From @U2, a new entry in their series of "lists" features: Top 6 U2 Christmas References. It doesn't surprise me, as it does the author, that U2 don't make a lot of music about Christmas (they've made even less about the way more important Christian holy day, Easter); keeping the liturgical calendar doesn't feature prominently in any of the milieus/writers they've alluded to over the years as being influential on the particular shape of their faith. (When one of Bono's NY Times editorials a few months ago demonstrated some reflection on the formative character of the liturgical seasons, I was really surprised.) And anyway, for those of us for whom the calendar features prominently, they're way more of an Advent and Lent band, aren't they, with maybe some of the social justice Sundays from Ordinary Time thrown in?
That said, this is a fascinating list. It's interesting, seeing the songs all lined up in this way, to realize how resistant U2 have been to participating in cultural (or cultural-religious) sentimentalizing of this feast day and how quick they have been to point out the many contradictions all around us of the standard sentimental image. I am wondering, do I love U2 because I am the kind of person who very often preaches in this vein at Christmas, or am I the kind of person who very often preaches in this vein at Christmas because I love U2?