Sanitized Christmas songs

Years ago, Amy Grant wrote a sweet little Christmas song called Grown-up Christmas List. The first verses go like this:

“Do you remember me?
I sat upon your knee,
Wrote to you with childhood fantasies.
Well, I’m all grown up now
And still need help somehow
I’m not a child,
but my heart still can dream
So here’s my lifelong wish
My grown-up Christmas list
Not for myself,
But for a world in need:

No more lives torn apart,
That wars would never start,
That time would heal all hearts,
That everyone would have a friend,
That right would always win,
And love would never end;
This is my grown-up Christmas list.

It’s a nice song. It’s whimsical and sweet. There’s not much wrong with it, other than it’s a letter to Santa, right?

Well, for some reason, someone decided that wasn’t Christmasy enough. Plus One adapted the song and changed everything but the chorus, keeping the tune. And now a plethora of Christian artists have recorded this sanitized version. I hear it every year and grind my teeth because the whimsy is gone. Here’s the first verse:

Do you remember me?
Long ago on bended knee
I prayed to you
With childhood fantasy
Well I’m all grown up now
Can you still help somehow
I’m not a child
But my heart still can dream
Please hear my prayer tonight
And help me do what’s right
Not for myself
But for a world in need

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And every man would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my prayer for every year

No longer the whimsy of a Christmas list asking Santa for grown-up things, it’s now a heavy-handed prayer to God to “help me change the world”.

I don’t exactly know why this grates on me so. I mean, Amy Grant’s a Christian artist and it was okay for her to sing about Santa and rocking around the Christmas tree and all that jazz. But suddenly Christians are having to sanitize work from other Christians? Am I missing something?

3 thoughts on “Sanitized Christmas songs

  1. I remember hearing the Plus One version on Air1… I was thoroughly disappointed by it.

    Just like secular artists want to keep God out of their music for the most part, some Christian artists want to put MORE God into their music. As if hints of God are complete taboo, no matter what your audience is. It’s a shame that that’s the case because avoiding God at all costs chases some Christians away and too much God chases some non-Christians away. No one seems to be able to find a middle ground…


  2. As R. was lamenting the other day, is there no more talented and imaginative people around. Can’t people think up things that are new and original? So that is all it sounds like to me. They wanted their own version but didn’t want to write their own music. I believe it is called Artistic license.


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