This holiday season there’s been more Christmas music and snow than usual in my life, and it’s been so wonderful!
The music started back at the start of November when the music teacher, Mr. B, at my school started teaching my students how to play “Away in a Manger” on these bells. The bells were like someone chopped up a xylophone into individual notes, and so each student had one note.
Watching Mr. B teach the students their parts was entertaining, and I got a part too: I accompanied them on the piano.
One of my favorite parts of those weeks of practice was when Mr. B taught the students how to act after they had finished playing their piece three times. They were to raise their arms up in a gentle arch and then end with their hands (and instruments) at their sides. Then Mr. B told them to bow if they were a guy or curtsy if they were a girl. While Mr. B was dealing with another student, a couple other students came up with the idea that they could “Bertsy”–a combination of bow and curtsy! They cracked me up about their bertsying. 🙂
When we had our Family Christmas Worship service where they played their piece, we practiced it several times out on the platform, and thought we were ready. That night the kids came all dressed up in dresses and cool suits or sweaters. When it was our time, I rushed us up there a little too soon (but they got the music stands up there anyway). We played the first verse perfectly!
Then it was time for the second verse… the students had learned their note according to their word in the first verse, so this messed up a few students (I even forget a couple notes), but we all kept going! The third verse was better; it was so beautiful to create music with my students.
The music created by the other students in our school was so alive–the kids had practiced so much that they could relax and have fun! We had little drummer boys with their drums, we had wise men rapping about finding Jesus in the manger…the theme was Joy to the City, and there was indeed, joy in the city that night.
On Christmas Day, as I sat around with my parents and their friends, I looked out the window and saw the snowy fields. It was dusk, and winter dusks are amazing because of the deep blue the shadows make on the snow.
Snow brings peace and reassurance to the Christmas season. Snow makes Christmas feel old-fashioned and traditional. The cold, the white outlining everything, the crunch…it makes me feel like Christmas and that all is well.