I love Christmas traditions. To be totally honest I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to Christmas traditions. We’ve always put our Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving. But several years ago our oldest daughter discovered Black Friday. What? Why in the world would she want to be out in the middle of huge crowds when she could be home decorating the Christmas tree with me? I still don’t understand it. But now we decorate the tree on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. And it’s ok.
We always listen to Steven Curtis Chapman’s The Music of Christmas while we decorate the tree. As we were decorating the tree this year something very strange happened. I wasn’t hearing the voice of Steven Curtis Chapman. I was hearing the Christmas songs of David Crowder. Really? Which one of you did this to me? I guess it was ok. But it was better when David Crowder finished singing and the sweet voice of Steven Curtis Chapman singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing began to fill the room. Yes. Now we can have Christmas.
My favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night. I have to hear David Phelps sing it every single year. It’s just part of Christmas. Ask my family what my least favorite Christmas song is and they will answer without hesitation. Carol of the Bells. That song is like fingernails on a chalk board to me. The other day Brett put in a Christmas cd for us to listen to while I was paying bills and he was working in the kitchen. All of a sudden the volume got really, really loud and I’m hearing the Carol of the Bells. So I got up out of my chair, walked across the room, and affectionately slapped his sweet head. And then I kissed him. Oh, how I love that man.
Mikayla and Hope have added a new tradition this year. They like to watch Frosty the Snowman in Spanish….and then in French…..and then in Spanish….and then in French. Mikayla prefers Spanish and Hope prefers French. They have no idea what the characters are saying but it makes them laugh. They laugh like crazy every time they’re watching it in French and a character says oui. They don’t realize that they are saying yes. They think the character is talking about a Wii. And it just makes them fall in love with Frosty all over again.
You can mess with the day we put the tree up. You can mess with the music we play while we’re putting up the tree. You can watch Christmas cartoons in Spanish and French. You can even bring in the Christmas season by playing the Carol of the Bells just to irritate me. But there are some traditions that just simply can’t be messed with. Don’t tell me that Easter Seals won’t be having their Christmas lights or that Taylor’s Christmas violin recital has been canceled. If you have to tell me either of those things please bring chocolate.
Every year we drive an hour to see the Christmas lights. These aren’t just any Christmas lights. These lights have a very special purpose because all net proceeds fund therapies at our local Easter Seals. When the community drives through the lights they are changing lives. They are helping a child learn to walk, talk, dress and write her name. They are helping an adult receive the therapy he needs after a car accident. They are helping people to gain their independence and to have the best life that they can have. We’ve enjoyed this event for years. Now that Mikayla and Hope receive services at Easter Seals this event is even more special to our family.
Every year Taylor’s violin teacher holds a Christmas recital for her students. I always enjoy the new students who play Mary Had a Little Lamb and Jesus Loves Me. They are so adorable. We enjoy hearing Jingle Bells, O Come All Ye Faithful, O Holy Night, and so many other Christmas favorites. I’m amazed at the more advanced students as they play Bach and Beethoven. I’m always proud of our Taylor as she plays her song. This year she played Llanthony Valley. An afternoon of listening to violin and harp music is good for the soul. And it’s part of what makes our Christmas special.
Here we are and it’s now only 1 week until Christmas. Our house is filled with little voices asking “It’s almost Christmas?” Several times a day I hear the words “I want a Zoomer kitty! A black one!” and “I want a Zoomer kitty! An orange one!” I’m thankful that Zoomer Kitties are easy to find and have shipped to your front door. I also hear little voices reminding me “We need to read the book!!!” We all gather on the couch each evening to read the Advent book. I’m thankful for our little girls who get extremely excited about Christmas and want every toy they see. I’m thankful for our teenage young ladies who are so content that they don’t ask for much for Christmas. They make me proud. And I’m thankful that I get to spend my 25th Christmas married to the guy who plays Carol of the Bells at full volume.