“It gives me a happy feeling just to look at the glittering snow on a winter day.”
There are many things that I look forward to during the holidays. This year, in particular, I have tried to be more present, paying attention to the unique sounds that are part of the holiday season – from the many different sounds of West Michigan lake effect snow, to the jingling of the Salvation Army Red Kettle Bell, to the familiar songs of Advent and Christmas.
Recently, my daughter wrote a narrative for school about what the holiday season means to her. It was lovely, so I asked her to read it aloud. Remarkably, it was different when she read it out loud. Listening to her read the narrative added something intangible to the experience. Granted, I am a biased parent, but there was something about listening to her read that was almost magical.
What the Holidays Mean To Me
“The holidays are special to me, but the most exceptional holiday is Christmas. It’s when the snow starts to fall, cold and crisp. It’s when you want to sit all cozy by the fireplace. It gives me a happy feeling just to look at the glittering snow on a winter day. All the things around you are so magnificent – the snow, ponds, even the trees have something magical at Christmas. It feels good to just lay in the snow making sweet snow angels and jolly snowmen. It’s so incredible walking the streets and seeing all the Christmas lights, colors of red, green, yellow and orange, glow like little stars. Christmas is so beautiful. All you have to do is enjoy it.”
I started thinking about a way to record what I had heard, thinking it might make a great gift for the rest of the family. I discovered SoundCloud, an easy way to record, publish and share your own sounds. Here is a great little tutorial that got me started in no time at all.
Through this recording, I had the opportunity to be present with my daughter, and interact in a whole, new way. I was able to see the pride in her eyes when she realized that someone thought her writing was special. I got to laugh with her through a series of audio bloopers. We created memories, and something that we can listen to next year, and in years to come. Soon, I suspect others will enjoy the gift of her recording as well. Each year, the holidays bring surprises. This year, it turns out, was no different. What started out as listening turned into an idea for giving. In the process of giving, I found I was also receiving.
I look forward to hearing what the holidays will tell me next.