It's always amazing to me how much of a positive impact good music can have on a person or an ambient. When I came home tonight I was very tired and was planning on going to bed early (it's obvious that that didn't happen). When I saw my family in the family room, however - stressed, down, troubled -I felt that we should sing some Christmas songs together. I asked one of my sisters to play "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," while I sang with another sister. 45 minutes later, we had sung all of the Christmas songs in the LDS hymnbook, as well as the New Year's songs and various lesser-known hymns.
That's a lot of singing. Quite a lot for a family that almost never sings together. But the effect that it had on everyone was clear. While the issues at hand still remained, everyone had a brighter countenance and seemed genuinely happy. It was as if for a moment, we transcended above the mires of the world to a type of paradise, where our hearts were lightened and prepared to face adversity with hope and understanding.
We are not the best singers, but we did our best, and that's what counted. Surely the sincerity of the heart is not measured by the pitch of one's voice, or the ability to nail the absurdly high notes in "Joy to the World."
I think I'm ready to go watch Mr. Krueger's Christmas. Maybe even It's a Wonderful Life. And perhaps Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Well, that last one could wait until Patriot's day or the Fourth of July.