Sleigh Bells ring, are you listening?
I am sitting in a quiet (for now) house listening to the classic Johnny Mathis asking me if I'm listening to sleigh bells! Umm, no I'm not. But suddenly I wish I were!
I'm sitting next to my crackling fireplace, smelling the bread baking in the bread maker whilst venison (say what?!) cooks in the slow cooker. I'll fill you in on the venison another time-- like after we've eaten it!
Back to Johnny....
One of the things my mom did during the holidays when I was young was play her Johnny Mathis CD over, and over and over (and over and over and over) again. My sisters and I hated it at the time. It really got old. I mean really, how much can a girl listen to Johnny?
I continued that tradition for a few years. Just in the last few years I've started branching out to other Christmas CDs, and I'm so glad I did. I can't imagine the holidays now w/o some of the new, fresh sounds of Christmas echoing through our home! However, it never fails that Johnny can instantly bring me back to my youth. Drinking hot chocolate, building snowmen and snowforts with my sisters, watching the snow fall out our windows, sitting in front of the wood fireplace, building puzzles and snuggling in for the winter. Even the dreaded chores of carrying in wood and shoveling the driveway are looked upon with fondness because when I think of all the good things, the bad things are far outweighed.
I didn't know at the time, that what my mom was doing- whether intentionally or unintentionally, was shaping how I would look at the holidays. For many of us, December is about waiting for Jesus's birth. Just like Mary and Joseph did. Waiting. To spend that time thinking about what would be under the tree, and counting the days until the gifts are opened would be missing the purpose of the season.
Instead, we made the best of the snow days. We didn't have cable growing up, so we never sat glued to the TV, we were busy little bees-- while we waited for the birth.
While we waited, we sang along with Johnny.
Thank you Johnny for being a part of my youth, for helping me to reflect back on the holidays as a child.
I can only pray that the traditions that the boys, Brian and I have maintained through the years will hold a warm fuzziness for the boys when they're older. I pray that they'll look back on the holidays have the same fondness that I had when I was young. Maybe it won't be Johnny who will bring them back, maybe it will be a smell, or a color, or maybe a Christmas ornament...whatever it is, I hope that it will bring them the same love and happy heart that I have right now.
I can't say it enough, I ADORE this time of year!
Peace Love Joy. While we wait.....