The Best Christmas Present I Never Received

25 Dec

“Nothing in this world can take place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent….” Calvin Coolidge.

(the following song is a version of the first christmas song I ever sang in public. The post is a lot better if you listen to it while you read… )

I took classical singing lessons for many years. I’m not an amazing singer but I had a little natural talent and my lessons helped me develop good techniques.

Unfortunately, I was never passionate about it.

As the congregation’s music chairwoman, my mother was always looking for musical numbers.  When she couldn’t find anyone, she would coax or trick me into participating in various choirs, solos, and duets.boy's choir

Initially I resisted, but eventually I learned to choose the path of least resistance.

Not having to sing would have been a present greatly treasured.

Going to rehearsals was boring and there were plenty of other things I would have rather done… like making a dramatic soap opera plays with the characters from our Nativity set (the roman guard and “girl with a pot on her head” would always end running away from her evil father – one of the three kings).


Roman Guard and “Girl with a Pot on her Head”


Nevertheless, I stuck with it for years.

I finally understood the moral my mother tried to teach me when i was in college. I was asked last-minute to participate in a musical number by a frantic girl who had the same responsibility in church that my mother had.  This girl had never been in charge of organizing the music and she was very overwhelmed. Even though it was last-minute and I didn’t have anything that I needed for the performance; I told her that I would do it.

When I hung up the phone with her I finally understood why my mother never let me off the hook; she taught me to selflessly give of myself.


This lesson wasn’t just a regurgitated “Christmas Moral,” read every year to offer some sort of moral boost and feeling of goodwill. She didn’t tell me stories about being selfless, she invited me to BE selfless. To live one of the true meanings of Christmas.

Being compelled to sing was one of the best Christmas presents I ever received.


ps. I made a Facebook page for my blog… please like it!


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