I have always loved December not only because of Christmas, but the 1st starts the season with my birthday. Mom said she always got into the Christmas mood because the toys were now in the stores and she had so much to choose from. I really don't remember any specific birthday gifts, but I did get some amazing dolls for Christmas every year, which have resulted in a huge collection in my sewing room and all over the house.
Yesterday started out waking up beside my sweet husband and opening my eyes and stirring to see him open his eyes and the first words out of his mouth were to wish me a happy birthday. Just the fact that I have gotten to wake up beside him almost every day for 33 1/2 years made me feel so happy and blessed to have him. Right away he jumped up and got some things out of the cupboard, a book and a dvd I have been wishing for. Another book arrived in the mail later. He said there is still more to come. He discovered my Amazon.com wish list and ordered a bunch.
There was only one snag in my day, when I thought I had lost some tickets my daughter had given me for a concert on Sunday. We spent about an hour looking (no tearing the house apart) for them and finally gave up and left for our 2 1/2 hour trip north to our choir concert. After we left, we made a stop at the filling station to get some soft drinks, and while waiting, I decided to put some things in the trunk and there, among the mail I need to take to the newly wed couple was that envelope with the tickets.
During the morning of packing and frantically looking for my tickets, I got many sweet calls from my children, neighbor, and my sister in the next state along with my mom who left a message by singing Happy Birthday to me. And both sons who have children allowed each of their children to talk with me as well. That was so sweet to hear their tiny voices whispering, "Happy Birthday Grandma." One doesn't talk, but she said "mmmf" several times as I responded to her and her dad coached her from the other side. She is always willing to try anything they ask her. Another one said, "what is your last name? I need to know which grandma I am talking to. Are you the one in (neighboring state), or the one in (my state)? When I answered, she said "YEA! This is (her name)" One other tiny one talked so well, I thought at first she was the older sister until I heard her dad say, "very good, (her name)." All of them are precious.
Because of the frantic, unscheduled ticket hunt, we arrived a bit late to the rehearsal, but no one except the conductors wife really noticed. She had saved me a seat next to her with a birthday present under the chair. She is a dear friend, and I was so honored she remembered me. Several others in the choir wished me a happy day as well.
My birthday present to the world, or the city was to sing to them. The concert was just beautiful. It was preceded by a beautiful snow that stayed on the trees like someone had flash frozen it to them. The storm made it all the more perfect for a Christmas Concert. We were all in the Christmas mood. Every year, Our Choir puts this on for the Angel Tree, which is sponsored by the Salvation Army. They have Christmas trees set up in the foyer with tags shaped like Angels. The tags say if it is a child or a Senior citizen and the gender of the individual, and their wish, which is one or two items. It is very humbling to see their Christmas wishes, like a pair of sox or gloves. They are very simple and not extravagant. You can pick an angel off the tree and buy a gift for that elderly person or child and deliver it to any Macy's in the valley to help their Christmas be a better one. The ticket sales profits from our concert go to the Salvation Army as well. The downstairs of the auditorium was packed.
The Grinch made a surprise appearance and then Santa came out and chased him away and handed out candy canes to the children while we had a community sing-in.
Our guest soloist, Greg Pearson has an amazingly beautiful bass voice and sang "You're a Mean One, Mr.Grinch" so well and out of the side of his mouth no less. Then with just as much passion he sang the Innkeeper from Forgotten Carols, by Michael McLean which gives me chill bumps every time.
A children's choir, Studio A Children's choir joined us and sang some songs with us and some on their own. And every year, the same Symphony Orchestra teams up with us for this concert. The evening was perfect. We topped it all off singing the Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah.
Later I went to the balcony where my family was waiting, and several of the kids gave me gifts. I wasn't expecting this, but I got a nativity scene and How the Grinch Stole Christmas DVD. Perfect!
We reconviened in the parking lot to give things to the kids they requested from the house, a box of apples for one, a pie plate accidentally forgotten from Thanksgiving, and more cards and gifts for the newlywed couple. Then we bid goodbye to the kids. Because of Sunday's concert, we were spending the night with my sister and her husband, so we headed that way.
When we arrived, I called her on my cell to tell her we were outside and she opened the garage door to let us park inside for the night. As we went in, there on her counter top was an ice cream cake from Cold Stone! And part of my family, singing Happy Birthday to me! D1, SIL1 and my sister's youngest son and his cute wife along with my sister and her husband. I totally didn't expect that! I cannot remember having a surprise party since my childhood, OR a cake I didn't have to make!. In fact this morning, when I was talking to my granddaughter on the phone she asked what kind of cake I was going to have, and I told her probably none, because we were leaving the house for a couple of days.
Wow, what a sweet honor. I feel so loved, and now, I just noticed a blog friend, Lori wished me a happy birthday on her blog. Let me just say, I really feel honored, humbled and blessed for all the love I have felt today. And I wish you, dear reader, the same kind of birthdays too, whenever they may be.
PS tomorrow or the next, I will post some of the movies taken at this concert. They are taken on a digital camera that only takes 3~minute~tiny movies, so they are not the best quality, but you can hear us sing. It was the best concert I think we have done.
3 Dec 07~ Sunday we went to a Christmas Devotional in The Conference Center put on by our Church in Salt Lake City. These are the tickets my daughter got for us. It was so beautiful and a sweet way to kick off the Christmas season. I love this time of year.