December 3, 2018
One of the true delights of December in our town is the annual Community Choir Christmas Concert. Our choir is a group of 30-40 volunteers, many with outstanding voices, directed by a lady who has been conductor for 49 years!
The concert last night fell on the first Sunday of Advent and in its own way ushered in the Christmas season for our town and area. A combination of sacred and secular Christmas anthems in four-part harmony, the program combined to lift spirits and to truly make a “joyful noise” onto the Lord.
Love of music varies with different people, of course, but it is hard to find anyone who doesn’t enjoy at least some form of music. The Christmas season wouldn’t be what it is without music, whether it is being sung by a choir, playing in the background in a department store, or being played on a CD by one of the many stars who have shared their favorites of the season.
Starting tomorrow, I will be playing Christmas music for the old folks in the nursing home and assisted living where I play each Tuesday. My point in this blog post is the effect that music, especially uplifting music like most Christmas carols, has on people, beginning with our seniors who have heard most of these songs all of their lives.
This month I will be dealing with grief and depression during the holidays and what people can do to combat that darkness and to focus on the light-bearing message of this time of year. Like the seniors who smile, tap toes, and sing along while I play the carols, everyone deals with some loneliness, unhappiness, grief and/or futility.
Music can be part of the answer. Studies show that it increases endorphins, and along with physical movement like dancing or clapping or toe-tapping, it can help lift spirits. Also, music often brings back memories of good times with loved ones, a part of the holidays which can be sad if we let it but happy if we focus on the good part.
Make sure your December has music in it, music of any kind but hopefully including praises to the Lord who gives us this glorious time of year.