As a lover of all things Christmas, I’m precious about my traditions and want to safeguard the things I know and hold dear. I approach new Christmas songs and versions of classic carols with trepidation. Will classics be ruined? Are the new songs cheesy – or worse, just trying too hard?
The new Quiz Worx album had a lot to prove if it was going to make it onto any of our family Christmas playlists. Would their latest offering of kids’ music have songs that I could listen to twice? What about twice a day, for the whole of December? Would the lyrics be easy to remember? Would they be catchy? Most importantly, would they help my family fix our eyes on Jesus in a season so crowded with consumerism?
“A real person in a real time”
Thankfully track one (“A Very Real Christmas”) wasn’t shy about pointing me straight to Jesus, and the rest of the album continued to do so as well. It’s very obvious to anyone listening to these songs that Christmas is all about Jesus.
“Christmas Is Bigger” reminds us that there’s more to Christmas than the tables buckling under the weight of feasts, than piles of boxes wrapped under trees or the hordes of distant relatives knocking at your door. Christmas is bigger than all of these things because of a baby “born to bring the world great joy / But that’s not where it ends / The Bible says people can be God’s friends”.
“Mary had a little boy, the Saviour of the world”
While theologically the album is better suited to primary school children, my two-year-old daughter got very excited every time angels, shepherds and Christmas were mentioned. We’ve been reading the nativity story in her children’s Bible, so I appreciated how easy it was to make links from the songs we were listening to back to the stories about Jesus’ birth that she is beginning to understand. I thought “Mary Had A Little Boy” (a Christmassy twist on Mary Had a Little Lamb) was catchy and would be great to teach our crèche-aged kids at church.
The one possibly contentious song is “Jesus vs Santa”. Christians come to all sorts of conclusions about what to do with Mr Claus – some families choosing to reject him altogether, while others embracing all there is to embrace about the Santa story. Although this song aims to lightheartedly demonstrate how Santa is good but Jesus is best, for families who are fond of Santa, it hax the potential to sit uncomfortably.
“Christmas is meant to be lots of fun... but sad things are also there”
With the difficulties facing families around the world over the past few years, pandemics separating people and affecting every event in our lives, I’m thankful that Quiz Worx takes the time to help children process some of the big feelings they might have.
Explaining to kids that Christmas is God’s way of showing the world he sees our pain and is doing something about it helps us go deeper than the twinkle of lights and fun of party poppers. It reminds us that “God hears, God speaks, God acts in Jesus”.
The album is also interspersed with skits featuring popular Quiz Worx puppets, which will be a delight for long-term fans familiar with these characters. As someone not so familiar with the antics of Scruff and his team, I skipped over these tracks. For children who do have that link, these tracks provide helpful points of re-engagement.
Finishing on a bang, Quiz Worx ends the album just as it started – by reminding us that Christmas is all about the son of God. “Christmas is Merry (Because of Jesus)” adds a helpful clarification to the popular catchphrase of the season, one that will hopefully spring to the mind of kids and adults alike whenever someone is wished a merry Christmas.