I felt my cheeks burning as my heart raced and I began to sweat. At that moment, I wanted to crawl under the pew! I knew he was referring to my home. The rest of the sermon is lost on me now, but my embarrassment at that moment has never been forgotten!
People consider it odd to play Christmas music in July or August when the temperatures hovers around 90 degrees and the humidity is 75%; not to mention that it has been seven or eight months since we celebrated the holiday.
I’ve thought about the minister’s sermon many times since and wonder why I so quickly cringed at the thought of my identity being exposed as the “one” who had done something so odd.
We listen to music for many reasons. Some simply like the background noise while doing other things like my daughter who insists she can’t do school work without the sound of music from her radio! Others consider the “quiet” deafening, so nothing gets accomplished. For others music brings back cherished memories of days gone by, while others like to live their lives like the beat of the songs they listen to: with rhythm and purpose! Still, there are those like myself, who enjoy the lyrics or message of songs, especially when they tell a story.
Christmas music tells a dramatic story. It tells of the Christ Child’s birth, encourages joy and thanksgiving, projects peace and goodwill among men and celebrates a season of giving.
The Christmas holiday isn’t about how many lights or decorations I have on my house or in my yard. It isn’t about how much money is spent or about the gifts received. It’s about love; and isn’t love important year around? Isn’t that what every human being craves, from the newborn child to the oldest among us? We all want to be needed and cherished by someone.
Music stirs the soul and Christmas music creates within us the magic that is Christmas. Love! Be it December or July, the magic of this special season can and should be within us as we walk down a busy street or mingle in a crowded room. We should feel it whether we are sitting quietly talking with a neighbor or member of our family or playing with a child.
Christmas is a time when we want family and friends around us. It’s when we enjoy meals together with those we haven’t seen, sometimes since the previous Christmas holiday as we catch up on events we’ve missed. It’s a time when love bursts from our hearts to all those we hold dear.
Suppose today you put on your holiday music. Ignore the heat for a little while and concentrate on the lyrics. Consider inviting friends or family over, especially someone you haven’t seen in several months. Rather than cook a turkey or ham with all the trimmings for your special “no real reason” get together, clean out the fridge and eat leftovers or grill hot dogs and hamburgers, have iced tea and just spend the time chatting rather than cooking.
Time passes quickly and even more so as we get older. Children grow up, move away and have lives of their own. It’s important to keep family ties strong, while providing a place where the foundation of love can be nurtured and memories grow.
Open your heart to the music that is love and wrap your arms around those you cherish. Whether it’s July or December, love is always the reason for the season.