Saturday, November 13, 2010


Just the other day, I listened to some of the old Christmas carols I grew up with. I was playing the vinyl albums on my turntable, which was connected to my computer, so that I would have my favorite Christmas music available on my iPod, my computer, and on cd. These particular songs evoked such a strong sense of nostalgia, I could almost smell the pine needles from the freshly-cut Christmas tree and taste my favorite Christmas dessert - fudgie-scotch squares. I could almost see the hand-made Shrinky Dink ornaments and the real old-fashioned Christmas lights (the big ones that get really hot) on our tree. I was completely immersed in my happy childhood, all my senses reliving the memories of Christmases past.
Music can be such a powerful medium. It can calm you, it can excite you, it can create an ambience, it can alter your mood, and it can take you back in time. Just a few bars from one particular song, and I was a child again, hanging ornaments on the branches of the dark green, pungeant, prickly evergreen tree we had cut from our own property, looking forward to the special baking that Mom did only at Christmas. As I listened to carol after carol (it's a three album collection), I was anticipating each place our old records used to skip - I still remember each one! - and was surprised and almost a little disappointed when the music continued uninterrupted. I bought this collection off of ebay several years ago, absolutely thrilled to find a set identical to the one I grew up with, minus the scratches. (As it turns out, my parents still have their set!).
Having experienced such a powerful nostalgic trip just by listening to the first lines of one of these songs got me thinking about the legacy I am leaving to my children. No, it won't involve money, since I don't have any. The memories I have of my childhood are far more valuable than any amount of money. As a child, I felt loved and secure. Although economic stress and political turmoil swirled around me, I was oblivious. My parents created a happy home for their children, even though things were difficult at times. Am I doing that for my children, or do I burden them with my insecurities and doubts? I am afraid the latter is true in my case.