"The great American poet [who] is revered for his classic literary works. His poem “Christmas Bells” has become one of our most well-known and beloved Christmas carols, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” What is less known, though, is the story behind the poem.
Reeling from the tragic death of his wife and the war wounds of his son, Longfellow penned the words to “Christmas Bells” during one of the darkest times in American history. And while the words of the poem reflect his obvious despair and grief, it is the triumphant message of “peace on earth, good will to men” for which this song — and Longfellow's personal story — is remembered." (quoted from here)
If you're so inclined, you might take a minute to watch this performance. It is so well narrated by Ed Herrman, and this story of the Longfellow family has been on my mind since I watched. The performance left me with the feeling that Christmas is truly a time for healing and finding peace, and that message is like balm to my soul right now.
**Here is the link to original clip on youtube, as I can see that the full screen isn't showing up on the blog.