It is 1:00 o'clock in the morning and I am wide awake. And, yes, this is a direct result of running out of my sleeping aid of choice (2 Benadryl at bedtime and you'll sleep like a baby.) So my mind has been reeling for the past 30 minutes. It's Christmas! I am like a little girl on Christmas Eve wondering what will be under the tree when I wake up, except I cannot sleep so that I can wake up and see! But I know what my favorite gifts will be...two of my three children and one of my three grandchildren greeting me on Christmas morning. The excitement is almost unbearable. So the excitement + no Benadryl = awake at 1:00 in the morning.
So let's talk about yesterday. It was truly a day for diving into some Christmas spirit. The day started by going to church and hearing a message about joy and some beautiful songs of the season. That was followed by lunch with my hubby, then on to hear the Athens Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in concert. We were gifted with these tickets by a sweet friend, and it has been years (since my girls were in middle school band) since I have been to a community Christmas concert. As the people flooded into the Classic Center (go Dawgs!), it was interesting to see the anticipation of the people, dressed in their Sunday best and looking forward to a dose of the Christmas spirit that was about to be upon them. We settled in and the music began. The first set was a traditional classical. As I became enthralled with the divine symphony that was rising before me with the perfect harmony of so many different instruments and the gifted hands that played them, I noticed my husband's eyes were closed. And it was that kind of music, not boring but so peaceful that it begged you to sit still and just close your eyes and take it all in. However, when he lurched forward, I realized that he had taken it to the next level and actually dozed off, but had caught himself before he lunged into the row in front of us. He became a a little restless during the intermission and suggested that we might leave early to avoid the traffic he knew would be included in this blessed event. I urged him to be patient a bit longer and he reluctantly agreed to do so.
The second set was more traditional -- familiar Christmas carols and a melody of music from the Polar Express which was delightful. This set also included a brief dramatic interlude from the Grinch who was promptly reprimanded by Santa Claus. Santa, as the unspoken hero, worked the crowd while the orchestra played, and ended his parade with a seat below the stage where he invited the children to come forward and sit upon his well-endowed lap. But if you think this concert was all about Santa, you'd be wrong. It was a joy to hear the unashamedly profound announcement of the Christ-child through the classical and traditional pieces, keeping us focused on the true meaning of the season. As the second set ended with an audience sing-along, the conductor thanked everyone for their continued support, and my husband was rewarded with a great rendition of Sleigh Ride to close the concert. This is hands-down his favorite Christmas song, and he agreed that it was worth the wait. As the percussionists articulated the sounds of horses' hooves and cracking whips, we indulged ourselves in the joyful finale of an hour and a half well spent.
If you know anything about Athens, Georgia, you know that it is a walking college city. You can walk pretty much anywhere right in town, so the concert was followed by a brisk walk to the local Starbucks for hot cocoa. Such a Christmas-y thing to do! After one remote thought of ordering my cocoa sugar-free with skim milk, I opted for the full fat and real sugar version and enjoyed every single sip until my hubby knocked it over and the remainder hit the sidewalk with a thud, decorating my boot with some tangible Christmas cheer. As he ran into the coffee shop to grab napkins, a young student noticed my dilemma and ran over to help. Thank you, young man, for adding to my Christmas spirit with yours. When he got back to the car, the traffic had subsided and we slipped right out of the parking deck uneventfully. By the time we arrived back home, the sun was beginning to set and we decided at the last minute to hang icicle lights on the garage gutter to greet our kids with a little glitz and glimmer when they arrive this week. I must've been in the Christmas spirit for this endeavor because, as the sun sank below the horizon, the temp dropped significantly. It was downright cold out there, but not cold enough to deter us from finishing the job as a chilling breeze blew off the pond behind us.
I know, I know what you're thinking...this gal doesn't get out much. What some people do at Chrismas on a regular basis each year happens to be something I haven't done in quite some time. There's nothing that'll bring on the Christmas spirit more than a great concert followed by hot cocoa with the one you love. If you're not able to attend a concert this season, at least do the hot chocolate (full fat loaded with sugar). You'll be all the better for it.
And, BTW, before I started this blog entry, I dug deep into the hall bath linen closet and what did I find there? Not a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, but two pink and perfectly-sealed Benadryl tablets, which are now at this very moment beginning to kick in. I just love being in my fifties. Nighty-night...
Posted by CC
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