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'Tis The Season To Be Merry

As Christmas approaches is when you will most like hear or read the phrase "'tis the season!" And you will probably hear more than once. It isn't used to refer to the spring, summer or fall. The most familiar source for the phrase for many is from the lyrics to 'Deck the Halls' Christmas carol. The carol contains the words, "'Tis the season to be jolly," which is followed by "Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la." You can read about the origins of some of the Christmas carols here.

'Tis the Season to be Merry

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The simple answer is that it is the season, as in, it is the time of the year that is also known broadly as the holiday season and more narrowly as the Christmas season. The statement "'Tis the season" is simply a way of drawing focus to the festive time of year when it's currently underway.

But of course we don't go around saying "'tis summer" when it's summer, so one can't rightly deny that there's something more to the phrase. And that something more is this: 'tis the season is an allusion to one of the most famous Christmas carols, "Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly":

The song functions culturally as a constant earworm for many people during the month of December. Its tones ring out from radios and store speakers alike, and chances are, if you listen carefully, you will hear someone humming it at any given moment in the days leading up to the year's close. And right there, in the song's best-known lyrics, are the words "'tis the season."

While the song is centuries old, the phrase hasn't been the stuff of cheery headlines and chirpy titles for as long as one might think, given its current (seasonal) ubiquity. In fact, it wasn't really until the 1970s that we started to see it popping up in magazine and newspaper articles.

'Deck the Halls With Boughs of Holly.' Well, that certainly originated in Wales, and that much we do know, but, it was originally meant to be performed by a group of singers and a harp, and the idea was that the singers would come up with the first line, 'Deck the hall with boughs of holly,' and then the harpist would improvise the next line, and then they'd sing the line after that, 'Tis the season to be jolly,' and the harpist would play something. And, you know, a few drinks would be taken and everybody would have a wonderful time, and you'd get a carol out of it. But, of course, that only worked in Wales where they had harpists on every street corner. You see, it's the national instrument. Well, outside Wales, what do you do when you don't have a harp? So, what people did was just sing 'Fa la la la la.' So, actually, when you sing 'Deck the hall with boughs of holly, fa la la la la, fa la la la,' you're actually filling in for a harpist that is missing. And so it's worth remembering that if you ever want to do that you should really find the budget to hire a harpist.

Celebrate the season in an open-top Jeep decked out for a holly jolly excursion. This 1.5-hour private group Holiday Lights Tour from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM includes yummy hot chocolate, candy canes, fuzzy Santa hats, and plenty of sing-along holiday tunes on board. Embark on a fun and unique tour experience with a knowledgeable tour guide who provides commentary while exploring San Francisco's festive-lit locations.

The Campus Activities Team gingerbread decorating is a hot event to go to. When one thinks of Christmas, the sweet smells and tastes of cookies are not far behind, especially with gingerbread in the mix. This event is held in Café Nova and is sure to prepare students for the delightful sweets of the Christmas season.

The reason for the season must not be forgotten, and the University does a wonderful job each year of hosting events to bring students closer to the faith. There are three Masses for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 8 and Dec. 11, respectively. The University also hosts an Advent Reconciliation Service for students to connect closer to the Scriptures, utilize the sacrament of Reconciliation, which is available from noon to midnight, and examine their conscience. 041b061a72

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