With the news of Fidel Castro's death last week, I thought about all my Cuban friends, many of whom are still in Cuba. I particularly thought of a Cuban friend who grew up in Cuba with no Christmas. I remember her once telling me that she had never seen or heard of a Christmas tree before she left Cuba.
But had Christ never been born, the implications would be much worse than not having Christmas trees. Just think of the music we’d be missing!
Other than all the obvious religious Christmas songs that would not exist: O Come Emmanuel; Coventry Carol; Oh Little Town of Bethlehem; What Child is This?; Silent Night; Away In A Manger; The First Noel; It Came Upon a Midnight Clear; O Holy Night; Twelve Days Of Christmas; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; Angels We Have Heard on High; Joy to the World; Here We Come A-Wassailing; Mary, Did You Know?; the Carol of the Bells or We Three Kings.
We also would not have these timeless Christmas recordings:
The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole; Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy by Bing Crosby and David Bowie; White Christmas by Bing Crosby; A Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives; My Little Drum by Vince Guaraldi (from A Charlie Brown Christmas); Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town by Bruce Springsteen; Christmas Shoes by Newsong; Last Christmas by Wham! (as much as you may hate that song); Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley; Winter Wonderland by the Eurythmics; Happy X mas (War Is Over) by John Lennon; Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Johnny Mathis or Andy Williams; Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt; Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms; Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney; Home For The Holidays by Perry Como; Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by U2; Baby It's Cold Outside by Ray Charles and Betty Carter; Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by the Pretenders; Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano; Merry Christmas Baby by Bruce Springsteen; Silver Bells by Johnny Mathis; Angels Among Us by Alabama; Driving Home for Christmas by Chris Rea; Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee; Santa Baby by Macy Gray; Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song) by Amy Grant; Joseph’s Song by Michael Card; Do They Know It's Christmas Time by Band Aid; Little Saint Nick by the Beach Boys; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Mannheim Steamroller; Rockin Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee; Nuttin' For Christmas by Barry Gordon; You're a Mean One Mr Grinch from How the Grinch Stole Christmas soundtrack; Grandma Got Runover By A Reindeer by Elmo and Patsy; Mary's Boy Child by Boney M; Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) by Trans Siberian Orchestra; Please Come Home For Christmas by the Eagles; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by the Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan; Mele Kalikimaka by Bing Crosby; Oh Come All ye Faithful by Luthor Vandross; I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas by Gayla Peevey; Christmas Time Is Here by the Peanuts Cast/Vince Guaraldi; It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – by Amy Grant; The Chipmunk Song by the Chipmunks; All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth by Spike Jones; I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus by John Mellencamp or Aselin Debison’s The Gift (the Very First Nightingale’s Song)... phew!
However, The Chanukah Song by Adam Sandler would still exist.
Think of it: Had Jesus not been born there wouldn't be any Christmas movies either. There wouldn’t be movies called A Christmas Carol, A Christmas Story, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer nor the classics It's a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street.
Also: All I Want for Christmas (1991); An American Christmas Carol (TV) (1979); Babes in Toyland (1934); Bad Santa (2003); Bells of St. Mary's, The (1945); Best Christmas Pageant Ever (1983) (TV); Bishop's Wife, The (1947); Black Christmas (1975); Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988) (TV); A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965); Christmas Eve (1947); Christmas Gift, The (1986) (TV); Christmas in Connecticut (1945); Christmas in July (1940); Christmas Mountain (1980); Christmas Romance, A (1994) (TV); Christmas Stallion, The (1992) (TV); Christmas Star, The (1986) (TV) ; Christmas That Almost Wasn't, The (1966) ;Christmas to Remember, A (1978) (TV); The Christmas Toy (1990) (TV) ; The Christmas Tree (1969); Christmas Vacation '91 (1992) ; The Christmas Visitor (1987) (TV); The Christmas Wife (1988) (TV); A Christmas Without Snow (1980) (TV); Christmas With the Kranks (2004); Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966); Elf (2003); Ernest Saves Christmas (1988); Frosty the Snowman (1969) (TV); The Fourth Wise Man (1985) (TV); The Gift of Love: A Christmas Story (1983) (TV); Guess Who's Coming for Christmas? (1990) (TV); A Hobo's Christmas (1987) (TV); Holiday Affair (1949); Holiday Inn (1942); The Holly and the Ivy (1952); Home Alone (1990); Home for the Holidays (1972) (TV); The Homecoming - A Christmas Story (1971) (TV); The House Without a Christmas (1972) (TV); I'll Be Home for Christmas (1988) (TV); It Came Upon the Midnight Clear (1984) (TV); It Happened One Christmas (1977) (TV); Jingle All the Way (1996); The Kid Who Loved Christmas (1990) (TV); The Lemon Drop Kid (1934) ; Love Actually (2003); The Little Drummer Boy (1968) (TV); The Man in the Santa Claus Suit (1978) (TV); The Man Who Came to Dinner (1941); Meet Me in St. Louis (1944); Mickey's Christmas Carol (1984); A Midnight Clear, (1991); Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (1962); Muppet Christmas Carol, The (1992); National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989); The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey Nestor (1977) (TV); The Night Before Christmas (1906 and 1993) The Nutcracker (1982 and 1993); One Christmas (1994) (TV); One Magic Christmas (1985); Pinocchio's Christmas (1980) (TV); Pluto's Christmas Tree (1952); The Polar Express (2004); Prancer (1989); Prancer Returns (1998); Santa Claus (1959); Santa Claus, The Movie (1985); Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (1970) (TV); Scrooge (1935); Scrooge (1951 and 1970); Scrooged (1988); Silent Night, Bloody Night (1973); Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984); Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation (1990); Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker (1992); Silent Night, Deadly Night III - Better Watch Out! (1989); Silent Night, Deadly Night Part II (1987); Silent Night, Lonely Night (1969) (TV); Smoky Mountain Christmas, A (1986) (TV); 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (1914); U.F.O. Blue Christmas (1979); A Very Brady Christmas (1988) (TV); White Christmas (1954); The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974) (TV); Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (1991) (TV). Did I miss any?
Not to mention all those Osmond Family and Rita McNeil Christmas specials! Truly, our world would be quite different if there was no Christmas.
Next week I’ll continue to look at what our cultural landscape would look like had Jesus never been born. In the meantime, write to me
and tell me which Christmas songs or movies you'd miss the most.
Every week, Deacon Pedro takes a particular topic apart, not so much to explore or explain the subject to its fullness, but rather to provide insights that will deepen our understanding of the subject. And don’t worry, at the end of the day he always puts the pieces back together. There are no limits to deaconstructing: Write to him and ask any questions about the faith or Church teaching: firstname.lastname@example.org