Christmas from the place in-between

The above is a very amaturish video of my daughter’s fifth grade choir performing at a local shopping mall on Monday. It was the second of the two concerts performed that day. The first was at a local nursing home. “The Christmas Song”, probably one of the most recognized songs of the season, was the last of 5 songs performed for the residents.

courtesy of google images

Since I had already attended an earlier performance at the school, I’ll admit that the audience garnered the lion’s share of my attention rather than the choir. The first four songs were either new holiday songs or versions of old classics rendered unrecognizable by new lyrics and melodies. The audience, in varying degrees of lucidity, sat quietly and most applauded politely in all the right places. Some dozed in their wheelchairs, some smiled through the entire performance while others sat with looks indifference on their faces.

That is, until that final song began. As young, unfamiliar voices sang those familiar words, I felt a shift in the room. A generation with a lifetime of Christmas memories ahead of them unknowingly conjuring up a lifetime of Christmases from generations past. I watched as faces formerly of rapt attention as well as those of indifference subtly changed and turned inward toward past Christmas memories–both bitter and sweet.

In those moments I found myself grateful to be in the in-between place. Looking back at my own memories both bitter and sweet, and looking forward with the hope of more of the latter than the former.

Strip the season of its festive decor and commercialism and it really is all about hope.

Hope born in a lowly manger on that very first Christmas day.

“Although it’s been said many times, many ways…Merry Christmas to you.”

image courtesy of

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