Like most people, Christmas music plays a large part in contributing to my holiday spirit. Having grown up in a house full of music, the sounds of the season are very important to me.
I remember the first solo I ever sang. I was six years old and we were singing Christmas songs in music class at school (long before people got bent out of shape regarding holidays and personal choices). Dr. McCurry was walking through the rows listening to us sing. When the song finished, he called me in front of the class and asked me to sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem” for everyone. I was so nervous that during the song, I twisted the brass button off the front of my green and navy plaid skirt (yes, I remember what I was wearing that day). He then praised me and told the class that my singing was an example of how the song should be done. After class, Chris W. came up to me and complimented my performance.
Fast forward to high school where I performed in the choir and handbell choir. While I enjoyed many different type of music, I always loved the Christmas programs. We would practice for weeks and the entire school would participate in a performance for our parents. It was a dressy affair and we were required to wear black or navy skirts (pants for the boys) and white shirts. We would also have caroling in the halls. Dr McCurry would roll a piano out to the hallway and we’d gather by the administrative offices to sing. The finale was the senior class singing “White Christmas.” I know I got choked up my senior year, but it was such a great time.
In college, I also performed with the choir and smaller ensemble groups and loved the Christmas Vespers program at Stone Chapel on the Drury University campus. It was such a beautiful setting for all the gorgeous songs we’d perform.
My performance days are over, but I always love singing along with the Christmas music at home. Christmas Eve, we’ll be at church and I’ll be thinking of my family as I sing along with the Christmas hymns. It will be hard to make it through “Silent Night” without getting a little weepy (and I just might cry anyway) but it’s the beauty and meaning of the song that moves me rather than sadness.