.

    As for your poll, I believe Christmas decorations and music should wait until after Thanksgiving. Yet, I can enjoy a good Christmas story in July.

    And don't worry about running into me on Black Friday, that's when I'm home decorating.

  4. My sister and I put her Christmas tree up Thanksgiving day...before the dishes are even set. Then...drum roll...we hit the stores at 6 a.m. Friday morning. It's a tradition, one our mother shared with us until a couple of years ago. I don't always buy anything on Black Friday...it's more about the energy and every one calling "Merry Christmas" that I love.

    My favorite Christmas song is Silent Night because it brings back memories of church pageants about Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus. That was before I found out I couldn't sing. lol
    Great post!

  5. Traditionally, we always decorated on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. Unless we decided to get out the stuff on Thanksgiving Day after dinner was over. Since getting married, however, travel plans have usually changed that for us. Especially this year, when I wanted my leftover decorations to use at the bookstore for Christmas. :-)

    As for Christmas music...as a Floridian, I feel like it's Christmas time as soon as the temperature takes that first dip. :-) So whenever that happens, I'm usually ready to start trying to hit the high notes on O Holy Night. (Only when I'm alone. In my car.)

  6. I start the Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving -- and stop it the day after Christmas.
    It's for the season ... although I have no problem with anyone listening to it any time of year.
    My all-time favorite song? Silent Night.
    But I also love Amy Grant's rendition of Angus Dei.

  7. I'm the same as TEE. I love to save the specialness of Christmas for the day after Thanksgiving to the day after Christmas (although sometimes it stretches to the New Year!)

    I don't know if I could pick a favorite song, they all bring back great memories!

  8. Loved this post. :) I'm with Lisa. I loved The Little Drummer Boy--song and movie--as a girl. I also love the rendition you mentioned, Jenness.

    I think I begin getting excited for Christmas in October, and the mnovies and music sometimes come out as early as mid-October. Usually, though, it begins in November. I will not put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving is over. Probably all the commercialism that pushes the significance of that holiday to a back burner.

    My hubby and I make Black Friday a date day, do our shopping and people watch, eat lunch and get a cup of java sometime (or twice) during the day.

    I resonate with the concept "Audience of One." My hope is to do all that I do for Him. Love that song too (though it's not a Christmas one. :))

  9. Lovely, Jenness. I haven't heard that rendition of Little Drummer Boy yet--a major family favorite when my sons were young--but you make me want to. This may not be totally Christmas but one forever great memory is driving from the Dead Sea to Jerusalem with our Chris. van driver turning on The Holy City at full blast--powerful!