Monday, December 15, 2008

I went to school today and stumbled into a Christmas concert

If you stay around the school building in the morning, and it's the kind of weather when you have your windows rolled down, you hear the most adorable sound.  Over the loud speakers come these two little voices saying, "Good morning!"  Then they say their names and ask us to please join them in saying the Pledge of Allegiance and the Tiger Pledge.  The Tiger Pledge is a little vow to show respect and responsibility and best effort and all those good things.  I love hearing those little voices in the morning.

Well, last Friday should have been Drew's turn, but I got him to school late.  Today we were a little late again.  (I think Jared did it today, Sara!)  So I'm not sure but what he has missed his chance for good.  But anyway, I went inside to check with his teacher on something else and all the kids were streaming to the gym for a high school band concert.  So I was surprisingly serenaded with O Holy Night and a comical version of Twas the Night Before Christmas while Drew sat happily beside me and Jake chewed on a giant wad of bubble gum and grinned at Aunt Eva Jean who sat beside us.  It was a pretty decent start to any Monday, you gotta admit.

On the way home from a ball game last night (who knew third grade basketball could be so fun?) we stopped at a gas station where I plopped some Rolos on the counter.

"Chocolate fix?" the clerk asked me.

"Yep."  And it was.  A thoroughly emotional choice as I wasn't even hungry.

"Whatever it takes," he said kindly.

And I thought, whatever it takes indeed.  

See, I didn't have any trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year.  I've felt thoroughly magic clear to my toes since November 1.  Surprisingly, though, my budget wasn't feeling quite as Christmasy as me and hasn't been giving as generously as I would have liked.  It's like the economy is going under or something, although I'm sure that's not true.  So although it's been Christmas for weeks around here, December 25th has managed to plummet towards me like a giant snowball under which I feel I will soon be flattened.   I have way too much shopping left to do considering it is December 15th.  

And so, finally I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps Christmas is, like, too commercial or if perhaps the stores prey on our holiday spirit to get us to buy more, or if maybe - and this is a shot in the dark here - maybe there is a little something going on with the economy.  And all this threatens - like the giant snowball itself - to undo all of the happiness that Charlie Brown and Michael W. Smith have thus far established.  

So I say, whatever it takes.  I sit in the quiet at night in front of my lighted tree.  I listen to Christmas music nonstop from a variety of sources so you don't get - you know - "Jingle Bells backwards!" (Name that movie).  And I eat Rolos when I don't really need them.

An old friend of mine had an awesome Facebook status recently, "I'm glad the King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger, in all our trials born to be our friend."  That was all it took that moment.  And I was so thankful for it.  I refuse to let Christmas bowl me over.  It's way too easy to pause and finally get it.  You just gotta find what it takes.


Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now and have enjoyed listening in to the thoughts shared here. This post touched me because Christmas is taking on new life for Zach and me this year. Abbie is two now and it's been exciting to watch her truly experience Christmas for the first time. She knows that Christmas is a birthday party for Jesus, she doesn't know she'll get presents (she calls them suprises which comes out pu-prises), and thinks that Santa is the snowman with the red hat. These are all okay with us. But the best part of Christmas for me this year has been before naptime and bedtime. This is when Abbie asks me to "sing about the Baby Jesus, Momma." She loves "Away in a Manger" and I love singing it to her. This is what I remember when I'm having a "whatever it takes" kind of moment. Merry Christmas!
Erin Gunter

Anonymous said...

I would have loved to have heard that! He brought home a paper over the weekend to practice, but he said it would be later in the week. Jenna is now going to be in the Children's Christmas choir for Christmas Eve Mass and I am so excited for this! Jared was a litte less enthused at her practice yesterday and in the face of my excitement, gave me a "Whatever it takes, Mom" look...

serenity said...

Erin, it's so good to hear from you! You've always been good at focusing on the important things I think. I can just picture you singing to Abbie. I hope our family can visit with all three of you sometime.

Sara - that's so funny about Jared's look. I'm quite familiar with it!

Anonymous said...

I believe I've found my whatever it takes moment. Stay tuned for family email, you won't believe it.

Kelly Hoeckelberg-Young said...

I love the idea of the Tiger Pledge ... I've never heard of that before!

May Vanderbilt said...

Can we discuss that the word verification that Blogger is giving me is "bleco"? Like, this economy is bleco!

It's so funny. I feel like I needed Christmas more than ever this year with how bleak things are.

Thanks for this post. It was beautiful.