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Gifts of the Season

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Quote of the Day: What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; if I were a wiseman, I would do my part; yet what I can I give him – give my heart. – from “In a Bleak Midwinter” Christina Georgiana Rossetti

(the date on the photo is not accurate)

Gift #1: I had the pleasure of accompanying these singing grandmas at a gig at a local nursing home. They are The Country Swingers, a group of women who love dancing and sharing their love of music with residents at a local nursing home. On this day, they asked me to accompany them for a holiday sing-a-long. They were happy and gracious and fun to watch. The residents were there, with bells on, smiling and shaking their jingle bells and wiggling toes on feet that hadn’t touched the ground in ages. I saw a spark in their eyes that lit up the whole town as they connected to the dancers, joined in the singing, and remembered songs from the days when they were dancing and playing. I felt such joy in a simple yes to share my gift of playing piano for them.

Gift #2: I put up my tree in my music room last week. By Thursday, it was needing some decorations, so I pulled out my boxes. One student had spent the afternoon with me, so she started the decorating. Then, my younger boys came home and joined in. Next, a piano student came in. We were quite the “Hallmark” moment, with the boy playing Chrismas songs, and the other three decorating and singing along.

Gift #3: I sang along with the Boy Scouts at another local nursing home this evening. It was in the memory care units. We brought back memories to these residents. They came out of their rooms and followed us down the hall. One woman sat near us and moved her fingers as though she were accompanying us on her piano. Another woman begged for an encore. Again, smiles were bright and hearts were light.

Gift #4: I closed out the day with a moment for myself to listen to and enjoy my favorite choir, From Age to Age. They are a choir of voices from around the state of Minnesota. The conductor is a young man from our area who leads his choir with joy and energy and grace. I could do nothing but smile and enjoy this gift of the season. It was “goose-bumpy” good.

Journaling/comment prompt: What surprise gifts have you experienced this season?

  1. Mary, I’m listening to From Age to Age as I type this. It really is quite beautiful! And I love their mission to bring their music to under-served areas. I also LOVE the photo of your piano room — a room I came to know well during our flood refuge days. 🙂 It’s so bright and cheery and I can hear the music and rustling of pine branches. Another fine post! Thanks for sharing those gifts with us. This is what Christmas is about!

  2. It’s a season so wonderfully rich in music! I love your tree decorating afternoon with students and family joining in together … those impromptu interludes are simply the best.

  3. “Impromptu interludes” and lovely music, and opening our hearts and homes…that’s what Christmas is all about. Thanks, ladies for coming “in”!

  4. I echo the comments of Roxane and Joanne. 😉 I just commented about this on another blog – cool, huh?

    One of my special needs students gave me a card and some cookies today, and you could just tell he believed he was giving me the world. Another of them threw his arms around me (these kids are 17 y.o.) and smiled as he wished me Merry Christmas. I feel so blessed by them and by my regular ed. students.

    Today has been a day of surprise gifts, not of presents but of affection and appreciation.

  5. That’s what I need to do EVERY DAY…number my gifts.

  6. Those gifts of the spirit are the best kind!

  7. What beautiful gifts! My children and I have always gone to our local nursuing home, about 1 time a month. Last year at Christmas the kids put on a short program for the residents and it was so incredible to see their joy. But this year, the nursing homes aren’t allowing children to visit due to the H1N1 virus! We miss it!

  8. Dearest My Friend,
    I must say that you have been a great gift to me this year. Thanks for all of your support, even on those sad days. Love ya! (PS. Thanks for sharing about your blogging…I posted today! http://blog.tothesoul.com/)

  9. Yay! How exciting. Thank YOU for your gift of friendship.

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