I have discovered a new favorite song this Christmas season. The song is "I Need a Silent Night" by Amy Grant. I have never heard it until this year so I don't know if it is new or if I am just behind on new Christmas music. The song makes me think about all of the experiences and feelings that I love about Christmas. I have so many wonderful memories of Christmastime a few of the things that I remember and love about Christmas are;
1. Looking at lights with my family. As a tradition we picked a night close to Christmas and went around town looking at the lights. We tried to find the best houses for holiday lights. After looking at lights we would go home to hot chocolate and glazed doughnuts. I remember feeling love and joy during these outings with my family.
2. Every year when I was young Kevin and Bruce camped out on my floor on Christmas Eve. We got up at the insane hour of 2:00 or 3:00 am. The rule was that we could go downstairs and look at our stockings but then we had to go back to our room and not wake our parents until 6:00. After we had looked at the stocking loot we ended up in my room playing Holland Memory. Every year it was the same, we did not change games, always Holland Memory.
3. As I got older Christmas brought a few different memories, boys. I had my first kiss at Christmas time and often seemed to have a romantic interest around Christmas. I remember thinking hard about getting the perfect gift for the boy of that year. The gift needed to be appropriate for how I perceived the relationship not to serious, but still personal and thoughtful. Ah the drama!
4. I have a vivid memory of the Christmas of 2001. I had just spent the semester in Nauvoo and met a boy named Ben. We spent many hours together each day in Nauvoo. The semester ended and we went home about a week before Christmas. The day I flew home my family was so excited to see me. As we drove home it was bitter sweet, I loved coming home to the house that was so familiar and decorated with the magic of Christmas. However this year was different. When all my family had gone to bed, I sat in the dark next to the Christmas tree with only the lights of the tree on and sobbed. I had just been with Ben that morning and was used to spending a lot of time with him and he was no longer there. I felt empty and I was devastated. Now we are married.
5. Now that I am a bit older and have children of my own I hope I can show them the magic of Christmas, the excitement, the anticipation, the joy and the love. This year I am doing the 12 days of Christmas for our family. Each day there is a little gift that is wrapped and left on our porch with two rings of the doorbell. The kids know it is from me because I always include a note signed mom but I tell them my special helper delivers it. They are so excited when they hear the two rings of the doorbell and run to see what was left on the porch. I love the twinkle of excitement in their eyes and I love Christmas just like a child again!
The song "I Need A Silent Night" has helped me remember the joy that I feel around Christmas time. It is not the presents but the people. The quiet times at home with those you love. Feeling like you belong, you are loved, and you love those around you. I hope everyone can feel the magic of Christmas and enjoy a few Silent and Holy nights this Christmas season.