I love the month of December! As soon as Thanksgiving is done, I load up the CD player and iPod with Christmas music of all types and listen through the month ~ hearing a new song on the radio sends me home to search for it on iTunes so I can add it to my collection. While my classes have wound down with just a few here or there happening through the next few weeks, singing is in high gear ~ Caroling, prepping the Sunday School for the Christmas Pageant, practicing for Christmas Eve, music fills my heart with such joy I feel like I'll burst!
The dark days of winter are rough for me in general ~ the dark mornings coax me to oversleep and the early sunsets send me to bed early. There are days when knowing I have things to do and people who depend on me is not enough to get me moving. Luckily, the music of this season keeps me going. My family has always had a special relationship with Christmas music. The question was never "if" we would sing during Christmas, it was "where, when and what". My first solo (that I remember) was singing "Away in a Manger" on the stair landing of my childhood home at about 3. Every year the kids were instructed to prepare a "program" while my Mom and Aunt cleaned up the kitchen. Only after performing could we open presents so there was a pile of incentive under the tree to inspire us!
Some years we did a play, some years a recital - every year there were some very musical moments along with the painful ones:-) The best part though, was that no matter how good or bad anyone was, we were all applauded and adored and we all opened presents. It wasn't the quality of the presentation that was praised, it was the fact that we did it! When I am singing or performing, someone will inevitably ask me if I get stage fright. I can honestly say that most of the time I don't. I think so much of my lack of fear goes back to the many opportunities I had as a child to perform or simply participate without the pressure of being perfect. It was just what we did. No body made a huge deal out of it, we just did it. We sang at home, we sang at church, we sang in the community, we sang in the car. We just sang. My parents didn't tell me to sing, they didn't "teach" me to sing; they sang to me and with me and I will treasure this gift forever.
Enjoy the music of the season in your own way ~ share it with your children ~ share it with me ~