Whether on SiriusXM or YouTube, in concert venues or churches, on busy “city sidewalks” or quietly at home, music is a special part of our holiday season. Performed on the piano, organ, orchestral instruments, guitar or even “silver bells,” the sounds of music are all around us.
My maternal grandparents lived on an 80-acre farm in Minnesota. Like most farmers in that era, they had a “one-horse open sleigh.” When we were children, the big, sleek horse and sleigh were long gone, but Grandpa still had the sleigh bells, photos and lots of stories. On Christmas Eve, he would shake those bells, incognito of course, to let us know Santa was on the rooftop. Oh, how we giggled with delight.
It was easy to imagine what it was like to ride in the sleigh and one wintry day years later, I had the opportunity to ride in my cousin’s sleigh drawn by his team of magnificent Clydesdales through the “white and drifted snow.” I still have a special piece of the worn leather strap with three sleigh bells on it. I occasionally shake them and dream of “dashing through the snow” and “laughing all the way.”
Another of my precious holiday music memories at my Grandparents involves their big, black upright player piano – a treasure purchased from a traveling piano salesman back in the early 1900’s. They had a big stack of piano rolls and it was great fun for the grandchildren to pump the pedals making them go ‘round and ‘round, but that was for another day. On Christmas Eve, Grandma herself played the much-loved piano as we gathered around and sang Christmas carols including “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”
If you’d like to share a holiday music memory or two, please do so in the comment section.
May your days be “merry and bright” and who knows, maybe our 2021 Christmas will be white.