Monday, December 5, 2011


I am known by my family and friends as "Scrooge", resulting from my negative attitude of the end of year holidays, which I'd prefer to call "Potlatch" for its crass commercialism and excess...centered, oddly enough, around the traditional birthdate of our Lord Jesus.  However, I will always be cheered by the beautiful music of the season, and most especially, "Carol of the Bells", which has been a symbol of joy throughout my life.


Last week we attended a choir and orchestra concert at our local high school, with Christa's sister Brianna performing.  Once again, I was treated to "Carol of the Bells", sung on the move as the choir marched onto the stage.  Then again, to "Carol of the Bells" as the orchestra STEAMROLLERED it!!!  Gosh, what am impressive sound, on that magnificent, large stage in that acoustically impressive Performing Arts Center.  

Remembering the tiny little space in this same high school when my daughters were enrolled, and the much less elaborate performances that space required, I was thrilled by the progress made in the production of high school performances.  

When I was in high school down on the Texas coast, the gymnasium was our performance space.

Moving back in time to another holiday season,

Last evening there was another choir concert at Christa’s school, another evening to miss CSI, but to be rewarded with lovely choral presentations by a terrific bunch of kids.

The show opened with the women’s choir (tenth graders as women? Wow!) singing “Carol of the Bells”. I was immediately nineteen again, hopelessly in love at Christmas, and constantly accompanied by my “buddy for life” Jerry, who was also deeply in love (fortunately for both of us, with a different girl). 

"Carol of the Bells" was one of our favorites during that Holiday season of eternal love and adventure.  Jerry and I took the girls first to his mom's home in Fort Worth for a few days, then down to the coast to spend the weekend at my parents' home.  All the while, whenever we were on the road, we frequently sang, hummed, or otherwise intonated the melody of "Carol of the Bells".

Only three years later, I was hopelessly in love with a different girl (not Jerry’s different girl, my own different girl), married, and looking forward to becoming a dad. I hadn’t heard from Jerry in more than a year, and would never see him again.

Now I’m an “old guy”.  I’ve done a lot of things since nineteen, but "Carol of the Bells" will always be a source of extreme pleasure for me.

Epiloguetaph...For several days now, I've heard the tune of "Carol of the Bells" used in a number of TV commercials. When I hear them now, I cannot help but overlay Family Guy singing "Ding! Fries are done!"  If ever I had illusions that Carol of the Bells could rekindle my Christmas spirit, those illusions are now shattered.  WalMart wins!  Just call me Scrooge.