I must confess it was about as perfect as a Christmas season could be. Just enough festive frivolity to keep things exciting, and enough quiet space to rest and reflect on the deeper echoes of the season.
Between Lakebay's Christmas dinner, the Christmas tree lighting with the Down Home Band, the GHPSO concert featuring brass and organ, the Seattle Symphony's Messiah, our Christmas Eve service, and Christmas day itself, it was a time of laughter and wonder and cheer, full of holiday music and merry memory-making.
My three highlights would have to be:
- The GHPSO holiday concert, which allowed me to shine just a bit, sharing my talent on trumpet with many friends and orchestra patrons; it also was sheer fun joining together with other talented musicians to make merry music on a cold frosty night.
- Messiah, which was really a whole night of excitement and celebration with friends - good food, good conversation, laughter, and heart-stirring music played by consummate professionals. A reminder that the best Christmas moments are a mixture of old and new - the centuries-old music of Handel, the modern-day restaurant and hip coffee shop. And also that the truly best moments are spent with people we love.
- Lakebay's Christmas Eve service. It was pure magic. A vision I had months ago, come together in beauty and inspiration and glory. Fun - we sang "I Saw Three Ships," and "The 12 Days of Christmas" (complete with dramatic interpretation); festive (guests were greeted at the door by Cider stewards, we had plenty of goodies); and heart-felt - the candle-lit sanctuary, the beauty of trumpet and cello and clarinet, the ancient story, the excitement of kids running throughout the sanctuary. An a Capella version of Silent Night, sung outside surrounding a blazing fire, tapering off to the sound of church bells ringing into the night. Oh, and the fact that we planned on 35 people, and instead welcomed around 110 or more.
And Christmas day itself was nice, quiet, with family, homemade butternut squash soup, some presents and too many pictures taken. I had fun, but the kids had a lot more fun. . .which made my day complete.
So, although Christmas has about 9 more days to go, I reflect now and must say this one was up there with the very best. I'm not sure what could have made this one any better. Sometimes Christmas drifts away and I'm left feeling it wasn't quite complete, that something was missing. Not this time. This one. . .this one was good, all the way around.
Merry Christmas, everyone.