My husband informed me just moments ago that we would not, in fact, be hauling all the Christmas stuff out today. Today he has replacing the faucet and other parts of the kids' sink upstairs as well as blowing the leaves outside on his agenda. Oh well, that didn't stop me from starting my own personal preparations. That includes pulling out all my favorite Christmas cds. Some are old, old, old. One dates back to the Christmas my husband and I were dating. I never listen to that one without thinking of those early days, when so much of what was to come remained hidden from view. And yet, there were glimpses-- some brought to light as this music played in the background.
Last year we visited our friends and former next door neighbors, Wade and Julie, in The Woodlands, TX as I had a speaking engagement there and we turned it into an excuse to go to Houston together with (most of) our expenses paid. (I can still remember hugging them goodbye in their driveway as they moved away. They said, "Come visit us sometime!" and I thought, "Yeah, right. Like we would ever have a way to visit Houston TX!" But God, right? It took six years, but we got there!)
Anyway, while we were browsing in the Borders near Julie's house that Saturday morning (because I can't stay away from bookstores) I heard this song come over the loudspeakers. I was captivated. I knew it was Sarah McLachlan but I had no idea she had a Christmas cd out! I purchased it immediately and that song, and the others on the cd, became an integral part of our Christmas preparations last year. If you like her, I urge you to get the cd, titled "Wintersong." It is a good one, and worth having.
And so, while I did the remainder of Thanksgiving dishes and cleaned up from lunch, I selected the first song to play of this season. In the past, it was always this one. (If you go to this link, don't watch the video, it is distracting in my opinion-- just minimize it and listen to the song as I am doing right now.) Sarah also has a beautiful version of this song on her cd-- you can listen to it here. But I am partial to Robert Downey Junior's version because, yes, I am partial to him but we won't talk about that.
But this year, I opted for "Wintersong" to be the way I started the season. Either one is a great start. I realize that these two songs are very untraditional, but they speak to me. They say to me: Christmas is here. Go slow. Savor the shorter days, the chill in the air, and the brief amounts of time you will have with the people you love.
This year I will listen to all my favorite Christmas songs over and over again, providing my own personal Christmas soundtrack. I have pulled out my cd of Ally McBeal, "A Very Ally Christmas," Chris Rice's "The Living Room Sessions: Christmas," Jim Brickman's "Peace," Amy Grant's "A Christmas To Remember," George Winston's "December," and Michael W. Smith's "Christmas." I hear Josh Groban finally has a Christmas cd, which I will most definitely be getting. All through December, I will let this music work its magic as the words and the melodies infuse my heart with song.
And in all of this, I will focus on doing what one of the lines in, "What Child Is This" suggests we all do:
"Let loving hearts enthrone Him."