Over Thanksgiving, we went to my husband’s aunt and uncle’s house for the big feast. We go every year, and even though the aunt and my mother-in-law are the only two children from their family, their posterity really is quite vast. This year there were 55 there, and two of the larger families were missing. Big families. It’s the joy.
Besides, the “pie count” was 36 this year. That’s 36 pies for 55 people. I don’t care if that’s a low ratio compared to years past. It’s still more than half a pie per person. (And if we subtracted the infants, it’d be even a better ratio.) Is it any wonder this is my favorite holiday?
Even beyond pie time, though, my favorite part of the day (maybe everyone’s) is singing time. In the late afternoon, my mother-in-law sits down at the piano. Cousin Sarah passes out binders of sheet music, and about 30 of the 55 sit on couches and the floor and sing songs about Christmas and the Savior and it’s all in shockingly good harmony (almost everyone there has been in one choir or other, and some have even pursued professional singing careers, so it’s not exactly shocking, I guess.) I’m an alto, hitting the right notes here and there, but just basking in the lovely sounds. This year two of my kids joined, pulled themselves away from the jumping castle and the TV. Son sang bass, daughter sang alto with me. Her favorite is “Do You Hear What I Hear.” Someone filmed “Candlelight Carol” this year. If I can figure out how to link it, I will. It’s a beautiful song.
The next night we had a sit-around discussion talking about what we’re thankful for. My mother-in-law said, “Music. It’s how I believe we’ve been able to raise good families who love the Lord.”
I hope next year more of my children will join the tradition. Meanwhile, I’m loving sitting at our own piano, in our own home, and singing while my oldest son plays the songs of the season.
It’s December now, so I guess I’ll just say Merry Christmas now to start the month off right. I say let’s get all this shopping done with asap so we can really enjoy the worship part of the joyous time of year.