I've always loved Christmas music. I get that from my dad, I think. The Holiday tunes are turned on in our house the day after Halloween. Sometimes earlier. I love the message of joy they bring, the happiness of this wonderful time they represent. Every year I look forward to the time when we get to listen to the sounds of choirs singing of snowfall, Christmas trees and lights, family, friends, the joy of giving, and so on.
But I have to say, my favorite ones by far are the ones that tell of the Savior's birth. I arrived home this weekend, looking forward to 2 1/2 weeks of spending time with my family. About 20 minutes after I walked in the door, the choir director from my home ward came to call. She literally begged me to come accompany one song for the choir on Sunday, seeing as the pianist was feeling really swamped but they really wanted to sing just this one more song. I quickly agreed. I didn't mind at all! Playing church music isn't a big deal for me.
Well, I arrived at the rehearsal the next morning, and the choir was already warming up. I sat quietly in the corner, not wanting to interrupt. The director immediately spotted me and said "Ashley, would you like to sing with the choir?" I should have known I would be roped into this. I said that would be fine and took my seat, a little grudgingly, in the Soprano section. Not long after we began singing, though, all feelings of annoyance immediately left me. The songs we were singing were truly beautiful, telling the story of that night long ago, when Christ was sent to the earth to save us all.
On Sunday, when we performed these well-practiced songs in Sacrament Meeting, I was truly touched by the spirit as we told the congregation of the Savior. I saw many people with tears in their eyes, I knew we had touched them too.
A lot of times, I think we really lose sight of what Christmas is all about. Of course we love the presents, seeing the children's faces light up when they find what Santa has brought them, the lights that brighten the world in this dark, cold winter, the caroling, the hot chocolate, the Christmas movies, songs like "Let it Snow" and "I'll Be Home For Christmas". But singing those songs yesterday really opened my eyes to what Christmas is all about. We celebrate Christmas for the baby that was brought to the virgin Mary in that stable long, long ago. We celebrate Christmas to honor Jesus Christ's life and mission in saving us all. Even though it's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season, I'm really going to remember what it's all about this year, and I hope you can too.