Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Mom Looks at "Away in A Manger"

There is no child's Christmas song more classic than "Away in a Manger". What "Jesus Loves Me" is to the rest of the year, this Christmas lullaby is to the month of December. According to this site the author is unknown, which is good since I have to tell you...I don't think parts of this song are accurate. Whoever the author might be, I'm not necessarily blaming that person for intentionally deceiving us. Perhaps it was written by a single, childless man who didn't have any life experience in this area.

Although I have many years before I'll be able to call myself an experienced mom, I have had 4 babies and three of them have been boys. (Well, they still are boys...just not baby boys...except for one...oh never know what I mean!) Anyway, there are, to me, some obvious fallacies in this carol.

"Away in a manger, no crib for His bed"

While I admit that I don't know of anyone who has laid a newborn child in a manger, I have not met any mothers that lay their newborns in a crib either. I have serious doubts as to whether they even had cribs at all in Biblical times, but I have not researched this. I'm not even a co-sleeping mother, but I have never placed a newborn in a crib. In fact, my infants have all preferred to sleep in their car seats--except one who preferred a swing going at top speed. I'm sure (without doing research) that those weren't available in Biblical times either. If you use a crib for newborns, please feel free to correct my ignorance (on this one issue only, please). 

"The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head"

Although Jesus did have power beyond the human scope and did many miracles in His lifetime, I find it doubtful that He was able to lay down His own head at a few hours old. My babies still don't lay down their heads voluntarily, but that's a different issue. As a newborn, it just wasn't developmentally possible for Jesus to have done this.

"The poor Baby wakes, but little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes"

My first question is, "How did they know He was awake if He wasn't crying?" I will give you that perhaps not everyone's baby announces their wakefulness with a bout of crying to let their mothers know--that may be unique to mine. However, how would Mary have known when He was hungry or wet if He didn't cry? When my babies were born, crying was the first order of business. The Bible tells us that Jesus developed normally and even above average, so I just cannot believe that He didn't cry.

I am glad modern versions changed "take us to Heaven" to "fit us for Heaven" when referring to children. I will again give the author the benefit of the doubt that that is what He intended to write.

While I'm on the subject of Christmas songs, let me recommend Tim Hawkins' thoughts on Christmas in particular. It appears I'm not the only one who over-analyzes them!

One more you've gotta see if you home educate...Twelve Days of Homeschool.

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!


  1. Just wanted to let you know that I did put my newborn baby girl in a crib. :) I will have to say that she preferred to sleep in my arms or in the arms of her father, but that is where we laid her at night.

    Also, I love Tim Hawkins and think he is hillarious. Some songs we just either have to not sing or not think about it when we do. lol

  2. Thanks for the correction, Emily! Mine have always slept in their car seat or bassinet and most mothers I talk to say they use their crib for laundry! lol Glad to know someone has gotten more use out of theirs than the rest of us.

    I think Tim Hawkins is funny, too. My all-time favorite is Home School Family.