My favorite Christmas carol isn't a cheery sing-a-long guaranteed to put a smile on your face. The song that moves me the most is "Some Children See Him," the touching, poetic ode to baby Jesus. No matter the time of year, I just can't listen to James Taylor sing the tune without a tear or two escaping slowly down my cheek.

The 1951 song was one of several Christmas classics written by Alfred Burt, a Michigan jazz musician of the 1940s and 1950s whose father, a church pastor, began writing carols that were distributed at Christmastime on a family Christmas card. For this song, and several others of the period around 1950, Wilha Hutson provided the words.

The essence of "Some Children See Him" is that we all have different visions of what the baby Jesus looked like. Some see him as European white, while others may see him as Mediterranean brown, African black or with the almond-shaped eyes of an Asian. The point is, our visions of Jesus are very personal and comforting.

Historically, Jesus certainly had brown hair, eyes and complexion. But that isn't necessarily important. As Burt's song concludes, "'Tis love that's born tonight."

Ironically, Burt, who had played trumpet in the Alvino Rey Orchestra, died of lung cancer in 1954 at the age of 33, around the same age as Jesus Christ. Burt's beautiful music - other favorites include "Caroling, Caroling," which was made famous by Nat King Cole, "The Star Carol" and "Christmas Cometh Caroling"- have endured through the years.

While a good number of us in Hesperia call ourselves Christians, not all of us go to church or regularly read the Bible. But I'd like to believe that we can all agree that the true message of Christmas is alive and completely meaningful.

The message is love, and in any language there's nothing greater.