Our Christmas tree is up. It's a lovely Frazier fir, cut down right out of our own backyard. Don had planted it several years ago as a transplant from the farm where he and his Dad labored lovingly for years over soft and fragrant Douglas firs, pricky but great for heavy ornaments Blue Spruce and gorgeous silver backed Fraziers. We're a little late this year, as we usually put our tree up the Saturday after Thanksgiving and then spend the next day, well, probably more like the next week, adding the lights and the ornaments. Right now it's full of twinkling white lights. The ornaments will be added this weekend. We're waiting for all of us to be together to decorate the tree.
Once upon a time a high energy, curly headed little boy used to skip happily around when the Christmas music would come on. Well, he would skip happily around for lots of reasons, but he always enjoyed music. Michael W Smith's Gloria would come on. One of my favorites. The majestic symphony orchestra surging. His voice praising God.
And the unmistakable sound of joy from a toddler, crooning along . . . "Oreo! oh, Oreo!"
That toddler is now a college junior, in the midst of finals, with a voice that has dropped into the lower octaves, but still with high energy, still with curls (although a much shorter version these days) and still loving music. And he'll be home in just a few days!! Oreo! I mean, Gloria! : )
In a few short years, another high energy blonde would add her rendition along with it.
"Oreo! oh, Oreo! It is Chelsea's Day - ay - o!"
She would dance excitedly around the room and she pretty much hasn't stopped dancing since.
And when our family goes to the Christmas Eve service, and the worship team breaks out the intro to Angels We Have Heard on High, you know of course, that we will quietly giggle and look at each other out of the corners of our eyes and while the congregation unites their hearts and voices in singing "Gloria in excelsis deo!", the Shellenbergers will be mouthing our own traditional lyrics, inspired by a cream filled chocolate cookie.
And two tots who have grown up entirely too fast.