Okay, I promised that I would share one of my favorite Christmas memories about music. And since we are a few days from Christmas, and I’m happy because my family and I are finally together, I thought I would share this special memory with all of you.

When I was very young – maybe 4 or 5 – my mother (then a single parent) made these amazing shadow boxes to sell at a local craft festival during the holidays. The festival was very well-known, themed around the Renaissance period during Christmas.

On December 23 of that year, my mom let me come with her to the festival. Actually, I think I came by default – no babysitter is my guess. Regardless, I distinctly remember the different craft booths, the smells of hot chocolate and roasting chestnuts, and the beautiful costumes everyone seemed to wear. My mom and I walked around for a bit before she left me at a child-care center located within the faire.

On that night, a quartet from the Robert Shaw Chorale was singing at the festival. They walked throughout the faire, dressed in historical garb – minstrels singing the most beautiful songs.

One of their first stops was the child-care center. I remember hearing them sing and knowing that a group of angels couldn’t possible sound any better. One particular singer – the soprano – stood out from the group. Her voice was more beautiful than anything I had ever heard in my young life.

The minstrels finished their songs and moved on to the next booth. I couldn’t bear to have them leave, so I snuck out of the center and followed them.

Kate, the soprano, talked with me, held my hand and made sure I didn’t get lost. I really don’t remember them singing, but I do remember Kate trying to help me find my mother’s booth. 

After some time past – in my 5-year old mind it seemed like it was the whole night – we made our way back to the child-center, unable to find my mother’s booth. Mom was waiting for me. And after she was done chastising me for leaving, she thanked Kate.

Before Kate left, I pulled off the bracelet I was wearing – a special charm bracelet given to me by my grandmother. The stone of the charms spelled out the word “dear”. Kate tried to refuse the present, but I told her that Christmas was about giving and since she had given me the gift of her voice, I simply had to give her the bracelet. Reluctantly, she took my gift and left.

The next day was Christmas Eve. I remember listening to a recording of the Robert Shaw Chorale over and over again. I just knew I could hear Kate’s voice in the chorus, sounding every bit as angelic as she did at the festival.

The next morning, Christmas morning, I raced out of bed to see if Santa had come. Mom joined me and I opened my stocking. Tucked at the bottom of the stocking was a little package completely different from the rest. Carefully, I unwrapped the little gift until it lay in my hand – a mosaic pin with a little note.

Thank you for your kindness at the festival. You reminded me just how special Christmas and music are. Love, Kate

I couldn’t believe it. How did she manage to get a present into my stocking? Surely she must be an angel.

To this day, I listen carefully anytime Joy to the World by the Robert Shaw Chorale is played, straining to see if I can hear the voice of my angelic Kate.

What special memories do you have about this season?


10 thoughts on “Christmas Memories and Meeting an Angel

  1. ahhh you made me cry!!! What a beautiful memory 🙂 One of my earliest Christmas memories is of opening what to my two year old mind seemed to be an enormous box – and inside were more books than I’d ever seen and tapes to go with them. I remember listening to the tapes and flipping through the pages of the books over and over…..it’s one of my favorite memories because it’s the first time I remember getting a book that was all my own…..being so young (my mom told me how old I was) it must have been one of the things that started me on the road to where I am now, that sparked that love of reading and books 🙂

  2. That is such a sweet memory!

    My greatest Christmas memory would be the one when I was thirteen. We went to my Grandparents’ house on Christmas eve where we feasted with them, my uncle, aunt and cousin. Nothing huge really happened. But on that Christmas night, my Grandfather and I (after years’ worth of cold warfare) came to a truce.

    That truce lasted until August the next year, when he passed away suddenly. I deeply regret that we had fought for so long, but I’m just glad that that Christmas happened. We were at least on good footing after that.

    Strange memory, I know.


  3. Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful memory. You were such a sweet child! I would’ve loved to know you when I was little.

    One of my favorite Christmas memories would be when I was about eight years old. We hadn’t been in the US very long. We were visiting my grandparents, and I decided that I wanted to create a live nativity. I was always doing crazy things. Anyway, I pulled together fabric and clothes and dressed up my older brother as Joseph in a robe and myself as Mary with my head covered by a blue blanket, and my dolly as the Baby. And my little brother as Santa Claus…

    1. love that memory. I used to do stuff like that too – we would have probably been great friends in our childhood!

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