It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around the City of Baxley. Sounds like it, too. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I love it. I love the lighted snowflakes on poles all around town. I love the church chimes playing Christmas carols. When I’m alone in my car, I love singing every Christmas song I know, including “Good King Wenceslas,” at the top of my lungs. I do have quite a repertoire because I’ve been memorizing songs for many Christmases now. (By the way, I don’t subject other people to my singing. I believe it’s okay to entertain myself, but not to make other folks suffer for my efforts.)
All around town Christmas trees are appearing, and I’ve had a love affair with them as long as I can remember. My mother did not have the same love for the noble tree that I acknowledge and never allowed ours to stay up more than one week; however, ever since I’ve maintained my own household, I’ve put a tree up early and left it up late. This year I required more help than usual because of my broken shoulder, but my grandson Stuart put it up for me. He spent several hours assembling branches, fluffing needles, repairing lights, and stringing garlands of red beads through the branches. Suddenly, it stood there in all its glory, the curly red ribbon at the top brushing the ceiling. I put on Christmas music to enhance the mood and let it wash over me as I took to my rocking chair and enjoyed the tree for an hour or so to officially kick off the season.
There’s something about the music of the season. It’s the big shiny bow that ties everything else together to put the finishing touch on the most wonderful of all the seasons. I enjoy joining my voice with those of my fellow church members to sing the old, old carols. As the songs soar, so do my spirits. I enjoy, too, the secular songs of Christmas—Rudolph and Frosty, among others. How could we make it through the season without “Silver Bells?” Unthinkable!
I don’t know exactly what it is about singing with other people that makes the activity so pleasant. Tonight I sat and listened to David Williams and Legacy as they sang not just Christmas songs, but a variety of gospel. I tapped my foot and clapped my hands along with other listeners. I came away feeling uplifted. Every one was smiling and chatting as we left the church. The group is wonderful, but I think part of the pleasure may have something to do with group effort. Christmas is not a solitary time. Families and friends must come together to enjoy it fully, but opportunities abound. Every church has seasonal bustle and extra activities and invites everyone to join in. There’s no cost.
A perfect opportunity for the whole community is coming on December 5 at 6:00 p.m. at Water Works Park. There will be musical performances and scripture readings, followed by the official lighting of the City of Baxley’s Christmas tree. I hope we’ll turn off our cell phones, turn off the televisions, and come out to the park to celebrate this season together.
Various groups are sponsoring opportunities to help people in need, but might I recommend also that we work a bit of time into our busy schedules to visit with some of the nursing home residents who need visitors. A little conversation can go a long way to relieve loneliness.
The Christmas season is only as good as we make it. We can get up and make it the best ever, or sit in isolation and let it pass us by. I hope to see everyone next Wednesday night at the park. I’ll be there with my lawn chair if the good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise.