‘Tis the Season

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‘Tis the season…it snuck up on me. Never mind that I still haven’t addressed Christmas cards or finished my gift shopping. I have made up my mind that I won’t get stressed or worked up over “details,” I plan to enjoy my Christmas. I’m going to be like that woman in the poem, “Warning, ” by Jenny Joseph. “When I’m an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves…” In other words, I am going to do my own thing this Christmas, not what society or traditions dictate. Now if you receive a Christmas card from me in April, you can be assured that it was not the obligatory greeting that I rushed to get in the mail before the “deadline.” You would know that you were truly in my thoughts. For those of you on my card list, be watching the mail for your meaningful card…when you least expect it, expect it!

‘Tis the season for gift giving. I sometimes read heartwarming stories on Facebook or in emails about “Random Acts of Kindness.” There have been stories of folks who paid the tab in a restaurant for a complete stranger, or supplied a hotel room for a homeless person during a cold spell, etc. This selfless giving is often done anonymously which really demonstrates that the “gift” is from the heart with no ulterior motive and comes with no strings attached. I think that these are the most precious gifts. There are some random acts that we can perform that cost little or nothing. Smile or give a warm greeting to random people in the marketplace, write an encouraging note, compliment young moms and dads on their parenting skills, express gratitude to people who have had a positive impact on your life…be creative and sincere in these endeavors and enjoy the blessings you receive in return.

‘Tis the Season for music. Last Tuesday I went out caroling with some Junior High and High School kids from my church. I played the guitar and more or less kept things moving and orderly as we went door to door. The thing that made the evening special for me is that I was joined by another guitar player; Taylor, the young girl that I am giving guitar lessons to. She was playing a nice, shiny guitar that was a gift to her from my friend, CBA member Randy Shelton. Many people were blessed by his generous gift and three in particular; me, Taylor and Randy, himself. The gift of music is one that keeps on giving.

‘Tis the season for remembrances and reflection. As the year 2013 comes to a close, I’m thinking back on all the musical memories I’ve made these past twelve months. We went to festivals and camp-outs and jams and spent countless hours playing music with friends, old and new. This is the year I got an upright bass and started a new adventure in music.

This Christmas Eve would have been the 100th birthday of my mother-in-law had she lived long enough. She made it to 98. It seems fitting that we acknowledge this milestone just the same. Terry and I decided that we would give special gifts to those people who meant so much to her, her grand kids. We have wrapped up some of her precious personal belongings and they will be given out after a “birthday” dinner this Christmas Eve. As the Mac Wiseman song goes…”It’s so sweet to be remembered.”

‘Tis the season to start making plans for 2014. I’m hoping to host a jam or two at my house this summer. Who knows, we may put up a Christmas tree and wear purple with a red hat that doesn’t go. Hope to see many of you at the Great 48 Hour Jam in Bakersfield. In the meanwhile, have a blessed holiday and don’t sweat the small stuff.

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