Sounds of Christmas are in the air…

t is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.
                                                                                                    – Charles Dickens

     My favorite dinner was bubbling away on the stove… a hearty beef and tomato broth to which mom had just dropped in lovely pillows of basil and meat-filled goodness, lightly browned and fresh from the oven.   A homemade “Old Country” delight from Grandma’s recipe box… and one I could never get enough of.  I peered through the now slightly steamy windows for the hundredth time, then squealed… Dad’s home!

That meant dinner would soon be on the table! Oh how hard and long it was to wait sometimes for Dad to wend his way home on crowded freeways.  Most often, he couldn’t get here until 6:30 or so.  Today, Mom had allowed us each to sample a little meat dumpling before dropping the others to melt into the broth.

But only a bite.

“Your father is tired and hungry too,” Mom would remind us when we got antsy, “and I think he deserves to have us all eat with him.  Even more so with Christmas on the way.

But now he was here and the wait was over.  Well, until he changed his suit and washed his hands.  Happily, I reached for the bowls from Mom, set the table… soup spoons on the right…

Dad’s eyes looked mysterious as he came in, hands behind his back.  Suddenly, I thought of how he worked at a downtown radio station and…sometimes… he would bring us a special new record album, stamped PROMOTIONAL across the top.  One of the perks the station allowed him to choose for us.  Like the soundtrack of one of our favorite movie musicals, “Damn Yankees,” that he’d surprised us with a bit ago.  My sister and I had been re-enacting movie scenes with that for weeks now! Or the time he’d presented Mom with a recording by someone named Vic Damone… one of her all-time favorites. My eyes watered with laughter even now, remembering how hilarious that had turned out…

We didn’t have our new stereo then… only an old portable suitcase with an actual record  player inside it!  Instantly, she’d pulled that out, put on the new record, and promptly fallen into that dreamy-eyed state she always got when a heart-melting voice soared her heart. The same one she fell into whenever a symphony played and she told us about her days playing violin in a real live stage orchestra – and the thrill of hearing each instrument almost as if they played inside her as she lifted her bow…

“Kathy just has to hear this… right now!” she enthused, quickly dialing her best friend from down the street.

Hearing the phone pick up on the other line, Mom spoke urgently into it.  “Don’t say anything!  Just listen to this!”  Quickly, she placed the receiver next to the suitcase player, letting one song play in full.  When it was over, she breathed into the phone… “Oh, wasn’t that — beautiful!”

“WHO IS THIS?” boomed a loud, cranky voice from the receiver in Mom’s hand.

Mom held the phone away from her ear a moment, confusion…then comprehension… moving across her face like a cloud shadow racing across our yard.   “Oh… my…goodness,” she spluttered.  “Guess I have the wrong number — Sorry!”

All of us had stopped in our tracks, staring open-mouthed at Mom.  Then…suddenly, there we were – holding our sides and wiping away tears as Mom imitated the hissing voice on the other line, hands on hip.  “Who……IZzzzzz… THIS!”

“How crazy that they even stayed on the phone…listening!”  we’d screamed, nearly rolling on the floor with giggles.

But now… Dad was standing there on another night with a new surprise behind his back.  “What is it?” my sister and I began to dance around him.

The Andy Williams Christmas Album, Andy Williams

He held it out for us to see.  A beautiful red cover with a young man who had a nice smile.  And on the back, that man had written Happy Holidays in white ink…  I held it, tracing my finger over those cursive letters I was still learning to write.

“It’s a new one that’s hitting all the charts,” Dad explained. “Andy Williams…”

“Put it on, girls!” Mom told us, ladling out our soup.

Soon, White Christmas and Chestnuts Roasting crooned warmth and peace into our kitchen.  Happy Holidays was adding a tingle to our dinnertime.  And a fun, wild new version of Jingle Bells had our feet jitterbugging beneath the table.  (That record would eventually have to be replaced because of years of scratches my sister and I caused by moving the needle to play again and again…)  But even more… when we turned to the other side – there were the most heart-stirring renditions of O Holy Night, Away in the Manger and one I’d never heard before… Sweet Little Jesus Boy.   Setting wings to my soul.  Singing heaven to my heart.  Just like such glorious music always did to Mom’s… 

I looked at her then with shining eyes.  And I knew…we both felt it.

Angel songs that take flight in our hearts and stay… singing heaven’s joy over us and in us, children once more… And – at Christmas – always.

©  Pam Depoyan

Has music left a yet-to-be-fulfilled dream inside of you? 

I’ve often wondered what hidden musical talents I might have.  I think of the gifts that have run through my family.  Papa and his beautiful operatic voice.  Mom and her violin.  Her sister and the piano.  My father, a child prodigy of piano…  I think of how my fingers naturally move in rhythm to any music I hear, as if I’m playing… something

I thought of that again today as I read a story about my friend Diane’s secret dream from childhood on… and the music and worship still singing in her this Christmas.  She writes:

“When I was in 9th grade, I desperately wanted to learn to play the drums.  However, my parents weren’t about to have all that racket disturbing their peace…  I’m going to share a secret with you…”

Pssst!… Won’t you join me over                      at                                                    to finish this story?  Another lovely Christmas carol                                                                celebrating the child in us all…


Re-Sharing with:    Tell Me a Story

This was my 100th post!   🙂


About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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10 Responses to Sounds of Christmas are in the air…

  1. Diane says:

    Congrats on your 100th post! WAHOO! And what a post it is. I remember the record players and the Andy Williams Christmas album. We had one too. I don’t rememer the holiday wishes, though…

    And thank you, Pam, for sharing my blog on yours. I’m honored…

  2. Thanks, Diane… and you’re welcome! I enjoyed your story…
    Yes, we later got his second Christmas album… and on that one, his handwritten “Merry Christmas” was printed by the record company on the back. It was green… so I always thought of them as the red and green albums… 🙂

  3. Awesome, that plenty already, Pam….. Perhaps I need to speed up on my readings. I am on-line only when I am at the office. At home I have only a re-loadable USB broadband. LOL. Most often I could not load in favor of more pressing needs.

    Congratulations dear friend, Pam for hitting your first one hundreth post. I consider you my friend because you bring me joy and encouragement with your posts. This one is another golden apple in silver settings. You deliver such a delightful and colourful story of your childhood days. Although I have my own stories too, I can’t recall every detain of it like you do. You are such a gifted one, Pam and I am your fan.

    I have a musical dream myself when I was in my teens. It seemed that most of my friends and classmates were learning how to play the guitar. Fortunately my cousins had a guitar so I started strumming and learning the chords. One day, I was strumming and singing in company with my playing when my mom peeped into where I was saying. “I think you are off-key and you don’t follow the beat.” It was a realisation that carried through up until now…… that I can’t sing and I have a deaf ear to chords and notes. Of course, it was frustrating. Now that I am a Christian, I still desire to sing good along with our choir or the Praise Team, but I can’t. But I can soar to heaven in my mind and in my heart. I thank God that I could listen to music and be transported by it even if I could not bring out beautiful notes by voice.

    Pardon again, Pam. Your writing evokes so much within in me that I could not help but respond. One thing else, please forgive me if I have said something anywhere your posts that offended you. Please know that they were not meant to.

  4. Hi Lolita,
    First to respond to your last sentence… I’m not sure why you would think that, but no you have not offended me in the least! 🙂 Quite the contrary!
    Thank you so much for all your kind words… All the details of this story did happen, but I think I take a little license by describing things that could have also happened any time in our family… For example, we had that dinner many times, but it I can’t say for sure that we had that particular dinner that night.
    Thanks for sharing your story about the guitar too… No matter how we sound to ourselves, I know our voices raised in praise please Him! I admire you for trying the guitar… it’s such a pretty instrument.
    It means a lot to know that my stories touch your heart! Thank you friend L, for sharing your heart!
    One more thing… sometimes people say things to us that are defeating, not realizing that it is almost like a curse. Our words can bring life or death…and if in that moment your mother’s unsuspecting words brought death to your dream, I speak blessings over you Lolita in all your life 🙂 I was just watching a program that talked about speaking the blessing of Numbers 6 over ourselves and those we love… speaking God’s promised blessing… and I pray that for us all.

  5. Thank you, Pam. Now I am sure I did not offend you. It was commenting on Diane’s blog that I was talking about. Anyway, I had some sad experience with offending someone in another social site I have (that is Multiply). She blocked me because perhaps I said something that she thought was offensive. But then I just let it be and she opened another account, she wanted me again there…… so perhaps she realised it might be a language barrier. I am a Filipino and my English would be school based and not the local tongue of Americans….. so sometimes I am apprehensive if I phrased my sentences right.

    Thank you for your blessings regarding my musicality, Pam. I think it ruined that dream for life, Pam….. but now that I am a child of God, I saw the truth of it myself because I am too deaf to the technical aspect of music even up to now. I just feel and hear the nice melodies but I can’t make music myself…. I even told myself if I had a beautiful voice before I became a Christian, I might have gone to sing at cabarets (laugh). I have another funny story to tell.

    One time in year 2000, Don Moen and his orchestra came to the Philippines for a series of concerts. Sometime during the end of the show, he gave an anointment, more like an impartation. He invited people who desired to be musicians and singers to stand up and he laid hands over us. I was maybe the most desirous of all the people packed in that gym. God did not give me the gift when I was younger and not during Don Moen’s time. It has become a family joke (it doesn’t offend me any more, of course). It was like lifting your face towards heaven and embracing what you were praying for…….. but then….. there could be wrong motives hiding….. what about self-satisfaction and the culprit called PRIDE.

  6. Lolita,
    Diane was trying to help me by deleting my comment because I wondered if one line of what I had written could be edited out… It had nothing to do with your comment. Your thoughts were expressed nicely, don’t worry.
    Even if you feel “too tone deaf” to music, the Lord hears your voice as beautiful!

  7. Such a beautiful 100th post! Music feeds the soul especially those older songs with words you can relate to and understand. Thank you for sharing at Tell Me a Story.

  8. Chuckling as I read this. So many albums and a few 45s are still in my house. The 45s I’ve had since WAY back in the 60s and have my Mom’s name written on them, so if they were loaned out, they’d be back. Had some 78s. Life has SO changed!!! But those singers/songs then could really be part of my whole view of life. We still have about 250 albums, mostly Christian, but some country, some classic, some jazz, a few comedy [Bill Cosby’s especially]. So, as I said, life has changed… and I miss those “old days” b/c they really meant something special to me. Glad you had so much to enjoy. Made me smile.

    • Glad this made you smile and chuckle! Yes, we had a few 45’s in the 60’s too, but mostly LPs. My dad had a few 78’s… Music and those singers have always played a huge part in my life and those old days did hold some special times. I like some of life’s changes, but in some ways it has too much… I still have a lot of albums too, and a few comedy from Newhart too… :), though I do tend to play CDs now.

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