If you’ve ever watched a movie with the sound off, you understand the difference a great score makes to the overall experience. The role music plays to make the tense moments more nerve-wracking, the romantic moments more soulful or the sad, somber moments tug at your heart a little more are profound. Imagine Titanic, Indiana Jones or the great Gone with the Wind without the fantastic music to set the tone and put you on the edge of your seat, and where would the movie have ended up in the box office?
Music plays such an important role during the holidays, too. Both Christian and secular songs tell the stories of the season and recall not only the story of Christ’s birth, but bring to life timeless traditions and memories enjoyed through the ages. When was the last time you “roasted chestnuts on an open fire” or “dashed through the snow” in your open sleigh? Me either, but boy what I wouldn’t give for the opportunity to do either!
Last night, as we were preparing dinner, the doorbell rang. We weren’t expecting anyone so I went to open it expecting some lost delivery guy or an unwanted salesperson. Imagine my surprise to find a front yard full of 8-graders from the local school, candles in hand, asking if they could sing us a Christmas song. It brings tears to my eyes, even now, as I think about it.
A simple round of “Jingle Bells” by a joyful group of teenagers was just what I needed! With their crazy assortment of Christmas sweaters and Santa hats, they gleefully sang and prodded each other through two stanzas of the song. My family and I all stood in the doorway and was simply blessed by their Gift of Music to us.
As a kid, we sang a lot. I remember my Mom taking my cousins and I through a local light exhibit each Christmas called The Way of Lights in Belleville, IL. She’d grab the girl cousins and we’d quietly slip out for a few hours on Christmas night while the other Aunts talked, the Uncles played cards and the rest of the cousins did whatever boys do. We’d load into our van and drive to wait in the traffic for the drive-thru exhibit. All through the trip, we’d sing Christmas songs. When we’d exhaust the lines we knew, we’d make up our own. I still remember some of those lines and have wonderful memories of those trips.
Music is such an important part of the season. Giving The Gift of Music is important for so many reasons. To keep those songs alive. To keep the traditions a part of the season. And like a good soundtrack, it will make your Christmas a little more, well, Christmas-y!
Sing! Go caroling! Play some music while you dine, shop, open gifts. Let music be a part of your gifts this season!