Music is so important to our family, especially at Christmas time. Come November 1st the kids breathlessly await the beginning of Christmas music on our local radio station. We also lament that they stop playing it at midnight on Christmas Day. Of course we could just put on our CD's or the iPods and hear Christmas music as much and as long as we'd like and we wouldn't even have to hear Moriah Carey sing "All I Want For Christmas Is You." But there is something special when the music is coming from the radio.
I think it has to do with the idea that people spend months waiting for Christmas. Come July there are Christmas decorations in the stores. Then society spends Thanksgiving to Christmas in a frenzy getting ready for the holiday. The whole time griping and complaining about how much they have to do and how miserable they are. When all the work is done, the preparations made and you can finally just relax and bask in the light of our Savior everyone stuffs their faces, opens their presents, and moves on to the next thing come December 26th. The radio station is just a picture of our sad modern society. On December 14th Emma Rose and I went Christmas shopping. There were no Christmas wraps or decorations to be had. In their place were Valentine's day goods.
December is a very busy time for our family. With three finals on top of all our regular activities there is much happening around Wachter World. I try to keep the schedule as light as possible not even making appointments for checkups or tending to other business that can wait until after January 1st in hopes that we can go slow and enjoy this wonderful time of year. Yes, one of these days I need to bite the bullet and make my way to motor vehicles to renew my driver's license. But it can wait until January 2nd. We do try to make lots of time for visiting with friends and work in Christ centered celebrations of the holiday.
We kicked off the Christmas season with a classical concert of flutes. I've never been to a concert with all flutes so it was quite a new experience. Samuel was excited to have his first gingerbread man of the season at the post concert party.
While we were at Epcot the first week of December we were able to see the Candlelight Processional. It was rather surreal sitting in a place where it was 80 degrees and surrounded by commercialism totally devoid of the Lord and hearing so clearly the beautiful story of our Saviors Nativity and a clear account of the Gospel message of the cross. But there it was clear as day. I found myself looking at the hundreds of people performing and listening to the incredible concert and wondering to myself, "HOW CAN THEY NOT GET IT???" The musicians and choir were both exquisite and the girls were delighted to see Andy Garcia, who was the guest narrator for the night. An added bonus was at various scriptures Mr. Garcia would first read in English and then translate in his native tongue. I've never heard Spanish sound lovely. True to Disney form, even the sign interpreter was so beautiful and poetic. I was very blessed watching her as she performed the various musical selections from "O Holy Night" to the "Hallelujah Chorus."
I don't have even one picture of this evening since I was occupied from the time I arrived until the time we left with the many visitors who joined us. You'll have to take my word for it that the program was beautiful, the kids looked great, the fellowship was delightful and the food delicious.
This year he suggested a concert performance of Handel's Messiah. This is one of my favorite pieces of music and it has many sweet Christmas memories for me. Allen is not a fan of classical music and has never been to a performance of The Messiah so it was all new to him. (He loved it, by the way). When I was a girl I remember going with my father, always the weekend of Thanksgiving, to hear the Naval Academy perform this piece with the choir of Hood College. Tickets being way too expensive for our crew, one of the things I do now with the kids is to get up a few hours early one day and have cocoa and coffee by the light of the tree while we listen to the Messiah performed by the London Philharmonic. They all enjoy it very much but Elisabeth particularly loves this music and will often ask me to play it for her. The other day while she and I were home alone wrapping Christmas presents we listened to it three times through.
I love to hear about other's Christmas traditions. So I am wondering how do you make time for Christ in the Christmas season and what role does music play in your celebration?