Driving home last night, I was mesmerized by the holiday lights all around. Was it possible that it seemed like there were more than usual? Perhaps people had put up more to make this year brighter. In the background, my Christmas music played on the radio and I took the very long way home.
It’s been a year. Not quite sure anymore if that is an overstatement or an understatement. No matter what perspective you take, one of those is bound to fit.
We have moved into the season of what is traditionally merry and bright. Somehow even in a pandemic, we can all still feel that hustle and bustle of planning cards, shopping for gifts, and decorating.
But this year is different.
Plans have changed. Zoom has become a plan. Wearing a mask to see someone outside for a few minutes is a plan. Not seeing people is a plan.
I shopped for groceries to make the holiday meals then made Christmas cookies with my kids. All of this I don’t usually do because I travel back home to my parents. I am missing them so much and am trying to keep myself busy so that we all still have a wonderful week. Believe me when I know how many can relate to this and how good I still have it. There is a lot to be thankful for. A lot.
A familiar song came on and it took me back to last year where a group of musicians put on a Christmas concert for family and close friends. We all get dressed up in our festive clothes to go and hear some of the most talented singers bring the joy of the holiday season to us. I have gone for at least 4 or 5 years now. At this time, I have lost count which means it is truly a tradition. It is one that I hold close to my heart. For this event is uplifting, fun, and inspirational. One walks away feeling the Christmas spirit. Actually, more like dances away. It’s that good.
My friend, Tracie is always so excited when she hands us the official invites to this annual event. When we arrive, we have come to know the familiar faces and voices. Each year, the songs feel bigger somehow. My season officially begins when I watch them all take the stage.
The song that was playing in my car changed to another. This year, there will be no performance. I picture the stage empty with a microphone in the middle and the piano over to the side. I wonder if the singers picture it as well and sing some carols while they remember Christmases past.
This year would have been different for this special group. One of their own passed away. I got to see a beautiful song they recorded just for him. When I picture all of them on the stage, he is there. The people we lose always stay with us in more meaningful ways than we can count.
The concert is always filled with music that brings all sorts of emotions and thoughts. The director always has such a way of bringing it all together to make it known that we have made it another year and there is so much to celebrate; so much to be thankful for. This is what the season is all about.
I can hear those words even without them being said into the microphone. True words carry on throughout the times that always seem to be changing in ways that do not always make sense.
The song changes on the radio again and another one they usually sing comes on but this time I have pulled into my driveway and shut the car off.
Sitting in the dark for a minute with the lights reflecting off to the side, the song continued on in my head. I thought ahead a year and could picture all of our favorite singers back on that stage once again bringing their gift of music to us.
May this season play on in your hearts and all around you with all of the best holiday wishes.
Each year after this performance, I blog about it. I could not let a year go by without writing about how special this tradition has become. I hope that in 2021 we are all back to the events and people we have not seen in the usual familiar places this year.