As I write this post, the sky has already darkened, and with the window slightly cracked I can hear the rain falling outside. Lights are twinkling and ‘The Christmas Waltz’ is playing on the stereo.
I love Christmas music. I don’t say that lightly. I listen to it throughout the year not just from Thanksgiving through Epiphany. There are particular holiday songs that fill my heart with so much emotion. They wash over me like a wave of nostalgia; surfacing many happy memories. This year, with no end to the pandemic in sight, that list of songs has grown.
I don’t know why ‘The Christmas Waltz’ in particular brings me to tears?
Maybe it’s the song itself? The smooth and enchanting way it begins, the arrangement, the words of magic, hope and love, or the simple and endearing way that Frank Sinatra signs off with “Merry Christmas.” It stirs something deep within me.
Maybe, it’s because my Nana loved Frank Sinatra? I’ll never forget the sound of her voice and the twinkle in her eye, the first time she told me about skipping school to go hear him sing; and how the man who ran the candy store hid her books behind the counter for her. I loved that story. To me, it was part of our bond – a special secret she had shared with me.
Maybe, it’s because when Frank croons about the “the time of year when the world falls in love” it reminds me of the power of the season. Whatever the reason, and whatever I may be doing, if ‘The Christmas Waltz’ comes on I often find myself in tears. They’re not tears of sadness. They’re tears of hope; of sweet memories; of knowing that better days lie ahead.
This holiday season will look very different for so many people.
I have lived an ocean away from my family for far too long to ever take getting to see them (in person) for granted. And because of the current state of things, we have now passed the year mark since we saw them last. As hard as that is, there are blessings in the times we live in. Unlike the intrepid adventurers of the past, who set sail across unknown seas, or traveled through mountain passes in covered wagons, or journeyed through deserts on the backs of camels, never knowing when or if they would see their families again, we have the luxury of Skype, Zoom and FaceTime. At the click of a button, I can hear their voices and see their beautiful faces.
Being apart from those you love is never easy. The strain that the pandemic is putting on people’s livelihoods, their families and their general well-being is immense and that’s an understatement. But, in times of uncertainty, I feel it is important to hold on to the rituals that we cherish. Even, if it is on a much smaller scale than we are used too. Maybe this season will bring so many back to what is truly important. It’s not about the presents and the mountains of food, it’s about being surrounded by those that you love. And I pray that next year brings us closer to all those we hold so tightly in our hearts.
Let us enter this season with a renewed sense of gratitude for one another. To bloom where we are planted and as the song says:
May your New Year dreams come true
And this song of mine in three quarter time
Wishes you and yours the same thing tooFrank Sinatra