What Christmas Sounds Like

We say it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and that is definitely so. But it’s also beginning to sound like Christmas.  My husband and I recently went into one of our favorite eating places, and noticed the sounds of Christmas were missing.”Why aren’t you playing Christmas music?” we asked. The manager offered to play it for us, but we think those sounds of Christmas were turned off once we left. Why? “After hearing them all day long, they get to you,” was his excuse. This was surprising to us. No one tires of Christmas carols, or so we thought. I rather think it was some of those crazy ditties, like, “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” and others that fall into this category, that got to him. Can Christmas music be more tiring then the music that’s played the rest of the year? Sorry, but for me, it doesn’t seem like Christmas without the sounds of our favorite Christmas carols.

Most people would not consider the sound of a telegraph key, tapping out its message

Wm. A. Morgan, Jr., Penna. Railroad Museum, Strasburg, PA

in dots and dashes as a sound of Christmas. But on our trip to Strasburg, where we rode on the Strasburg railroad, and visited the railroad museum, we discovered  an acting railroad station agent tapping out telegrams to Santa’s elves. In the replica railroad station was volunteer, William A. Morgan Jr. of Millheim. In his small office he was surrounded by authentic telegraph keys, the sounder, which is necessary to receive messages, and the old regulator clock, ticking away accurate railroad time. Santa was outside in the station waiting room where he was hearing children’s Christmas wishes and writing every child’s list on an official telegram form. The children, while standing on a stool, then passed the form through a window and listened as the station agent tapped out their messages to Santa’s elves at the North Pole. This way, requests were less likely to be forgotten by Santa, and it gave the kids insight into long-ago communications. We had traveled two and a half hours to get to Strasburg, yet we learned that acting railroad agent, William “Chip” Morgan, grew up just a few miles from our home, in Dallas, PA.

When it comes to making Santa a little more believable, sending telegrams to his elves may help.  After all how can Santa remember everyone’s list of hoped-for gifts? At this Christmas season, I, for one, am thankful that I don’t need to rely on anyone relaying my messages to God, I have direct access to him and His son, who was born on the Christmas day we celebrate each year, and who is truly alive and is sitting at God’s right hand interceding for me. It takes faith to believe in our almighty God, whom we can’t see, but through the centuries He has been proven to be alive and well as He worked through the lives of people. Is Santa real? A much more important life changing question is “do you believe God is real?” He is so much more believable. The sound of the old Christmas carols need to be heard, for they convey the true message that the Savior of the world was born on Christmas, and He’s waiting for your choice to believe or not believe.

13 thoughts on “What Christmas Sounds Like

  1. Shirley,
    I think that my son can relate to the man who said that he was tired of listening to Christmas muisc… playing over and over and over again. Most of the local radio stations seem to play the same tunes over and over, with little variation. Dominick works at a food market, and they have the same radio station tuned in….playing the same Christmas songs over and over. I also agree that, many of the songs that are out there are not a reflection of the true meaning of Christmas. Songs that honor Christ, bring to us the spirit and true meaning of Christmas. One of my favorite christmas music CD’s is by Nat King Cole. One of my favorite songs on this CD is “Joy to the World”… This is what Jesus brought to us on the day of his birth. Merry Christmas!


  2. Shirl, your final paragraph is so true. I never believed in—nor did I teach my children to believe in santa. Jesus was my whole focus for Christmas. Santa being a lie was not to be worshipped at all. But I will tell you what happened one year. My youngest “Scott” one years asked me,Scott:” Mom can I believe in santa this year?” Me after much thought:”yes Scott you can.” That was the end of it for always.
    Christ is the Way,Truth & Life.Believers celebrate a day for HIS birth and HE should be lifted up and praised with carols that do so in gentleness and songs that teach the truth.


  3. What a cute way to show the old way of sending messages to children!
    The thing I love about Christmas music is that it is the one time of the year that I hear things like, “Christ the Savior is born” in public! Such a blessing. The old Christmas carols that speak the story of Jesus’ birth are wonderful. But I must admit that I enjoy the silly fun songs of the season too.


    • Thanks Janine for your comment on Shirland you. I know how much you love music. I like the mix of songs, too. However, I’ve heard so many more songs this year that leave out the true reason for the season, and some places play only these. Have a Merry Christmas.


  4. I once did a service at church…”Do you believe God”…? Even Lucifer (the devil) believes in God…but his need for power was greater than his love for God. I believe in Santa Claus…like all things impossible and imaginable…there are a great many things that only faith can help us to see…Santa knows the reason for the season…he too bows to worship the infant child Jesus…Merry Christmas as we celebrate His birth…!!


    • Thanks Karen: You’ve made many good thoughts on the subject, “What Christmas Sounds Like.” I look forward to hearing from you every week when I enter a new post to shirlandyou. Thanks.


  5. hi shirl..i really enjoyed your story..i wish i could have been with you on your trip ..just seeing the faces on the kids must have ben rewading..christmas is really getting out of context..every christmas my daughter makes a birthday cake for jesus..i think it is wonderful..have a great holiday


    • Dear Ada: What fun to be in touch like this. You are right about Christmas getting out of context. Does it look like Christmas in Arizona? No snow here, so it doesn’t look much like Christmas, lots of lights though. Hope it sounds like Christmas there and I hope you have a Merry one.


      • hi shirl..weather is a little chilly in the 60s today..lots of lights out here to..snow up north..lots of christmas carols out here ..i enjoy them..even learning to play some on my organ..have a merry one..love ada


      • We’ve had lots of rain, if it were colder here, I suppose it would be snow. Surprised it’s in the 60’s there, hope it feels good to you. Have a Merry Christmas. Our Mery and Cindy were coming for Christmas, but had a call yesterday that her mother is critical some kind of infection that has affected her liver. Doctor gives no hope. Pray, her name is Leona. She lives in N. C. Love you, Shirley


  6. “How can Santa remember everyone’s hoped for gifts?” A little anecdote to this I believe you will find amusing. Our great-grandson, Jaden Garnett was with us at the Montrose Fire Hall last year after the Festival of Lights and Santa was there talking to the boys and girls as usual. Jaden’s, mother asked him if he wanted to talk to him. He got in line and when he got to Santa, of course the question came, “What would you like for Christmas.” Jaden rather indignantly said, ” I already told you.” Jaden had been to see Santa in a store previously with his mother and wondered what was wrong with Santa’s memory. Jaden was about 3-1/2 at the time.

    So glad I don’t have to be concerned with God forgetting my requests.

    You and Burl have a blessed and wonderful Christmas! Keep looking up. . . He’s coming soon!


    • Dear Emerson: What a great story. Santa isn’t very believable even for little kids. Sometimes I think grown-ups like the idea of Santa better than the kids do. Thanks for your comment and for showing support for what I am doing. Looking forward to Christmas and the blessed time it brings. Hope you and Rosina have a wonderful New



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