10 Days Until Christmas
“But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many.” (Romans 5:15)
JOLLY OLD SAINT NICHOLAS
Jolly Old Saint Nicholas,
Lean your ear this way;
Don’t you tell a single soul
What I’m going to say,
Christmas Eve is coming soon;
Now my dear old man,
Whisper what you’ll bring to me;
Tell me if you can.
When the clock is striking twelve,
When I’m fast asleep,
Down the chimney broad and black
With your pack you’ll creep;
All the stockings you will find
Hanging in a row;
Mine will be the shortest one;
You’ll be sure to know.
Johnny wants a pair of skates;
Susy wants a sled;
Nellie wants a story book,
one she hasn’t read
As for me, I hardly know
so I’ll go to rest;
Choose for me, dear Santa Claus,
What you think is best.
ABOUT THE CAROL
1. “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas” is about Santa Claus, the character who was inspired by the real St. Nicholas who came to be known for the miracles that God performed through him.
2. Many historians believe that American composer, pastor, and school principal Benjamin Hanby wrote “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas” because it was published in the mid-1800s around the same time as Hanby’s Christmas song “Up on the Housetop” and has similar musical qualities.
3. The music that forms the basic notes of “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas” is “Canon in D Major” by Johann Pachelbel.
4. Sometimes people mistakenly credit Wilf Carter, a singer who was known professionally as Montana Slim, with the song because he was the first to record it (with lyrics slightly different from the more familiar version).
5. Saint Nicholas, or Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century saint and Greek Bishop of Myra (part of modern-day Turkey) in Lycia. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker.
6. Nicholas had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus.
Christmas too often is more focused on Santa Claus than on Christ. May we remember that the roots of St. Nicholas sink deep in the soil of the Nativity.