Christmas Vision

Traditional Christmas carols have an enduring history. Some are more than a hundred years old. As for the remainder of Christmas music, the songs often don’t enjoy a consistent following or annual play. Achieving Favorite status is a less likely long shot.

MerryChristmasBannerWhen composer David Foster released his 1990 song Grown-Up Christmas List, the song wasn’t a hit … even though it featured Natalie Cole’s mellifluent vocal delivery. (If you click on the link, don’t be distracted by the subtitles.)

It wasn’t until a couple years later – when Amy Grant recorded a Christmas album including the Foster song – that the song earned greater attention. Grant reworked lyrics and added another verse. Her album producer promoted the song as a single to enhance sales of her full-length album and the song received considerable air play.

Maybe that’s the thing about recent Christmas tunes. We need to hear them from different artists before we decide whether or not we like them. With this particular song, I don’t recall when I first heard it, but I tend to think with its added air time (via Amy Grant’s version), I heard it often in the 90s. How do I know?

Because sometime during that period, I put together a sonnet that more or less summarized my response to the song. I do this occasionally when I think the lyricist has a view different from mine. In this particular case, the chorus (reproduced below) seemed oddly naive.

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end, oh
This is my grown-up Christmas list
This is my only life long wish
This is my grown-up Christmas list

Of course, it’s lovely to suppose that “wars would never start” and “everyone would have a friend,” but in my view, this doesn’t represent a grown-up Christmas list … it’s a fanciful pie-in-the-sky list such as a child might compile … not reality from the world in which we live.

My sonnet doesn’t applaud war or denigrate the wonder of friendships, but I think it presents a more grown-up assessment about our world.

Christmas List, sonnet, poem, poetry
Christmas List

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