The Lyrics to a Plan B Christmas

It was a Plan B Christmas moment. And an emotional one. Our church staff and spouses gathered around the piano singing Christmas carols.


I was transported back to my childhood when every year we had the tradition of gathering at my aunt and uncle’s house with relatives young and old. After dinner at the looooong table stretched with many leaves and augmented with card tables attached, we’d move to the piano.


Today, at least four people are missing from this picture including my brother. Maybe your pictures are missing some people this year too. It’s a Plan B Christmas.

Now here’s the thing. I come from a musical family. We had cousins and uncles playing french horn, trumpet, trombone. My grandfather played the violin. Aunts and cousins played the piano. I think for a few years there was a flute thrown in. Maybe an oboe.

I had nothing to add but my barely adequate voice added to those who were able to actually, you know… harmonize. (That’s me in the middle back in holiday pigtails 🙂 )

But I didn’t need a song sheet. I know virtually every word of every carol in the book. (Yes, even Angels From the Realms of Glory). The Christmas lyrics are part of my faith vocabulary, because my family sang them over me, and into me, and with me.


When we’re tempted to get caught up in our Plan B story, Christmas lyrics remind us of THE Story – the bigger one we’re a part of.

It’s an epic adventure of things being set right in which we are along for the ride of a lifetime.


So, when you sing Christmas words this Advent:

  • Marvel that you are part of God’s Story of rescue, redemption, and reconciliation.
  • Know that you are joined by the choirs of heaven and the great cloud of witnesses. My sister-in-law Susan says it feels like David is standing with her when she sings in church. Makes sense. Praise is the language of heaven, right?
  • Sing the words as an affirmation of the hope when you may not feel it, or just let others sing the words over you and carry hope when you can’t.

What’s a favorite line of a Christmas carol you love? Share in the comments? If you’re sharing for the first or second time don’t worry if it doesn’t show up immediately. Until you’ve shared the 3rd time I need to approve your comment before it appears (just to protect against spam). 

Sing choirs of angels, sing in exultation, sing all ye citizens of heaven above; Glory to God, all glory in the highest; O come let us adore Him…Christ the Lord.




  1. This is such a beautiful idea. Our Christmas seasons (and life in general) don’t always turn out how we’d hope or dream but we can still cling to God and His hope in the midst of that. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas (and get lots of time for carols!). 🙂

  2. Hi Laura,
    I love your holiday photo – -it reminds me of how I looked back then too, with those yarn ribbons around my pony tails! 🙂 What a beautiful sentiment you express that we are part of an epic adventure and those songs are our stories — just lovely! Enjoyed my visit here today!

  3. Not possible to have a “favorite” Christmas carol, but one of the phrases that always reverberates with me:
    Then pealed the bells more loud and deep
    God is not dead, nor does He sleep.
    The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
    With peace on earth, good will to men!

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