The Ghost of Christmas Past
This story is from last year, but like all Christmas memories, it’s worth remembering.
Christmas Eve is finally here. My son is tucked away in bed with visions of the world’s largest toy store dancing in his head. Shortly after putting him to bed, I wandered outside to bring in some firewood and was greeted with the sound of a solo brass wind instrument drifting through the cold still night air. It was my neighbor down the street, who happens to be a professor of music at Georgetown College here in town. Evidently he felt the need to stand at the front of his garage and serenade the night with Christmas carols. After listening to a tune or two, I heard the distinct sound of applause drifting over the hill. Some people on a neighboring street which overlooks our cul de sac had been brought out of their homes by the sound of music on Christmas Eve. My neighbor continued to play for a good half hour: Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Deck the Halls, Angels We Have Heard On High, Jingle Bells and more, all unaccompanied on a solo horn. It was somewhat surreal with the nearly full winter moon shining down and the cold air as still as frost. Somehow, it didn’t seem out of place tonight. At the close of his last song he shouted out “Merry Christmas” to the now sizeable gathering of neighbors, many who like me were standing in their own front yards in their PJ’s and flannel robes clutching a warm beverage to ward off the chill. Some were sipping on hot chocolate or coffee, others passed around a bottle a bourbon. Actually, I was the one who broke out the bourbon. As we all shouted our season’s greetings to fellow shadows in the night I couldn’t help thinking that musicians will do anything for a gig.
So Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.