Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Mary, baby Jesus and the song that the world rarely sings at Christmas

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?

I first heard this song a few years ago when my classmates and I had to put on a production for a drama course we were doing. We decided to do a modern twist on the story of Jesus's birth. We zoomed in on Mary, more so than Jesus being a Saviour. The song, Mary did you know was played towards the end of the production when Mary and Joseph went looking for Jesus when he stayed back at the temple doing his father's business. We got a B. We were quite thrilled, it was so much work and we were glad it was over.

Did you know
that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man?

The song came to me today because for the second time in two days  I've been called a scrooge! Not because I don't get the meaning and significance of why as Christians we celebrate Christmas, but because for me Christmas means work! Too much work and if grades are being handed out for Christmas cheer this year - I'll take a C! If you know me, you will know, if I got a C....well I'd cry!

Mary, did you know
that your baby boy will calm the storm with His hand?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God?

In Jamaica, Christmas is steeped in traditions. Enough, that I will make a list.

  • There is major home renovations which includes but not limited to: painting your walls, grills, verandah, bedroom, remodelling your kitchen, bathroom.....
  • You shop for gifts, toys and the Christmas tree but only at the very last minute
  • You bake- black cake with fruits that have been soaking from the previous year
  • You cook up a storm complete with ham, different meats, and sides
  • You make sorrel
  • You invite family over
  • You go to kids school events
  • You attend church services

I'm sure I left some things out but that list is all that I have to look forward to in the Christmas season. I usually do all of the above, well except the painting bit. This normally leaves me totally exhausted just thinking about all I have to do and literally exhausted when I get through doing them.

This year - I'm just plain ole tired, and I haven't even started any of the list! And I don't even feel like I will! There is no tree, no decorations, no presents bought, no fruits soaking in wine and the ham is still sitting frozen in the freezer. It's going to be a long Christmas Eve!

For as traditions go - I know I will force myself to complete them all by Thursday! In Jamaica - Christmas dinner, Christmas Day is our Thanksgiving. The show must go on!

And everybody says - do it for the children at least! Afterall, Christmas is for the children! They get the presents, the good cheer and tidings, they get the love and extra pocket money! Do it for them!

And then guilt seeps in and I am reminded of the song - Mary did you know?

 It makes me thoughtful. I think about the messages I am passing on by being the scrooge, of not providing the best Christmas memories, I know too that every mundane day, is a still a day that makes a lifetime.

Mary did you know.. Mary did you know
The blind will see.
The deaf will hear.
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap.
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb.

 But, I also think on the flip side, what I am also teaching about doing things merely out of tradition, and am I really doing what is important and right. The season afterall isn't about cake, sorrel, ham and presents - isn't it about the birth of our Saviour?

As a Christian family, I know my children know this, they hear it every year at church but do the traditions compliment or contradict that teaching. I said to my friend this week - I'm not buying any gifts this year- I'm giving every body Frankincense! She laughed out loud! Truth be told, I didn't even know what it is or how I would find it but if it's good enough for surely good enough for my bunch!..hahaha!

I have become weary of the traditions of men! Jaded even...Christmas celebrations is creeping up the list!

But that pesky song! Who am I raising? What is my responsibility to them at this time of the year? What do I teach them in my actions and not necessarily my words? Do I carry out traditions and a culture to make them happy for that 'one day' we celebrate as Jesus's birth or do I just stress the fact that Emmanuel is with us?

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?

Truth be told - I'll probably do both!
Christmas, is a happy time, a time when people see strangers. A time when people actually talk instead of text, a time when family visits from near and far, a time when we eat way too much cake and a time when we open laughter, smiles and happiness wrapped up in a cute red bow, all because Emmanuel is with us!

And what of the next few days - when the nostalgia starts to fade- what do you teach then? What do you do when the traditions of men take a hiatus until Easter when you are supposed to be sad for Jesus's death? It seems like it is a roller- coaster ride that has out- lasted its purpose.

Emmanuel you see, never really left us, he has been that ever present God from creation to flesh to Holy spirit our comforter this whole time. I prefer to celebrate that all year round. And did Mary know? I'm not sure she did in entirety; just like me, as I stare at my children, I do not fully know if one day, they will walk on water, or deliver me!

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you're holding is the Great, I Am.

I just know...that like Mary, I was chosen to carry them. I was chosen to have them fulfill the purpose of God in their lives. I was chosen to guide them in the way of God and not the traditions of men.
So even if there is no tree, there is still love.

And the greatest of these is love. Isn't that what Christmas is all about anyways?

Related Reading: John 3:16

Song words taken from :


  1. Emmanuel - with us all year long. As moms, may God bless us to continual to show that best truth to our kiddos - no matter how old they get! I want to remember today too as I start my cooking storm in about 30 minutes! I love it that they are still asleep and will be for several more hours - it happens in their twenties! Ha! love to you in Jamaica - what is sorrel? next to you this morning in CA

    1. Thanks for stopping by Sue, and yes we never stop mothering, even in their twenties and beyond I'm sure..mine are no where close to that age! But the best guidance must be given. Sorrel is a plant that has big red sepals that we use here to make a Christmas drink. I have a picture of it on my Instagram page @williamstanding. You can't miss it! Happy and Holy holidays to you and yours

  2. Yes, Christmas is about Christ and love and joy. We are 68 and have no children. Christmas is very different in this house, but it all surrounds Jesus and we do celebrate by reading and being in His Word, by loving one another and our families. We spend time with one another as we do not even have our sisters close by.
    No guilt, just love.
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas with peace within your family, love to spread to each other.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda
    ps...I loved Jamaica from being there only one time in the 1970s. A lovely island.

    1. Linda, you need to come back! Yes I would imagine your celebrations would be quite different and less stressful! But nevertheless filled with love. Have a very Merry Christmas as well and continue to enjoy each other's company. Thanks for stopping by and i will do the same

  3. Tanya, I hope that you and your family will have a lovely time at you celebration. Traditions and all that make Christmas a special time of year. What I love about Christmas is a lot of eyes that are usually turned on the world turn their eyes on the manger scene. What an incredible opportunity that we have as believers in the real reason for this season.

    1. All the best to your family for 2016 Jaime and all things worked out as was intended.