Christmas is supposed to be the time when kids feel all happy and merry inside. But the truth is that a little of the “merry” may be missing in your kids’ Christmas this year.
The reason a little “merry” is missing might be something “small” and temporary like a miserable cold. One Christmas Eve my little niece was stuck home with the flu. No fun at all.
Or the reason might be more complicated. Your family moved and the familiar traditions are gone. The family looks different this year because someone is missing. Grandma won’t be there to host Christmas dinner.
Whatever the reason, there’s one thing that’ll help put some of the “Merry” back into your Christmas–and it starts with a batch of chocolate fudge.
Every year for Christmas my grandma packed paper bags with homemade treats. Those treats always included small chunks of creamy chocolate fudge.
There’s an art to making fudge and part of it includes the stirring. Stir too much while it’s cooking and the fudge gets grainy from sugar crystals. But when you first start, you have to a) insert spoon and b) stir away. Unless you stir the ingredients, all the good stuff sinks to the bottom. Stirring brings everything together.
Chocolate Fudge and Singing
Singing is something you do when your soul needs stirring. It’s the spoon that plunges into the bottom where all the sugar, aka joy, seems to have disappeared beneath a dark ocean of dreariness.
When all the good things seem to disappear, singing has power to change how you feel and point you upward.
My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul!" Psalm 57:7-8
(David wrote this psalm when he was on the run from King Saul who was trying to kill him. Can’t get much more difficult than that.)
The discipline of singing songs that worship God turns your focus away from yourself and the problems around you.
Keith and Kristyn Getty, well-known Christian composers of “In Christ Alone“, make a case for how singing changes our soul.
- reminds you of what God has done in your life
- keeps your mind on eternity
None of us comes with everything figured out. We need to have songs that recognize these realities without leaving us to despair of those realties, because they lead us to the Rock that is higher than us.Keith & Kristyn Getty in Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church
“Power of Singing” Stories
When I walked into one-year-old Raya’s room yesterday, she was grouchy and crying. She’d been like that all day. So I sat criss-crossed on the floor beside her, grabbed a musical shaker and started to rock back and forth. I sang a blend of simple songs like “Jesus Loves Me” and sprinkled in a few hymns.
First she stopped her wailing to check me out. Pretty soon tears transformed into a two-tooth grin. She grabbed my shaker and started to move her little body as best she could with the singing.
Singing can change the heart of an adult too. Earlier this week my insides were dragging on the floor because of some tough stuff. I felt like crawling into bed and pulling the covers over my head. I definitely did NOT feel like singing (Which, in itself, is the best reason to sing when you least feel like it.) I slogged through the morning that way until finally I got smart. I pulled up my playlist on my phone and pushed played.
At first I couldn’t do much more than listen. Then listening turned to quiet singing. Soon I could feel my soul start to stir and lift its head.
I don’t know what your kids or you are going through this holiday season or what the reason, big or small, is the “merry” went missing from Christmas. But I do know that active singing can lift up your child’s heart, and your heart, and point their face back to the One who can do something about it.
Be encouraged and hope! (Psalm 31:34).
*Super Quick Chocolate Fudge
2/3 c. evaporated milk
1 2/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. miniature marshmallows or 16 large ones cut into fourths
1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)
Add milk, sugar and salt in saucepan. Stir. Heat to boiling over low heat. Boil and stir 3 minutes or until candy thermometer reads 225ºF. Remove from heat and add marshmallows, chocolate chips, vanilla and nuts. Stir until melted. Poured into small buttered pan. Refrigerate until firm.
Courtesy of Betty Crocker