Taking Time for Christmas Carols

Jon Vanderford

As you've probably noticed, the title of my blog is called "The Details Dad." I'm one of those many Dads who are involved in family life, and enjoy making sure the details of everyday living are covered. I believe that if you can handle of some of the details of life, you will live a better life. In this blog, I hope to talk quite a bit about keeping your life organized, because I believe organization is a key to living better. It can also lead to a life where you are able to give more to others who need it, and you can stop feeling like your bogged down at home with too many material possessions.

I thought I would share a holiday story where perhaps I was too involved in the details to really enjoy a simple Christmas treat. The other night I was helping my wife fold the clothes (yes, really). Let me just say that she doesn't ever let me do the actual laundry. The actual operation of the washing machine is her turf. She says she has a system, and she doesn't want me to mess it up. But, because I'm the details dad, I do enjoy folding the clothes and making sure they go to the proper spot. Anyway, it was around 7:30 p.m. in the evening, I was folding, and everyone in the house was busy. I was mentally thinking about the week ahead, when the doorbell rang. We weren't expecting anyone. Taryn said: "Jon, go check the door", in a slightly nervous voice, wondering who it could be. I peered through the glass, and it appeared to be four little children, a woman and a man dressed in winter clothes. The man was carrying a guitar.

I opened the door, and the man said "Can we sing you a Christmas carol or two?" I was surprised that this was what I would find outside my door on a cold night. I said, "Sure." The group sang "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and then a quick rendition of "Silent Night." All the while, I was trying to figure out who these people were. What was their angle? Did they want to sell me some magazines? After they finished singing, would they then ask me to contribute to some type of cause? What about my laundry? They are keeping me from getting that done. All of that was going through my head, and when they finished my wife asked where they were from. The man said with a smile, "We live in the area, and we go to a church nearby. The kids had a Christmas program, and they wanted to keep singing." So, it appeared the group wanted to just walk around the neighborhood and keep singing to people. They wanted to do some good. And I didn't really realize that, until they were gone.

This encounter made me realize that although the details of life are important to handle, I don't want to get so caught up in the details of life that I forget to enjoy the little moments. So be ready. Someone could come to your door to sing. And although there many details to handle this time of year, I hope you'll be prepared to absorb just a little bit of priceless joy that this time of year can bring. And you don't have to worry about any of the details.

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