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Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "Means a little bit more."

I'm going to take a break from the challenge today, because there's been something on my mind.
Yesterday, at work, I was washing some guy's ratty Santa wig and beard, and I thought to myself, "Gee this sure takes the magic right out of Christmas doesn't it?" And I thought about how much I genuinely hate the song, "Last Christmas" because it's so selfish and then I remembered how a few years ago, one of my friends from high school was saying that Christmas didn't excite him anymore. That it didn't really mean anything.

And I had to admit that this year, at least, I wasn't really feeling it either. At first, I blamed it on spending the first week of December in Florida (which was awesome by the way). As I thought of how I would have to stay a few extra days in Provo without my roommates so I could perform with the choir I'm in at the Institute at UVU, I dreaded it. I just wanted to be home with my family so it could feel like Christmas.

I went to the dress rehearsal of Lex de Azevedo's "Gloria" at the Provo Tabernacle on Thursday night, and it was so beautiful in there. I thought to myself, "Wow, this is Christmas. This is it. When we perform in here tomorrow, I'll really feel the Christmas spirit because it looks just like I think Christmas should look."

When I woke up the next morning to a text saying that the Provo Tabernacle had caught on fire, at first I thought it was a really stupid joke. Then as it became apparent that it had in fact happened, a mixture of feelings came to me. I shamefully admit that I felt some relief to think we weren't going to sing "Gloria" anymore. I felt sadness that something so beautiful could be destroyed in one night. I couldn't believe that the one place I thought I was finally going to feel the Christmas spirit was gone. I just wanted to go to Colorado and sit by the fire and Christmas tree in my family's house, in my own house where I've spent most of the Christmases of my life.

Word came that we were going to sing "Gloria" in a different venue and give people the option of donating to help people who lost things in the fire. I didn't really want to do it, but I've had a really good experience with this choir and I had agreed to spend my time rehearsing and performing with them. So I wasn't going to back out.

The Alpine Tabernacle is pretty enough, but it is nowhere near as stunning in my opinion as the Provo Tabernacle was. And there were no beautiful decorations, no cool lighting. Just the choir and the instruments and the audience.

As Lex de Azevedo addressed the audience and shared his feelings about what had occurred, he pointed out that although he felt sad that it was all gone, the fire could never destroy the music. That when all the flashy and fancy packaging was stripped away, the fire couldn't take what we had in our hearts. I'm not even totally sure that's exactly what he said, but that's what I heard.

Suddenly, as silly as it may sound, the words of Dr. Seuss came to mind from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." In the end, when the Whos join hands and sing, despite having their Christmas "stolen" from them, the Grinch realizes something:

"'It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!'

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.

'Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas,' he thought, 'Means a little bit more.'"

Christmas isn't in the beautifully decorated trees or the holly or mistletoe. It's not in Santa wigs and beards. It's not in the hot chocolate and warm fire during a blizzard. It's not in the bells or department stores.

Christmas is the love we show our neighbors in remembrance of Him who loves us more than we can possibly imagine. It's in good friends who come to your choir concert and keep you company when otherwise you knew you'd be sitting at home all alone. It's in cheering up those lonely hearts of God's children, and reminding them that two thousand years ago a Child was born in a simple stable among the animals, a Child who would one day give His life for each and every one of us. Christmas is the Love of our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ. And no material thing could ever take the place of that.

I love Christmas.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rascal Flatts - I'm Movin' On

Yeah, someday I'll figure out how to work this thing....

Day 10-Songs you listen to when you're bored, happy, sad, mad, hyped

Oh man, so it's been a while. Really, the reason why I haven't been so strict with the 30 day challenge is because my sister-in-law has been just as bad. Yep, I'm using her as an excuse.

Also, I've had to think about this one. Which is weird. It should come that easy because I am constantly listening to music. I'm one of those people when someone gets up in church and says that we should try to turn off our ipods and radios who nervously looks away ha ha.
I just love music so much! I love to listen, and even more, I love to sing it!

When I'm bored, I listen to a lot of different music. It's like I have this choice when I'm bored. I can either eat or listen to music, but either will defeat my boredom. I really listen to anything from Elton John to Broadway musicals to The Rocket Summer to Lady Antebellum. If it's got a good melody and good lyrics, I don't care what genre it's in, I'll listen. And belt it out if I'm alone. Just check out my playlist at the bottom of the page. I listen to that at work.

The songs I listen to when I'm happy depend on what's made me happy. Because honestly, it could be something like "If It's Love" by Train, or it could be something like "The Spirit of God." So...could be a temporal happy or a spiritual happy. I mean, I guess either way is good, one's just more lasting. ;)

The Fray, Dashboard Confessional and Taylor Swift win points for the most sad songs I listen to. Although "I'm Moving On" by Rascal Flatts is the all-time best song when I'm sad. Because it helps me get through the sad part and onto the "moving on" part. Another song that gets me every time I'm sad is called "Sometimes He Lets It Rain." I'm not sure who sings it, but it's on my girl's camp CD.

When I'm mad, I'm all about Pink and Kelly Clarkson. They just have so many good girl-power songs. If I'm listening to one of their angry songs, don't mess with me.

When I'm hyped, I have to say I love those terrible songs by Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry. Like, if I'm gonna have a night out with the girls, you can bet those songs will be blaring. "Hot and dangerous, if you're one of us then roll with us, 'cause we make the hipsters fall in love when we've got our hot pants on and up."