Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The music of Christmas

Christmas music is one of the key elements of this season for me and my family.

We sing:
My mom sings in the adult choir and the senior adult choir at First Baptist Church all year round, but it ramps up in December. She enjoys the challenge of learning the music and has a full schedule of rehearsals, in addition to the choir's participation in special worship services in December.

I also sing with the adult choir that we have at Grace Community Church for one Sunday of Advent (with a few rehearsals in the weeks leading up to it). Since we only have a choir at Christmas and Easter, it's a special treat for me to sing and be a part of the worship team.

Erica is on the far left on the front row

This year, Erica participated in children's choirs at both First Baptist and Grace. She loves to sing so she had fun learning the songs and when it came time to sing in the worship services, she sang her little heart out with a smile on her face. The first two times she sang happened on the same day (Grace in the morning and First Baptist in the evening). The third opportunity was last Sunday night and she sang with the children's choir at First Baptist during part of the concert by Steve Green. At one point, Steve asked the kids what their favorite class in school is. Erica raised her hand, along with several other kids, and when Steve called on her, she told him her favorite class is Music. Good answer, Erica!

And so I don't leave out little sister, I think she did her share of learning songs and singing along with Erica in the car throughout the month!

We go to concerts:
Not only do we go hear each other sing, we like to go listen to professional musicians during the Christmas season. One big highlight for the "grown-ups" is to go see the Behold the Lamb of God show, done by Andrew Peterson and friends at the Ryman Auditorium. The atmosphere is historical and makes a nice cozy venue. And the music, well it is epic! If you haven't attended this concert and live in Nashville, please put it on your calendar to get tickets next year. You will not be disappointed!
Outside of the Ryman after the show

I am also looking forward to going to Joy: An Irish Christmas concert next week featuring Keith and Kristyn Getty and their Irish band. It is held at the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall and is another great venue. I got to attend their show the first year they had it and it was another highlight of the season.

We listen:
I think it's safe to say that most of us in our family listen pretty exclusively to Christmas music during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can remember listening to the stacks of vinyl albums that my parents had when we were growing up, played on a turntable in the big stereo cabinet in the living room. As I got older, I bought my own cassettes and then CDs (and now buy digital songs), giving myself at least one new Christmas album each year. I stopped doing that after I had a huge stack of CDs, but this year I have indulged in some new digital songs (more than I am willing to admit to buying). Listening to Christmas music gets me in the Christmas spirit and helps me to keep my heart focused on Jesus during the hustle and bustle of the season. Of course I like the fun songs about snow falling and sleigh rides, too!

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs/experiences?

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