One of my all-time favorite Christmas stories is "Christmas Everyday". I am a collector of Christmas stories and I ran onto this story one day when I was at the library looking for Christmas stories to add to my collection. I can't remember who wrote the story, but it is an old-fashioned story written back in late eighteen hundreds I think. Anyway, it used to be a tradition in our family to read that story every Christmas. Now we didn't read it on Christmas Eve, because for this story to have meaning, you have to wait until Christmas Day Night - when Christmas is over and you are sick to death of all the food, and sweets, and wrapping paper, and gifts, and family, and if one more person skips up to you and says, "Merry Christmas!" you are just going to scream! Been there? Oh yeah.
This story is about a little girl who has a wonderful Christmas. She jumps up and runs to see what Santa has brought her and she opens all her gifts and then goes outside and plays in the snow all day and comes in and eats way too much Christmas dinner and way, way too much candy and sweets and goes to bed in a bad mood (like most everyone does on Christmas). In fact she has such a wonderful Christmas day that she wishes it could go on and on forever. She actually wishes that it could be Christmas everyday forever. Well, it just so happens that the Christmas Fairy (you didn't know there was a Christmas Fairy did you?) hears her and decides to grant her wish. So that night she goes to sleep and the next day she wakes up and it is Christmas again! She can hardly believe it, but it is true! She jumps up and runs to see what Santa has brought her and she opens all her gifts and then goes outside and plays in the snow all day and comes in and eats way too much Christmas dinner and way, way too much candy and sweets and goes to bed in a bad mood. What a wonderful 2nd Christmas day!
The next day it happens again and the next and the next and the next. Pretty soon it's not so fun any more! She gets perfectly sick of eating turkey and she starts to hate candy and sweets and she hates wrapping presents and taking them to people so she just throws them over the fence and yells, "Take it you horrid thing!" People start getting so many presents they have to shovel them off the sidewalk, and turkeys get so expensive that people can hardly afford them. People run out of money because of buying presents everyday and get put in the "Poor House". Everyone starts hating her because the word has gotten out who it was who wished it would be Christmas everyday. Finally she decides she has to do something about it so she writes to the Christmas Fairy and asks her to take back her wish, but the Christmas Fairy doesn't answer her so she has to write everyday for the rest of the year. Anyway, finally the Christmas Fairy grants her wish and puts Christmas back to just once a year.
Which is, thank goodness, just the way it should be.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Well, I'm about done with all the Christmas concerts. I have one more to go next Sunday. Last Sunday I went to one where several choirs and groups were performing. I was singing with one choir and playing for another choir. I was looking over the program when I got there and saw my name on ANOTHER MUSICAL NUMBER! YIKES! I didn't even know we were doing it there! It was a number we had done at another concert, and I guess she forgot to tell me we were doing it there also. Anyway, thank goodness I had my music with me. That number was "The Coventry Carol" with piano, violin and harp. The number I had to accompany the choir for was "O Holy Night". It was a different piano accompanyment than just the standard "O Holy Night" you always hear. I rate it up with the more difficult numbers I have ever done. In fact, one part I just basically had to memorize, because it was so difficult, I couldn't look at the music and at my hands at the same time. I normally don't look at my hands much, but in this part they are jumping all over the piano so you have to. Anyway, I practiced and practiced and practiced. I played it perfectly at home. I played it perfectly at practiced. And I screwed it up at the performance. I didn't totally screw it, but I did lose my place twice at those two hard spots. I just totally lost where I was for a measure or two. Twice. The choir director said he didn't notice, but that was just because there was a lady playing the organ and a lady playing the violin along with me. Thank goodness for the cover. If I had been playing it alone, it would have been obvious. The thing that gets me though is the "fear factor". I can play it at home and at practice, but when you add the "fear factor" into it, that's why I screw it. I tell myself all the way up there, "You can do this, you can do this." But when I sit down to play it, my evil twin says, "No you can't, you're going to screw it up." And I do. I wish I could learn how to focus and block all that out. Well, I have one more chance. I'm going to play the same song next Sunday. Like I tell my husband whenever I get up to go up to the piano to perform: "Pray for me."
Friday, December 14, 2007
I haven't posted much lately. This is due to my life being so crazy lately. What with trying to shop and decorate for Christmas I've also had to squeeze in many music practices lately. I've attended one concert already and have one this weekend and one next weekend. Today was our last day of Seminary for the semester - WOOHOO! Besides trying to get the students Christmas gifts ready for the last day, we also did a class picture. But another thing that has kept my mind occupied has been an altercation between some students. It's one of those "he said this" and "he said that" kind of things. But ultimately it caused one boy to come to me last Monday and say he was not going to come to class anymore and wanted to join Home Study. At first he wouldn't tell me what started it, so I have learned bit by bit until finally I have figured the whole thing out, and sadly enough, it actually started about a month ago, maybe more. One of the boys made a comment in class, which another boy took as a racial slur. It was not a racial slur, and was not directed at the second boy, but the second boy took it as a racial slur against him. Now I agree that the first boy should have immediately said, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean that the way it sounded, please forgive me" but he didn't. I was there and heard the comment and I should have made him appologize. All I did, when the second boy tried to start up an argument was hold up my hand and tell them to stop, knock it off, and get to work on their assignment. Now this has escalated to parents being mad and going to my supervisor and their bishops. Yikes - why did I want to teach one more year? So now my teaching partner and I were informed today that we have to be the ones to fix it. So now, because we are into the Christmas break, we will have to try to get the 3 boys together- yes there is one more boy but I never have figured out how he is involved - and try to work this out. We were informed this morning that we need to get them together more informally and not make a big deal about it, and try not to focus on the problem, but to work it out so all are happy. Maybe we should just get the 3 boys and all sit on the floor and hold hands and sing, "Kumbahyah".