Happy Tuesday, Reader Friends!
Today I’m turning the blog over to Ann Brodeur so grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and hang with her!
The Music of Christmas
When I was a little girl, my favourite part of Christmas was attending the candlelight Christmas Eve service at church. Believe it or not, I was one of those kids who got more excited about church service than opening gifts (maybe that’s because we couldn’t open gifts until after we went to church).
What was it that grabbed my attention?
I loved the ambiance – a dimmed room lit only by the glow of Christmas candles. The pews and stage adorned with evergreen and Christmas reds. And the Christmas tree was finally lit after weeks of staring at it on the stage, its beauty waiting to shine.
I loved dressing up in my Christmas best, feeling like a tiny princess.
I loved the dramatic readings or plays (depending who was in charge that particular year).
And I never got tired of hearing the Christmas story year after year.
But the music. It had to be the music that stirred my heart the most. Soaring melodic lines supported by the subtle harmonies. There’s something special about the lyrics that pull a singer into the deeper meaning of Christmas. And the music of Christmas is unlike that of any other time of year. Classics never grow old as modern groups have re-mixed and re-arranged them with a fresh perspective. I look forward to new recordings of seasonal songs every year.
Relating to Pregnant Mary
I remember the first Christmas I was pregnant. We were expecting twins in the middle of February and I’d been asked to sing at my parent’s church (my educational background is music performance). I reluctantly agreed. You see, the babies had made themselves comfortable on my diaphragm making it a challenge to even speak. Any time I’d try to sing with the congregation in our home church, I’d lose my breath or notes would squeak out. Music moved them – and eight years later it still does.
Christmas Eve came. The candles were lit, the program started. And as I began to sing, the babies stilled in my oversized belly. I lost myself in the lyrics, a song from the perspective of a frightened Mary, carrying the precious gift from God. No loss of breath. No squeaky notes. And the first time in my life I could relate to Mary.
Christmas Music in Fiction
I love how some authors use parts of Christmas music titles or lyrics for their own novels or focus the theme of their seasonal story around them. Somehow it makes remembering the story or book title easier for readers like me (who can’t remember where I put my keys!).
Christmas music plays a supporting role in my debut novel, SNOWBOUND IN WINTERBERRY FALLS. After all, what’s Christmas without the music? Hints of Christmas carols and songs are sprinkled throughout the pages. I tried to allude to the titles and I hope readers can catch them. Though I didn’t end up writing the scene, my hero Jason decides to attend the Christmas Candlelight Service in town – a first in over twelve years. In his faith journey, it’s a significant decision to make and something I’m sure he’ll continue doing in the years to come.
How about you – do you attend a Christmas Eve or Christmas Service? What is it that you enjoy about it? Is there a piece of Christmas music that moves you?
About the Author
ANN BRODEUR is an award-winning novelist who writes inspirational and contemporary romances offering sweet hope and happy endings.
When she’s not reading, writing, chasing after her kids or enjoying long chats with her husband, Ann can be found drinking coffee, that’s been reheated several times throughout the day. She aspires to someday drink a hot beverage in one sitting.
About SNOWBOUND IN WINTERBERRY FALLS
Unwrapping their past – one secret at a time.
Owning her own PR firm is all reporter Stephanie Clark wants for Christmas, but the idea of running a prestigious election campaign in the country’s capital throws her stomach into knots. A last minute vacation road trip to focus and seek God’s direction for her life ends up in disaster when she gets caught in the worst snowstorm to hit Vermont in over a decade, crashing her into a small town and the one person she’d rather forget.
Former photojournalist Jason Miller hadn’t planned on being solely responsible for saving his family business from financial ruin. He’s barely keeping the newspaper in print, his News Editor has gone AWOL during the town’s most celebrated holiday festival, and reports of missing Christmas decorations have everyone on edge.
When a desperate knock at the newsroom door brings a ghost from Christmas past back into his life, can Jason make up for his prior behavior without breaking his promise to Stephanie’s father? Will Stephanie’s quest to solve the town’s Christmas caper—and uncover the truth about Jason’s disappearance—cost her everything she’s ever wanted?