Music has always been a big part of my Christmas season. In high school I loved decorating Mr. Brooks’ choir room while listening to Christmas music starting the Monday after Thanksgiving. For as long as I can remember singing Christmas carols in church has always warmed my soul. My dad often sang a solo of Oh Holy Night at our Christmas Eve service. Christmas is way more than music, but songs get my heart and mind ready for the season.
Giving Gifts: Our Talents
Since becoming a Christian in 1998, Christmas has grown deeper in meaning to me and to my family. And songs have played a big role all along the way. Lately I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about gift-giving and gift receiving. I’ve leaned heavily on my faith as I’ve learned what it means to give a great gift. It was in this spirit that I wrote one of my favorite blog posts as I contemplated the full breadth of Little Drummer Boy. It ended up being a four-part series including the introduction based on my favorite rendition of the song by Jars of Clay. If you only have a couple minutes, check out Scene 2 and Scene 3. With that commentary as a backdrop, gift-giving has a new meaning: we can bring ourselves and our talents.
Giving Gifts: “The Christmas Album You Need”
This past Sunday I posted:
I got a bunch of responses, some expected and some I never saw coming. I proceeded to take each person’s comment and create a Spotify playlist: I offer you 2016 Friends Christmas album.
Late on Sunday I got a text from my friend Todd. He saw my Facebook post and wanted me to know that he had bought be “the Christmas album you need.” Monday morning I downloaded it and by 5:30am I was listening to a brand new album because of the generous gift of a friend.
It takes me back when I think about the role of music this Christmas season. The Spotify playlist is nothing special except it is! There is nothing unifying that playlist except they are the 16 friends who decided to share with me their songs and it turned into a collaboration. There is nothing special about Todd’s album that he gifted me except there is! It’s new, it’s good (!), and it was as genuine as it gets; I asked for song suggestions and a friend who really likes music picked out an album that he thought I would like.
I want our gift giving could be as simple as these two examples: a friendly collaboration and a simple $9.99 iTunes purchase. I hope Christmas music the next four days can take us to such rich and warm places as this.