We snuggle up close, warm and cozy on the couch. I pull my youngest child tighter, she is five and I wonder how long she’ll be able to fit perfectly in my lap. Her little hand is raised, tracing the outline of our Christmas tree across the air with her index finger. Our eyes glaze, in and out of focus, captivated by the glow of the white lights illuminating the night.
My daughter breaks the silence, “Mommy, what’s your favorite Christmas song?”
“Oh sweetie, I have so many. What’s yours?”
“That’s easy. Silent Night and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.”
“Mmmm. . . I like those too.”
“Christmas songs make me happy. We should sing them all year long!”
Ah, from the mouths of babes. I love watching the child-like wonder in our children this time of year. Their excitement and anticipation not only for Christmas Day, but the entire Advent season is contagious and hopeful. How many times have I vowed to keep the spirit of Christmas alive throughout the year?
I think that’s why I love summer at the YMCA of the Rockies. It feels like Christmas in July. Being from Texas, summer nights in Colorado are often colder than our mild December days. We shiver with delight as the snow-capped Rocky Mountains greet us after the long drive from the south. Aside from roasted marshmallows, snow-capped mountains and evergreen pines, there is something profoundly spiritual about the Y that reminds me of Christmas.
The word holiday means holy days, and for us, the YMCA is more than a summer vacation, it’s truly a family holiday. A time where we linger around the dinner table a little longer, sing songs a little louder, and hold each other a little closer. It’s a time for us to reconnect with each other as a family as well as a sacred time of renewal in our faith lives.
We may sing Y- Day Camp songs in July instead of Christmas carols, but being in the mountains rekindles a love in our hearts that began one holy night in a manger.
I drift back to conversation with my daughter, “I think maybe O Holy Night is my favorite Christmas song. Or maybe Angels We Have Heard on High.”
“You know, Mommy, you can have more than one favorite Christmas song.”
Since we couldn’t pick just one, our family put together this list of our favorite Christmas songs for you to enjoy this season. Come to think of it, we are going to listen to this Christmas playlist in July on our way back to the Y.
We are blessed to co-donate Serendipity cabin with David and Ruth Ann Mindel, from Granbury, Texas. Stay tuned for the next “Y” Story in January where I’ll talk about more programs at the YMCA of the Rockies that are near and dear to our hearts.
Kristin Schell is writer in Austin, Texas where she lives with her husband, Tony, and their four children. You can find her at www.kristinschell.com where she shares her passion for family cooking, faith in Jesus Christ, and fly-fishing.