Recently I attended a stake youth activity at a retirement home where the youth caroled for residents. I volunteered to prepare song books. It was interesting to notice how many of the handful of Christmas hymns in our book are not well-known to lay listeners: “With Wondering Awe” and “While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by Night,” for example, are fine songs, but they are not the ones that spring readily to mind when contemplating the season. Yet many more famous religious carols are not included: “O Holy Night,” “We Three Kings,” and “What Child is This,” to name a few. In our discussion last year of Christmas hymns, many favorite songs are not those included in our hymnbook. This can sometimes be remedied with special musical numbers and choir pieces; I organized a women’s group to sing “What Child is This?” several years ago, which was made a bit more amusing because most of the participants just happened to be extremely pregnant (I was a day past my due date myself). In fact, the seemingly arbitrary number of Christmas hymns in the hymnbook makes me a little suspicious that they included roughly enough to serve as opening and closing hymns through one December, but not quite enough to skip over some you may not particularly like.

If the Christmas section of the hymnbook were expanded, what would you wish to be added?