The Twelve Musical Days of Christmas sounded good when I put the list of music together on Christmas Day. However, yesterday, I realized that very few people would still want to hear Christmas songs after New Year's so I'm not going to continue.
We listen to so much good Christmas music that I've decided to post some.
One of my favorite Christmas albums is James Galway's Christmas Carol. Here are James Galway, Frederica von Stade, The Vienna Choir Boys, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's performing in Christmas at Lincoln Center.
If you're expecting a thoughtful Christmas post, this isn't it. I spent the first half of the month homeschooilng and also running around like a maniac shopping and doing other Christmas preparations so that I wouldn't have to spend the rest of the month on that. I was very nose-to-the-grindstone. Older son and daughter finished exams mid-month so I've been enjoying spending time with everyone. If the mood hits me, I might blog in the next two weeks, but I won't get back to regular blogging until after they go back to college. I don't multi-task well, and, right now, my whole focus is on family. :)
I've been very nose-to-the-grindstone this week. Except for Tuesday, when I had another allergy shot reaction, I've been spending most of my non-homeschooling time on Christmas lists, shopping, etc. It takes about 4 days of that to make me really grouchy. I was in Southern States Seasons (Southern States is a favorite plant store) one evening (very nice specialty food store where I only buy small things), and they were playing classy, Christmas music. Frank Sinatra was singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." If you've seen "Meet Me in St. Louis," you know that it's not really a cheerful song - Judy Garland's character is trying to put a brave face on things. I was internally ranting that this is NOT a cheerful Christmas song.
I can't complain, really, after all, I am able to shop for Christmas. I'm just not very good at it, and I find the whole thing stressful. I wasn't feeling "in the spirit" at all, and, obviously, even music wasn't helping. By yesterday evening, I was longing to go hiking.
Okay, I'll admit it, this morning I played hooky, and, while younger son was at his history class, I wandered around Duke Gardens for an hour and a half. Even that didn't totally restore my equilibrium.*
This evening, older son and I sang with members of the community theater group at the Hillsborough Christmas tree lighting.** Even though my voice is still rough (result of the allergy shot reaction), I had a wonderful time. Although we were singing, not putting on a play, it felt different from the singing we do at church in choir (which, as you know if you've read my blog, I love). We started singing, I looked at the audience standing on the other side of the conductor, and I had this lift of "We're performing!"***
While singing the carols, I realized that I was finally feeling Christmas-y.
Afterwards, we had a great time when we went to get hot chocolate and talk to the other singers until it was time to go home for dinner.
While we were singing and talking, dear husband had made a chicken pie with the initials of the theater group! He knew that I would blog about it. :)
While we were eating dinner, I realized that I had the uplifted, energetic, positive sort of feeling that I only usually have in the summer after theater rehearsals or performances. In December!
* However, instead of being seasonally depressed like I usually am this time of year, I've often been cranky. That's actually an improvement. When I haven't been cranky, I've actually enjoyed the sunshine, tree skeletons, etc. - which I usually can only enjoy in late February when the days are getting longer. I think it's because we've had such a warm November and I've spent so much time outside in the sun - planting all those pansies and bulbs that I thought I bought too much of. Maybe, it was really just the right amount to keep me outside.****
** We had just a small part of the group - mostly homeschoolers who have more flexible schedules for rehearsals. I think it's going to be larger next year
*** When I mentioned this to older son later, he said he had the same feeling. His theory is that, at church, people would come whether or not the choir sang, whereas, in a musical, people come to see the performance in particular. This evening, we were 2/3 of what was going on.
**** Only 3 bags of crocuses and half a bag of dwarf irises to go.