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Christmas Time is Here

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…it is one of my favorite times of year and this is one of my favorite Christmas songs because it hits so close to home. 
    It seems more than just me enjoys a walk down memory lane as in the last two weekends, I’ve been able to enjoy Christmas walks in different towns. This weekend, I was blessed to have my folks and one of my kids with me as we strolled down decorated cobblestone streets and stopped to enjoy two of our children caroling with a group from their school. We even fortuitously enjoyed a wonderful performance of A Christmas Carol in Thirty Minutes by a community theater group with which our kids were once performed.
    That evening, we were blessed with another wonderful evening with our church family, enjoying the labor of love our young people pour into musical performances. Eighty minutes of performances by children aged 6-18 poured over us as a praise offering to our creator.
    Such joy fills my heart to watch my children interact with those whom they’ve shared the stage and been reunited with after many months, to see children I don’t even know laugh and run and play while my children entertain their families with Christmas carols even my parents were raised singing, and to sit and listen while songs of praise are offered by sweet young voices, along with sibling banter and encouragement between sets.
    All of our children performed last night. Rob played his guitar for most of his siblings and a couple of friends. Tom and Jac sang Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. Ali serenaded the full church with a sweet rendition of I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas, and much to our surprise, even invited the congregation to join her in a sing-along, which after an endearing chuckle, everyone joined in, bringing the dearest smile on our baby’s face. And Ben, Ben shook his bell sticks with all his might while he sang Jingle Bells. As loud as he sings his heart out at home, the church platform seems to have a silencing effect on him. Perhaps it’s the lights, perhaps it’s all the people as the church was incredibly full, but for whatever reason, he started very, very softly.
    My “mommy heart” broke as I saw the disappointment on his face at hearing people talking while he tried to sing. I don’t think people were trying to talk over him. I really think it just happened as he was so soft, they didn’t realize he had begun, but as they realized he was there and trying, the most precious silence descended upon our crowd. As the room grew quiet, Ben’s confidence built and he began to sing out, finishing strong, replete with that signature Ben smile and twinkle in his eye.
    We are so incredibly fortunate to be here, in this place, at this time – a place we can truly call home, where our children can do their thing, in their way and in their timing, and be so completely loved by so many.
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