I did it; it seemed a nice idea and it was one of those tiny little connections with far-flung bloggers that made me feel less alone.
Well, blogging kind of died off (though some have suggested it's coming back, as people weary of Facebook's idiocracy and the all-visual-no-context of Pinterest), but I'm still here. And I like these traditions.
So here is mine, for this year. I know this best, in abbreviated form, as "Once to Every Man and Nation," which is a pretty stirring hymn and I always felt could be interpreted not merely politically, but that every human being is given the choice of whether to give in to their baser instincts or transcend them, and there is something kind of....noble...in the struggle. And there's a dearth of that kind of nobility in this world today, I think, and singing the hymn always made me stand up a little straighter.
Anyway. It has an interesting history (A little is given there. Essentially you could sum it up as James Russell Lowell was an abolitionist and also opposed to the war with Mexico. The bit of the poem quoted there - which Martin Luther King, Jr. used in one of his speeches - is the most familiar part of the hymn to me and, as I said, the part that made me pull myself up a little straighter and inwardly swear to be "better.")
Here's the poem in its entirety: (Grabbed from Bartleby.com; the poem is in public domain)
|The Present Crisis|
|James Russell Lowell (1819–1891)|