I can remember the excitement when I was in elementary school, even junior high, of the Christmas concert. The clop-clop of the wooden blocks during “Sleigh Ride”. The attempts at a deep ‘ho, ho, ho” and snapping of our fingers during “Up on the House Top.” How seriously we took our performances, as if we were participating in the Kennedy Center Honors!
I sang a solo in the sixth grade and still remember all of the words to the song these (mumble-mumble) later.
“A little lost card, blown ‘round in the yard
until I’m as tired as can be.
And now I don’t know where I’m going to go,
‘cause nobody cares about me.”
It was pointed out to me recently how sad the song is and I suppose that’s true. I just remember my beautiful card costume – it was a sandwich board my mother painted blue and there was an angel on the front. Lots of glitter was involved!
One of my family’s traditions was to load up the ol’ Ford Fairlane with the four of us kids and drive around looking at Christmas lights. When I was very young, we lived in Little Rock and seeing the state capitol decorated was the ultimate treat. When my kids were growing up, we did the same thing, searching out the neighborhoods with the best lights, ending our night out with the live Nativity at a local church.
Favorite? There are too, too many choices! It would be easier to list the ones I don’t care for, like “We Three Kings” or “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” or “Ave Maria” than to choose a favorite from the collection of Christmas songs.
One of my favorites is “Oh, Holy Night.” I didn’t like it when I was growing up but now it brings tears to my eyes. “A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” I still am not crazy about a choir’s version, but a soloist with a strong voice gets me every time.
Then there’s “Mary, Did You Know?” When sung by Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd, I’ll cry each time I hear it.
I sing Christmas songs to my granddaughters – “Up on the Housetop”, “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” – just like my mother sang to us. When it’s her turn to choose a song, the little one likes to sing “Jingle Bells” at the top of her lungs. She’s still learning inside vs. outside voices! The older one, Goosey Lucy, is now singing “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas” with me, much to her dad Trailer Swift’s chagrin. Both of them sing along when Alvin, Simon and Theodore start singing “The Chipmunk Song”.
Please Christmas, don’t be late.