Tonight was Ellie's first Christmas concert. Ellie is three, maybe four, a Pre-Kindergarten cherub who got to stand in the front row and wear a beautiful dress and shiny shoes and special curls in her hair and sing her happy Christmas song.
I have no idea how Ellie's night went but I can promise you that her grandmother was beside herself with excitement. Is there anything sweeter than children singing? Is there anything more treasured than our own child's singing?
True confessions: I miss those days. A lot. I miss the curling of the hair and the beautiful new dresses and the patent leather shoes that do reflect up and the angel in the front row who pulls her dress all the way up over her head at a critical moment in the delivery of the song's message. I miss the timid smiles that grow braver as the night goes on. The songs sung with confidence, the sincerity and conscientiousness with which my children delivered their melodies, their bright smiles when they spotted mommy and daddy and grandma and grandpa. Not to go on and on, but, seriously, what wonderful days.
Now we are likely to seek out the St. Martin's Chamber Choir, Cantorei, and our annual favorite, "Too Hot to Handel," the outta sight Gospel setting of Handel's Messiah performed by our Colorado Symphony and Chorus. It kills! Handel would have loved it.
Is there anything more glorious than a festive Christmas concert?
Yes. There is.
A desk. And a chair. Our holiday concert ticket money this year is going to an unlikely place, for an unusual purpose. School desks. For children in Malawi. $24 buys a desk for children in this poorest of the poor African nations, a desk and chair combo to replace their seven hours spent sitting on hard concrete. Learning. Can you imagine? Me either.
A desk, and a chair. That is even more glorious than the music for me this year.
Go to MSNBC and find Lawrence O'Donnell's KIND link, and put a kid's butt in a chair so she can learn. And become the next Nelson Mandela. Or Marie Curie. $24. Two tickets. Can do.