Last week I turned on the radio in the car expecting to hear some classic rock. What did I hear? Christmas music! What? So soon?
Forgive me if I sound like a Scrooge, but it wasn’t my cup of tea at that moment.
For me Christmas is not a secular day. It is a deeply spiritual and religious day. There is a time and a purpose in being able to wait for this day. In some religious traditions this time of waiting is called Advent. In others, there is no name, but there is a time to prepare. A time to be still, to reflect on what the world would really be like if there was peace on earth and good will toward everyone.
Yes, I do send Christmas cards and give gifts. I am the odd person who strongly prefers to write Christmas cards with a fountain pen. For me, there is something very traditional in that. I realize the recipient doesn’t know this, but it makes a difference to me. I can’t rush. I have to slow down when writing them or I will make a mistake. I admit I am a crafter, crocheting a variety of items to give away during the holidays. More on this in a future post. Since this takes time I work on projects well before Christmas. I see this as a personal endeavor, a way to pace myself and calm my mind in the midst of all that goes on around me.
As far as the radio I asked myself what the fuss was all about. I had no rational reason. Did I? Somehow it just didn’t feel right. The Sunday after Thanksgiving is the when reflections and religious ceremonies often begin in terms of preparation for Christmas. I know it’s not that far away. I guess it was the realization that this waiting time is a part of me. It’s important to me, even if it is something that I hold quietly within myself. I guess I didn’t appreciate the interruption in that personal cycle.
My husband later joked with me and reminded me that I often brighten up when I hear Jose Feliciano sing Feliz Navidad. He’s right. Some people don’t care for the song, but it is part of my culture. It was a song that crossed boundaries growing up in a predominantly Hispanic area. It was a song that, growing up, I learned to play on the guitar with classmates. Everyone would sing it at the top of their lungs. Later, I learned to add percussive instruments like claves and the guiro. Even though I haven’t played much music recently these rhythms are a part of me.
When I heard the Christmas music last week I changed the radio station. It had been a while since I enjoyed jazz in the car. It will be a nice change of pace until I’m ready to tune into the “sounds of the season.” I can wait until then.