December 29, 2010 I attended my last choir Christmas Party. These events were some of the most memorable of my twelve years at Magnolia United Methodist Church.
Ms. Jane was our director and she did not put up with half way efforts when it came to our music. The Christmas Cantatas she put together were awesome! We were small in number but that lady could get amazing results. I was watching a group singing on television one night and saw one of the performers actually chewing gum! Ms. Jane would have straightened him out in a flash.
She worked us hard all year with the Christmas Cantata being our crowning moment. We also hosted a Christmas luncheon for the seniors with holiday music and lots of food and fun. But the best came the week after Christmas with the choir Christmas party. We always drew names but we couldn’t just buy a gift – NO – we had to compose a poem to go with it. Those were the most hilarious moments. Some wrote short poems but there were a few who really got into the spirit and had us all roaring. By the end of the poem we were supposed to figure out who the recipient was.
So as I sit here reminiscing I am carried back to those moments where people took the time to show how much they cared with words written with much angst. I dug out one of my own masterpieces to share this Christmas.
Another year has come and passed.
My they do seem to go by so fast!
The Christmas traditions have all been kept.
The Senior luncheon where no one slept.
The guests were too busy laughing with glee
At Bob Lane and the chipmunks three.
The food was delicious, the party merry,
The entertainment goofy, like Curly, Moe, and Larry.
But what a wonderful time it was,
A time to gather “Just Because.”
Because we love Jesus and want to share
Our joy in Him with others there.
And next came the night we all love – and dread.
The Christmas Cantata, or Can-ta-ta, as Joe has said.
We love this night because of the magic.
God takes our voices – sometimes tragic –
And makes them blend in love’s harmony
With music that makes a glad melody.
But at the same time we can be filled with dread
That Ms. Jane will hear mistakes we might “said.”
(I know the correct English is “say” but it doesn’t rhyme!)
Mistakes we all make with a slip of the tongue,
Like man-GER instead of man-ga – we’ve all said that one!
Or singing when silent we should be
That one is hard to hide you see.
Or not coming in on the proper beat,
Then we’d see Ms. Jane coming up out of her seat.
“You’re not watching me.” She would admonish.
But in the very next moment we would astonish
Because we would sing every note to perfection
Bringing a smile from Ms. Jane’s direction.
And let us not mention the “Procession” we walked.
When someone would hurry – or else they would balk
And hold up the line and make all out of step
Or forget which side to hold their candle – LIT.
But at last the night would finally come
When we stood before the people and our Cantata we sung.
And this is the very best part you see
Because it didn’t really matter how good we might be.
For God took our offering of voice and heart
And added His blessing and made us a part
Of something much bigger than our little choir
It’s as if the angels had come from afar.
It must be the angels sent from above
Sent by the Father in response to our LOVE
For our music is offered in love can’t you see.
That’s what makes it so special to me.
And to all who come to listen – to hear
Christmas music loud and clear,
Offered in love to the Father’s glory
Telling once more the old Christmas story.
What this choir shares is much, much more
Than just a beautiful musical score.
The love of God is what you give.
The life of Christ you’re willing to live.
You give of yourselves again and again.
And I myself – hope it never will end.
And now on this Epiphany night
We are rewarded for all our fright.
We come to the final tradition you see,
The choir Christmas Party – WHOOPIE!
We gather together to laugh out loud.
We really are a boisterous crowd.
We’ll remember the triumphs and also the clinkers,
The angelic voices and also the stinkers.
We’ll eat till we’re full; we’ll laugh till we cry.
By the end of the night not an eye will be dry.
We’ll remember those who aren’t with us tonight.
June and Bob have taken flight.
They’ve gone south with the geese –
No longer needing mittens and fleece.
And Gwen and Brian – Donna and “Trouble”
They’ve marched off on the double.
For they have been called. Their country they serve.
All of our prayers they so richly deserve.
And some have gone home to sing in another choir.
Listen, can you hear the music afar?
And though there are many not with us this year
They are still a part of our choir – and dear
Dear to our hearts and forgotten – NEVER!
For once a member – you are always – forever.
Oh dear! I seem to have gone astray.
I’m supposed to talk about my “Name” today.
But all of this pertains to the name I drew.
In speaking of the choir, I’m speaking of you too.
For you offer your gifts to family and friends.
You give of yourself without an end.
Sometimes it seems you’re unappreciated – I know
But never forget – God’s looking below.
And He sees the offering in secret made.
And the reward in heaven is waiting to be paid.
This gift I got – I haven’t a clue
Of how it works or what it will do.
I saw one word and said “That’s the one!”
The word was GOLF – Bob, I hope it is fun!
What wonderful times we had. what wonderful memories we made.
What memories are you making this Christmastide?