MUSIC THEME FOR DECEMBER 25 – HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

English: Merry Christmas Briggate, Leeds

Briggate, Leeds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It feels a bit like Christmas to me!

For those of you who are regular readers of my blog, you know that I’ve been participating in a group of people who do musical (and other artistic) interpretations of various themes. I have now been invited to also take a turn in the rotation for selecting the theme, and my first time is NOW! What better theme for me to start with than Christmas?

So bring out those songs, movie clips, pictures, poetry, and other artistic bits!

  • Will you be home for the holidays this year?
  • Are you hosting those who are coming home for the holidays?
  • Do you want to run away from home for the holidays?

Some of my personal thoughts on the topic.

As I spend my fifth Christmas away from the US, I think a lot about how my attitude about the holidays has changed. In spite of those changes, I still think about the fact that I won’t be home for the holidays. Not that I was really ever that HOME anyway. I was a church musician for years, which meant that I worked all the holidays, particularly Christmas and Easter. And now in Taiwan, where Christmas is not a national holiday, I actually teach this week, even on Christmas Day.

Also, the holidays bring so many high (and dashed) expectations of how things should be, along with memories of how they were in the past. Even though some of those memories have been idealized beyond what really happened. The holidays have good moments and bad moments; and those idealized memories only contribute to the disappointment we often feel when the present doesn’t match up to that idealized past.

And then add home to the mix. We have idealized ideas of home and family, and how we should all be happy and harmonious. Again, we all have good moments and bad moments. I think it best that we accept the reality and stop setting ourselves up for unavoidable disappointment. I’m sure my children, for example, have both good and not-so-good memories of the holidays with a mother who always worked through them.

What I’ve learned by being away is that by lowering the expectations of what I want the holiday to be, I can create new memories of Christmas present instead of being haunted by illusions of Christmas past. For me, that has been the most helpful, finding new ways to add something to the season–not in terms of pressure or extra obligations, but rather to reduce the reliance on what we did in the past and plan a holiday that expresses who we are in the moment.

So I invite all of you to join fellow themists, Eva, Johnny, Willow, BearD.S. Nelson, and Collaborator, and join in the festivities. Show us the music, clips, and other works of art that mean home and holiday to you. It will be fun to see what everyone comes up with.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!