When My grandmother was a child she would go over to her cousin Amy's on Christmas day. Cousin Amy enjoyed carols and listening to the kids sing them to her. She inspired the kids by making them feel important and like "grown ups" because she made sure their voice was heard. Choosing what carols to sing in a time when children were supposed to be seen and not heard really empowered my grandma Katie. While they sang carols, cousin Amy played along on her accordion. No wonder cousin Amy made such an impact, who wouldn't be inspired by someone who could play the accordion?
These Christmas music sessions instilled a life long love for Christmas carols in my grandmother. When she started a family of her own they spent Christmas Eves sitting together, enjoying food, and singing carols. One year Grandma Katie decided that the family would sing and act out the "12 Days of Christmas" together. The whole family had a great time laughing at each other and bonding as a family. Apparently, my grandmother got so busy directing the kids and trying to make sure that everyone remembered their parts that she ended up being the one forgetting which part she was supposed to be singing. In the end it didn't matter because they all had a ton of fun "hamming" it up together.
My nuclear family never put a big emphasis on singing with one another, but I think that's only because none of us can actually sing :) It will be interesting to see the role that music plays in my new family. Ben is quite talented when it comes to anything having to do with music. He writes his own music and plays really well by ear. He was even the organist in our church. Unfortunately, he thinks I'm tone deaf. Perhaps everyone else will sing, and I will be relegated to shaking the tambourine or something.