I can't stand the sap.
The original music isn't really that bad, it's the millions of covers floating through the air with hyped cheer, sickly sweet as cough syrup: Here, swallow this down to help you get in the "holiday mood."
I just don't have the Commercial Spirit this year.
There is no real desire to go shopping for things my family members don't need. Not a single gift has been purchased.The trees and lights have been up for weeks but no one cares to plug them in at night. I've made, and ruined, dozens of sugar cookies. Parties have been attended, more are in the works, and while I enjoy spending time with people there is no real feeling of celebration.
Actually, you caught me in a lie.
I do feel like celebrating.
I feel like celebrating the birth of the Savior of the world. Quietly. With just my immediate family, a roaring fire, and the book of Luke.
And there is some music that doesn't get under my skin.
Today my ward choir sang four beautiful compilations for the Christmas program. The pieces were complex and lovely; each sharing part of the miraculous story of Jesus Christ's birth. These songs have been stuck in my head for weeks and I love each one.
Today I also tuned in to Music and the Spoken Word to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing their praises to our Lord.
For me, this is going to be more of a "back to basics" sort of Christmas.
Maybe next year I'll feel a bit more festive and less introspective.
As I waited in the hall for another ward to exit the chapel so my choir could warm up, I was struck by this painting on the wall.
It hangs between the first door to the cultural hall and the chapel overflow. I've passed it hundreds of times. I've seen the original Carl Bloch painting. I know the story. But today, I saw her again for the first time.
I saw Mary.
Between singing with the choir and the normal goings on of an LDS church meeting, my mind was occupied by Mary. She really was something. A princess, in every right. Prepared and worthy to not only bear the Son of God, but to raise Him to meet His potential.
When the shepherds came to see the Christ, they told everyone what the angels had proclaimed about the tiny baby. As others wondered at the news, Mary simply pondered those words in her heart. She kept them. I'm sure that she thought on them many times over the course of her life. She knew who her baby was, and what His purpose in life would be. She knew the prophesies concerning His birth. She knew her role.
Mary is my hero.
I guess there are some songs that I cannot discount, no matter what.