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I'm stuffed to the gills on Christmas music. *burps up a little holly*

Martin had his annual Lucia-slash-Christmas family service this morning where his music play group gathered with their fondly smiling parents and various siblings and relatives at the village congregation house. He opted for the stylish gingerbread man outfit, complete with floppy hat, and along with a group of mostly girls dressed in white with red ribbon sashes about their waists and plastic battery-driven candle crowns on their heads, plus a couple of boys dressed as Santa, they proceeded up the aisle singing "Sankta Lucia" and arranged themselves in 2 rows in front of the alter.

In the middle of the 2nd song, his little face suddenly disappeared from the back row and reappeared a second later coming around the end of the row, head down, trying not to cry and headed straight for my lap. He sat with me for a second and I asked him if he was okay. "I'm embarrassed!" he whispered, "There are too many people!!" He sat with Farmor after that, but refused point-blank to return to the stage. Poor kid! Stage fright has never been a problem for him before, but this time it knocked him flat.

Then I drove to Malmö and sang in FIVE Christmas concerts, one right after the other, bam-bam-bam-bam-BAM. That last bam was the sound of my feet falling off after 2.5 hours of standing and singing. We performed at 3 different elderly care homes, twice at 2 of them, a half hour set at each stop, to audiences ranging from 7 to 20 people, the majority of whom were strapped into wheelchairs. Some of them sang creakily along or tapped their feet and applauded after each song. Some of them stared vacantly off into space and appeared not to realize anyone else was even in the room with them. Some of them stared unblinking at us for the entire half hour with no expression. A couple of them made horrible hacking coughing noises at unexpected moments. And some of them shut their eyes and wept.

I don't know if they were crying because we were singing for them or because it was beautiful music or because they were thinking of other Christmas memories.

A line in one of the traditional Swedish Christmas hymns we sang goes like this: Stjärnan från Betlehem leder ej bort men hem. The star from Bethlehem leads not away but home. I recognized a few of the old ladies and gentlemen in a couple of the audiences from our concerts there in the spring and last Christmas. I wonder if I'll know next time if their faces are missing.
mood: tired
music: Cambridge Singers—Requiem Aeternum


The faces may be blank, but that doesn't mean you didn't strike a match deep down inside the heart. THAT is the true Christmas, thank you for reminding me in my hum-buggy mood.

I wonder if I'll know next time if their faces are missing.

Somehow I think you'll notice if they are sitting there while their faces are missing.

I got a good chuckle out of that. In fact my eyes started watering! Thanks.

I'll take a little of your extra Christmas tunes...
But first, let me turn off the Jimmy Cliff.


awww poor Martin. I was just wondering: what do the kids speak at home? English or Swedish?


o, it's me, Wee, by the by.

They speak an awful lot of Swedish, but I find more and more that they answer me in English and carry on conversations with me in English as well. :) It's so cool! They speak Swedish with Anders.

Awwww.... poor Martin! I hope he doesn't hide next time. Especially when you're up singing in front of so many people for so long. Wear comfortable shoes. ;)

*big hug* That reminds me of when my mother would make my sister and I decorate baby food jars as Santas and Snowmen and fill half with Goldfish and half with peppermints. Then we'd take them all down to the old folks home near my grandparents' house. Before we even went in, the stench of stale urine would assault our nostrils, but my mother would make us go in all dressed up and give our little presents to the residents. Many wanted to hug and kiss us, others wanted to talk for ages, some asked us to sing little songs (which we would do), but they were all so desperately happy to have a visitor even for a few minutes. It made it worth every bit of discomfort and effort on our parts. Some of them hadn't seen any family for years.

I'm sure that even if there's no outward sign that they are taking in everything around them, the music will make a mark. I think it's wonderful that you go and sing for them. :)

"Sankta Lucia" is now playing on endless loop in my brain. (Do you suppose if I go find my Swedish Christmas music CD and play it out loud, I can break the loop?) *g*

Nothing works except RUDOLPH! :D

Ack! Now I have alternating verses of both in my noggin!


I once ran off the stage when forced to dance like a monkey with my preschool. I haven't had stage fright since. I think these episodes are signs of growing maturity and realization that you sometimes know what you need more than the adults directing you do. Bravo, Martin!

November 2019
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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

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