Monday, December 17, 2018

Happiness and Cheer

I’ve been slow warming up to Christmas preparations this year. I lost a week due to that aforementioned chest cold. All the rain hasn’t helped either.

Tonight we went to the home of HoCoHouseHon (and hubs) for some pre-holiday family time. We got to see their tree and decorations, played a new game (Obama Llama), ordered in Indian food, and capped it all off with a trip through the Symphony of Lights.

All through the evening I felt something inside me unwinding. The stress of all the things that must be done fell away as we laughed and talked. The trip through the Symphony of Lights felt sweeter and also more alive, as the displays are now much closer to the pathways. 

My daughter had chosen her own musical mix for our drive-through soundtrack. Downtown Columbia twinkling with colored lights while accompanied by the Kings Singers and the Christmas Revels was almost too much joy to bear. Looking through the Sparkling Toy Factory to the eloquently simple arches of the Chrysalis behind it felt like loving old friends and new friends all at the same time. Realizing that we were looking down on the Merriweather Stage and all those musical instruments were positioned so they seemed to be waiting in the wings...

So many lovely touches. Old friends. New views. The excitement of turning a corner and seeing your favorite bit—mine’s the gingerbread house—makes returning year after year a treasured part of our family’s Christmas. And not just because of the lights, but because of how we are when we are together.

As we glimpsed the final vista and knew our visit was coming to an end, the children’s voices from A Charlie Brown Christmas began to sing Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time is Here”.  Purely by chance, the playlist gave us a perfect finish.

How grateful I am for tonight, for time with the people I love and the shared experience of a community I love. 

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call

Their favorite time of the year
Snowflakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share
Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there
Christmas time is here
We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year

Lee Mendelson/Vince Guaraldi

Celebration in the Woods Advent Calendar: 

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