Hark the Herald Angels Sing.
Please Come Home for Christmas. O Come All Ye Faithful.
Merry Christmas Darling. White Christmas. The soundtrack from A Charlie Brown Christmas.
These are just a few of the many holiday classics that send me into tears.
Not so much just when I listen, but watch out if I start to sing along. Not happy tears, but powerfully sad tears. And every year I ask myself, “What’s with that?”
If I’m walking through the mall and O Holy Night comes on, watch out. And don’t get me started on just about any holiday song by Nat King Cole.
So what red-and-green, ho, ho, ho, under-the-mistletoe chip is missing that makes me sad instead of joyous at this time of year when certain hummable tunes are playing?
It’s not like I make an effort to avoid holiday music. I love it, in fact.
I have so many Christmas CD’s (including a new one from a fellow blogger), that D. just rolls his eyes when I come home with any addition to the PunditMom Holiday Collection. I can’t wait for it to be an appropriate date on the calendar to break out my stash, but for some reason it flips a switch in my brain (or, more accurately, my tear ducts) that causes me to choke up if I so much as start singing any refrain, which can be a bit embarrassing around a soon-to-be seven-year-old who is flinging herself around the house to The Nutcracker.
If you’re thinking that I’m writing this because I have stumbled into a bit of wisdom or insight about this Christmas-time quirk, I haven’t.
It’s not that I had bad Christmases as a child. There are no unhappy memories of department store Santas or feelings that I missed out on some holiday tradition (with the exception of that ever-elusive Easy Bake Oven, which I never got, but which my parents are giving to Rachel this year)!
So I continue to struggle with this one. I know if I spent a couple of years with a therapist, I could probably trace it back to the real trigger. If I was going to vent about things I should dissect in my life, I know I could come up with better ones to spend my money on than the sadness that creeps through me with just a few bars of Silent Night.
Or maybe not. Maybe it would be worth a couple of nickels at Lucy’s five-cent psychiatric booth mining my Christmases-past to dig up the real reason I can’t sing Away in a Manger without having a box of tissues handy.