December 13, 2019

Drum Roll: My Favorite Christmas Carol is... by Wendy L. Macdonald

It was while homeschooling my children that I happened upon what became my favorite Christmas Carol to sing. Each week in our school year, my kids and I focused on a new hymn to learn. We sang God Save the Queen, O Canada, and the Doxology for a warm-up each morning before singing along with a hymn playing on our CD player. First, we sang the hymn we learned the previous week. And then we sang along with the new one.

A Sick Cow

There was no way we could rely on my musical inability to hit the right notes, never mind know them. I love to sing; however, I was told by a little old lady that I sound like a “sick cow.”

Well, now that I have your sympathy—if not your attention—I’ll continue with my true story (By the way, that comment about my singing was the only English that sweet Italian lady spoke to me in the couple of years I worked in the extended care hospital she lived in—who knew?).   

For a Kid's Heart

Our favorite book and CD series to use for our morning music lessons were: For a Kid’s Heart by Focus on the Family. We enjoyed using all four volumes that were available at the time. I offered my children the choice of singing contemporary praise songs, but they declined and preferred the more challenging classical hymns.  I suspect that because they turned out to have much more musical ability than I have, they needed something way above my meager musical aptitude.

I’m no longer disappointed in my lack because I love to listen to them sing or play songs. And that’s partly why I chose to write about my favorite Christmas carol today. When my kids sang as a trio, it melted my heart. And once they even sang a hymn on the stage together for our former church while they were still shorter than I am. At least one audience member besides me teared up; he was also moved by their sweetness. Anyways, that’s enough boasting. I’m hoping my musical trio not only sing hymns again one day, I’m hoping they return to a fellowship of their choosing.

Drum Roll...

Drum roll … my favorite carol is:  How Great Our Joy!

This German hymn was so much fun to sing together. And because there’s quite a bit of repetition in it, it was easy to break into parts. We loved having solos and then rejoining for the chorus parts. I’m evidence—our family is evidence—you don’t have to have a music degree or any degree of musical ability to include music in your homeschool curriculum.

Passion Paves the Way

Passion paved the way.

There’s plenty of time for your family to get real lessons once you realize there’s a genuine interest budding. (I’m now a fan of Kindermusik thanks to my grandson. Check the link if you have any little ones in your family.)

It’s funny, I had no idea at the time that my children would still be avid fans of their instruments of choice (piano, drums, electric bass-guitar, electric guitar, acoustic guitar) once they became adults. But they are. Now my toddler grandson has begun playing around with a harmonica. All I can say to all of this is:

 "How great our joy! Great our joy! Joy, joy, joy, joy, joy, joy! 

Praise we the Lord in heav’n on high! Praise we the Lord in heav’n on high!"

Christmas Blessings ~ Wendy Mac
I’m nosy-to-know if you have “taught” someone something you’re lousy at? 😊 

P.S. You're invited to join me on my blog where I share a true confessional about speeding: Thou Shalt Not Speed   


  1. I was told to mouth instead of sing a Christmas song when part of the ensemble in a professional play! So I get how we can get self conscious about our musical abilities. haha! May you continue to be an instrument of teaching and an encourager, Wendy. And sing a joyful noise!

    1. Thank you, dear Lynn, for letting me know I'm not alone. :) I look forward to singing praise and worship songs in heaven where I will finally be free to sing without a hint of fear someone is annoyed by my voice.
      Christmas Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

  2. I LOVE that hymn, too! I actually never thought about it when I was writing my post, but I agree that it is such a powerful one. It is super fun to sing. Love it. Happy holidays and Merry Christmas.

    1. Thank you, dear Tracy. Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family. I'm now curious what your post will be about. For next December's prompt I may write about my second favorite Christmas carol. It won't be hard to pick one as I sing part of it regularly each time I walk past a garden ornament we have.
      Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

  3. I too love that song and remember it well, although I don't hear it often now. How wonderful that you regularly taught your children songs. And yes, you'll be able to sing beautifully in heaven one day!

    1. Thank you, dear Sandi. Yes, I look forward to finding my forever voice in Heaven. :)


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.