It is nothing short of extraordinary, the sense of elation and wellbeing that a song can instil, somewhere deep within. Emotions soar. Whatever you are doing, decorating your Christmas tree, baking your gingerbread, or just enjoying the pleasant weather, Christmas carols acts as the perfect backdrop.
One reason why they bring such a sense of consolation and connection is the element of familiarity. Even in India, for those of us who have attended Catholic schools, we have sung them since our formative years in kindergarten. We pride ourselves on knowing the words. We feel the irresistible need to join in.
As the word carol – a joyful tune – suggests, they are meant to bring people together and connect people through shared experiences and feelings. Probably the most familiar, (and my personal favourite) is Away in a Manger. The Christmas carol so beautifully captures the emotional connection to the sacred story of the birth of Christ, to the everyday world in which we live, where it is sung in fond remembrance and celebration.
Caroling has always brought groups of ordinary people together, to revel in each other’s company, more than just celebrate the religious significance of Christmas. For much of history, this is how people participated and celebrated the festival.
Here Are Some Ways Christmas Carols Have An Impact On Our Lives Even Today
Through the Covid 19 pandemic, we were separated from our loved ones. Gone were the festive family dinners and celebrations. Stories of Christmas carols in each household were rampant, lending an emotion of being a part of something greater than just you, or your family. No matter which part of the world you are in for Christmas, it brings a sense of belonging and bonding.
It is this sense of bonding and sharing, across continents that makes the experience of caroling so fulfilling. Music tends to have a direct impact on our emotions, bypassing any rationality and logic. There seems to be a stronger than usual bond between those enjoying the caroling experience, even over unimaginable distances.
Christmas tends to be a family affair. Up and down generations, children and grandchildren, cousins and family friends, traditionally assemble around the Christmas tree every year to unbox presents. But this festive dream has slowly fizzled over the last few years. In fact, even today families tend to be more separated during the festive season.
These are the new diasporas – families that are scattered by more than just time zones. Commitments and circumstances on grounds of time and increasing travel expenses have made it hard to make the journey home. Gone are the days of communal meals and opening of presents around the Christmas tree. Instead, families are leaning towards a Skype or Face-Time chat to make the most of uniting the family for the holidays.
In this scenario it becomes all the more important to cling to some essence of tradition and emotion. Binding memory, community and tradition in one soaring emotional experience, these carols, or “joyful songs” are the best means we have of reconnecting with our family and home. A way of re-evaluating at the end of your 2022.
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