Tinsel, Tree and Nat King Cole

Posted by on Dec 23, 2013 in Articles | 3 comments

What a beautiful night!  The snow is falling softly outside, each flake drifting gently past the window.  The lights sparkle brightly from the tree, reflecting off the little glass jewels that hang from each branch.  Each child has an ornament for each year of his life hanging from a branch on the tree.  There is even a special ornament celebrating the first Christmas of marriage.


It’s just the two of us, hanging the sparkling strands of silver tinsel from each tree-limb.  Nat King Cole is singing with emotion about Mary’s boy child, the Son of God who comes to save the earth.


“I wonder if these singers pay attention to the words they are singing.  Not just whether or not the words are right, but what they mean,” I comment as I try to untangle a strand of silver from my watch clasp.


“The singers today probably don’t, but I think some of the singers from that era did.  There is a lot of feeling in that voice,” says my husband, still busy in his work.


“Yeah, there is a lot of feeling in the voice.  My question though is while they sing about Christ in December, what do they sing about in June?  It’s perfectly acceptable to sing about the Lord and salvation when there are presents under the tree, bells ringing on the corner and smiles on children’s faces.  If I walk down the street singing about the Lord and salvation in the middle of the summer, people look at me like I’m crazy,” is my comment with agitation in my voice.  (I still can’t get the silver strand off my wrist that has now taken on the image of a constrictor rather than a harmless strand of thread.)


With gentle hands unclasping my watch and carefully removing my attacker, my husband says, “You’re right.  Most people think of God as being with them only at the manger, not in their every day life.”


Only at the manger.  This is often the image people have of Jesus Christ.  Many even speak of Him as the “Baby Jesus.”  For them, He is a sweet fable of a little boy born under a star with wise men and shepherds, sheep and cattle around him.  He is a reason to be a little more understanding and compassionate during the month of December.  He is a reason for gathering family around and charging credit cards to the limit to buy the best possible gift.  Once December is over, he isn’t even a passing thought for many people.


The truth, however, is that Jesus Christ is with us each day of our lives.  He walks with us during the warm summer when the days are long and happy.  He is there beside us during the autumn months when the days are getting shorter and the world around us is changing.  He is carrying us through the harsh, winter months when the days are short and darkness seems to be longer than the light.  He is also there beside us when the freshness of spring is once again upon us and new life is springing up all around.  Whatever the season of weather or season in our life, He is there.  God has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us.  His very name, Immanuel, means God is with us.  And God never breaks His promises.


When the tree is down, the presents are unwrapped and the paper is in the trash; when Nat King Cole is stored away til next Christmas, keep the truth with you that Jesus Christ is more than Mary’s boy child from ages past.  He is our Savior and Lord who is with us throughout the year.


  1. Just a question. Came upon this while looking to see what cd or album Marys Boy Child by Nat King Cole is on. I have been looking for it and cannot find it. And BTW, Jesus Christ is with me throughout the year. Thanks for a good write up.

  2. Seconding Carolyn’s question. I have been searching for it for weeks now and can find no evidence of this recording actually existing. If you have an album with Nat King Cole singing this song, please provide the name of the album. I feel like I’ve been going crazy.

    • I owe you (and Harry Belafonte) a huge apology. Nat King Cole didn’t sing the song on the CD we have. Please forgive me for the error. We had been enjoying his rendition of “The Christmas Song.”

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