"For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."
I am not a singer. Don't get me wrong, I love music, and I love to sing, but tunes and keys and I are not the best of friends. My husband assures me it's no longer painful to hear me sing, and that quite often now it's even enjoyable. This wasn't the case when we were first married, so you can imagine my horror when I discovered that most of his family had gorgeous voices, and loved to sing together.
Shortly before our first Christmas together my horror turned to full on panic, as my husband told me all about one of his family's favorite traditions. You see, for as long as he can remember on Christmas Eve they would all gather together and make popcorn balls, and take them to the neighbors singing Christmas carols as they delivered them. What was worse was that he wanted me to join in this tradition with them. That's right, my sweet husband, who I would do anything for wanted me to put aside my FEAR of singing in public, and go through his parent's neighborhood singing to the neighbors. I honestly couldn't imagine a more horrible and embarrassing experience!
Unfortunately that year we weren't with his family at Christmas, and the following year I was with them, but I was alone. Steve was deployed to Iraq, and since my family was on the other side of the country I decided to drive up to Utah so I wouldn't sit in an empty house all through the holidays. I had intended to spend some quiet time alone while everyone else went caroling, but in my mind I could see the look in his eyes as he told me about this treasured family tradition. I could see him remembering having snowball fights with his brother in between houses, I could see his smile when he talked about the joy of being with his family.
So that Christmas Eve I joined the rest of the family, and my brother in-law pushed me right to the front because he knew how uncomfortable it made me, and my father in-law grumbled that he didn't like to sing, and our niece and nephew wanted to know when we could go home where it wasn't so cold, and in all of that I saw how much our family wanted to share Christ with others at Christmas.
I saw how my brother in-law wanted to make me laugh and smile even though in my heart I was grieving being a world away from my husband, and wondering if I would ever see him again. I saw the look of pride in my father in-law's eyes, when he thought no one was looking, as he, our patriarch, listened to his family sing their testimony of the Savior's birth to all of those around them. I saw my niece and nephew's excitement to get home to hear their grandfather read the story of Christ's birth from Luke 2,which always follows the caroling.
I am grateful for the opportunity to
keep Christ in Christmas!
You Can Read More about Abby over at her blog
She is a military wife, homeschooling mom, and lovely creative person.