This time of year I get super emotional. There is of course the stress that could add to the tears - but mostly it is the love that people show to each other. The effort that some go to to decorate their yards so others can enjoy it touches me. The thought that so many more people's hearts are turning towards the Savior - even the slightest bit - moves me to tears. The service projects, the family get togethers, the beautiful music - all of these things are so tender to me.
Yesterday, a couple of things happened. I had a party with my french students - I told them all about Christmas in France where the celebrations are much less commercial. Christmas in France is ALL about the birth of Christ, Pere Noel does come and leave small trinkets and fruits and nuts but it is not an all out gift-giving frenzy like American Christmas. Christmas in France is about family, food and the nativity. When I was done telling them all about it and while we were enjoying some croissants and hot chocolate, one of the 6th grade teachers came up to me and said, "I'm not particularly religious but I sure wish our Christmases were more like that." The more I thought about it the more tears came to my eyes. Why can't it be more like that?
I recently finished Skipping Christmas by John Grisham for our "non-enrichment activity" book group. We met last night and talked about some of these same things. The book was the basis for the movie Christmas With the Kranks. You may remember that the main character really protested all of the crazy spending and trappings that go along with Christmas - he really doesn't feel the Christmas spirit until the end when he is able to do an incredible service for someone else.
Another thing that happened is I bought the Michael Buble Christmas CD. It only has 6 songs on it and two of them are the same (one live version) so I guess it really only has 5 songs - but it is so great. I do have a small crush on Michael Buble - Harry Connick is still my number one crooner but Michael Buble is coming in close second. Anyway, I bought his Christams CD and there is a song on there called My Grown Up Christmas List. I had never heard this song before but this morning I learned that it was released by Natalie Cole for the first time in 1990 and since then, Olivia Newton John, Kellie Clarkson, Clay Aiken and Amy Grant have all released versions of it - but I have to say that I like MB's the best. Upon hearing it, my first reaction was - "this is what the Savior's Christmas list would be". I was looking for the lyrics or some way to share it here on the blog and found this video that is posted on YouTube. It is the Michael Buble version with pictures of soldiers. It is so amazingly moving. Please watch it.