I love Christmas music — all kinds of Christmas music, traditional, piano, pop, rock — if it is spreading holiday cheer, I listen to it. Christmas music is played in our house from the day after Thanksgiving to New Year’s. It puts me in the mood to decorate the house, bake cookies and wrap presents. Yes, Christmas music puts a smile on my face.
But my all time favorite is singing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve in church surrounded by my family. You know the ones — “Joy to the World,” “Angels, we have heard on High,” “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing,” “Oh Come all ye Faithful,” “Little Town of Bethlehem” and of course, when the church dims the lights, everyone lights a candle and we sign “Silent Night,” this just fills me with joy and reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas.
Something has changed over the last nine years — now I have a hard time singing those same songs, my voice shakes and tears well up in my eyes. What is the problem you may ask? There is no problem, I became a MOTHER nine years ago. Now those same songs are not just songs to me. They are a mother’s story, a journey of bringing that special boy into this world. I will never look at The Christmas Story the same way, my heart has changed since becoming a mother.
I look at my boys and think about Mary and Joseph and their fear, belief and faith to bring Jesus Christ into this world. For me personally, I can’t imagine what thoughts ran through Mary’s head when an angel appears and tells you not to be afraid. It was scary enough for me when I found out I was pregnant. I wondered, “Would I make a good mother?” She must have been scared and unprepared, but her faith carried her through to be an amazing mother. Much the same way I pray nightly for God to walk with me and help me to be the best mother for my boys.
Every year, since becoming a mother, the reaction is the same, the songs now have a deeper meaning for me, although my boys are not THE Son of God, they are God’s Children and my Joy’s to the World. I am blessed to be their mother.
So, again this year, I look forward to attending church on Christmas Eve with my family, bringing plenty of tissues and shedding a tear or two during those beautiful songs. If my boys ask why I am crying, I will tell them it is just part of the joy of being their mom. My wish for you is that these songs will bring a tear or two to your eyes as well. Merry Christmas!
Luke Chapter 1 vs. 30–33: “And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.’” (Revised Standard Version — Holy Bible)
• Leah Derewicz is a 15-year Ahwatukee Foothills resident. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.