So much emotion goes into any holiday season. I am only personally familiar with the Christmas Season. It holds deep emotions that still run true today for me. Unfortunately while not the intent, the emotions have absolutely nothing to do with the religious faith for which is the focus of the season.
That in itself offers a very strong message that in actuality the focus of the season falls to the pressure of the materialism. I have many memories of Christmas mornings for example of what I wanted as a child was under the tree. One particular Christmas morning stands out because of the doll I received. We had very little money and I knew even then as the child receiving the doll, that it was a struggle for my parents to buy that doll. I knew then, and still do now, that my Mother had placed the doll on lay away at the five and dime store, paying what she could manage to pay for that doll which at the time was a huge price of five dollars.
Yet to all of us it remains the more important part of the season. The gifts. What we can give. What will be special enough to gain the response we want. What the recipient will enjoy and love. To give something that will not be cast aside thoughtlessly. Yet if only we could just not focus on the material side of Christmas or any of the other holidays this time of the year.
Christmas music in all its beauty does brings mixed emotions. It brings deep sad emotions. Yet it it so lovely, I enjoy the beauty. I recall being at a Christmas mass with my Mother and Dad. I was an adult and thinking it would be like any other mass. Then my Dad’s voice, beautiful tenor voice rose above all the others in the congregation. His pure well trained tenor voice. So beautiful that it took one’s breath away. I sobbed like some child who had lost that special doll given to her long years ago. His voice hit me to the core. Not so much that it was my Dad, which did play a big part in the emotion, it was that it was this pure beautiful gift given to all of us at absolutely no cost and of no materialistic value. Well it could have been if he had continued with his professional singing.
It has been many, many years now since that mass. And many years since he moved to a higher level. I still can hear it and I can still see that little girl with the doll that she knew in her heart that had been a struggle to be purchased.
Family is small now and the three of us are scattered about the country. There is no real celebration of Christmas any longer and for me to attend mass would mean I crumble into an emotional mess. It isn’t about the lack of family presence, or the lack of sharing the holiday with someone, it is all about the music to me. The clear, clean, melodic talent that only a few are blessed with and the rest of us enjoy. Not always do we realize that those voices, that talent is really a wonderful gift to all of us.
And so that should be the focus of the Holiday Season. The beauty of the music as emotional as it may be for some, it remains probably the best gift of all.
May each of you have a lovely holiday season celebrating whatever your faith.