My Christmas Wish To You

With Christmas just days away, I thought I would take a moment and write a Christmas wish to you. Yes, you. Many of my followers are friends on Facebook, however, there are many of you who only know me from this blog. I wanted to be sure to extend holiday wishes to you before I got too busy with Christmas things.

I really had hoped to come up with some deep and meaningful wish, but I can’t seem to find the right words. Let me start with this: For my blogger friends – I appreciate you. I am glad to have made your acquaintance through mutual likes (movies, music, TV, etc…). I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy reading yours. I may not get the chance to comment or “like” each one of them, but I do find time to read them.

For my family and friends who are connected through Facebook or social media, I am grateful for you, too. Even though we do not get to see each other face to face, I laugh at your funny posts, I smile at your family photos, I pray when you request special prayers, and I cry when you experience sadness or tragedy. I send my love to each of you.

For Christmas 2021, I wish for you:

C – Carols and music. May the sounds of the season accompany your holiday gatherings.

H – Health and happiness. May you be blessed with good health and an over abundance of happiness!

R – Rest and relaxation. May you find time to rest, relax and recharge before heading back to the grind.

I – Innocence. May you take in things that are so often overlooked with the awe, wonder, and innocence of a child. Notice those things – and treasure them.

S – Surrounded by family and friends. May you share all of your holiday season amongst those who mean the most to you.

T – Traditions. May you enjoy old traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation as well as start new ones to pass down next year.

M – Memories. May you make many happy memories together and recall memories from Christmases gone by.

A – Appreciation. May you celebrate this Christmas with an appreciation for all you have, no matter how big or how small.

S – Savior. May you celebrate the Savior this Christmas. Yes, the world is celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, but it is also important to remember that the Baby in the manger grew up to be a sinless Man. That sinless Man, was crucified for you and for me. He bore all of our sins on the cross so that we could have eternal life.

I Corinthians 15: 1-4

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

A Musical Wish

I have never heard of Katherine Jenkins. She is a Welsh opera singer who  performs operatic arias, popular songs, musical theatre, and hymns. I was scanning through channels of Sirius XM and heard this song this week. I felt like it was a good one to share and conveyed what I might not be able to put into words.

I wish you starlight on fields of snow
The winter’s morning light and evening’s glow;
I wish you candles that shine from every tree
So all the world can see
The light that there could be


I wish you music, I wish you song
With voices echoing, Joyous and strong;
I wish you church bells, ringing true and clear;
I wish you Christmas, a merry Christmas
A merry Christmas to remember all the year


Old friends smiling
Thinking of times gone by;
Young friends laughing:
Christmas is here
Spirits are bright
And hopes are high


I wish you loved ones around your fire;
May Christmas bring you all your heart’s desire
I wish you children to make the season new
With dreams you help come true
Just like it was for you


I wish you blessings, I wish you love
The sound of angel choirs from high above;
I wish you laughter, happiness and cheer:
I wish you Christmas, a merry Christmas
And may its joy and peace be with you through the year


I wish you music, I wish you song;
I wish you harmony your whole life long;
The warmth of memories that long remain:
I wish you Christmas, a merry Christmas
And may God bless you till we all shall meet again

Merry Christmas from your nostalgic Italian friend,

Keith

Christmas Memory – The High School Holiday Band Concert

If my memory serves me correct, our high school band played three concerts. The first was the Fall concert, usually in early November, which featured both Concert Band and Marching Band songs. The Spring Concert happened in mid-May, and usually featured some of the more “fun” songs. In between those, we had a holiday concert in December.

This concert featured both the Concert Band and the various choir groups. The band almost always opened the concert and would play every 5th or 6th song. I think the band may have played a total of 4 or 5 songs during the entire concert. My grandparents, who were at every band concert, disliked the Christmas concert. They didn’t like having to wait so long to hear the band play.

It wasn’t easy for us band kids to sit on the stage throughout the entire concert either. I want to say that the area of the stage that the band was on was darkened while the choirs sang. It didn’t stop some of the goofing off in the brass and percussion sections. I can recall the drummers dropping things more than one time while the choirs were singing. They would get the “evil eye” from our band director which basically said, “Cut it out!”

The concert always ended with Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah. Our choir director would invite any alumni up to the stage to join in and sing. It was a perfect way to end the concert. The stage was already packed with the band and all the choir people, but we always made room for the various alumni singers.

The holiday concert my senior year was pretty special for me. I can’t recall if it was the entire trumpet section, but we all got to go up on the roof of the auditorium a half hour before the concert and play Christmas carols. They were arranged in 4 part harmony and it sounded so cool. I was lucky enough to direct the players. I can only imagine how cool it must have been for folks walking into the concert and hearing us from the roof.

As a kid, I stumbled on a Boston Pops Christmas album. It had many of the songs that would play over the PA system as you walked through K-Mart or Hudson’s during the holiday season. The first song on the album was an almost 9 minute medley of Christmas songs by Leroy Anderson called A Christmas Festival.

The song remains one of my favorites to this day. I used to grab a stick and crank this up in my headphones and “conduct” the orchestra in my room. For the holiday concert my senior year, we actually got to play it, which made it even cooler for me. I was so familiar with it already, but playing it was challenging. It was a tough piece. There were plenty of time signature changes and key changes, and some high notes. We also played the “band” version of it, which was a little different from the “orchestra” version. It was such a neat piece to play. One of the things I did after the concert was grab a copy of the conductor’s score so I could watch it as I listened to the record from home.

Give it a listen:

After we graduated, there were a few times that some of the alumni band got together to play Christmas carols in the lobby prior to the school’s holiday concert. I miss those days and miss playing my horn.