Reseda High School Holiday Concert December 1976

Silver Bells

“Silver Bells” is one of those pleasant holiday songs you think little about. I’m sure I sang it in our high school Vocal Ensemble and possibly other caroling groups. Here’s Dean Martin’s version.

It’s just about people shopping during the holidays. What’s the big deal about it? To me, it’s a reminder to appreciate the joy of the holidays. This joy is easy to set aside, especially this year.

Holiday shopping has always been difficult. It’s even worse this year with inflation, supply chain constraints, and short-staffed retailers. Even online shopping requires paying attention to shipping cutoff dates while trying to click Checkout at the right time to get that extra discount. We still have COVID, RSV, and regular old flu roaming around to derail everyone’s holiday plans. The seasonal shuffle through tinsel-and-light adorned downtowns and malls, like the Sherman Way and Topanga Plaza of my childhood, are quaint and distant memories.

But even in these chaotic times, it’s still important to appreciate the joy and togetherness that the holiday season can bring. We never know if we’ll be able to share those moments with loved ones again.

Last month, a family member died. I recently learned the mother of a couple of my classmates also passed away. Besides being the mother to her own children, she was a “second mother” for another of my classmates, and provided support to her children’s teammates and friends. I remember their home was always a happy and welcoming place. It’s another reminder that we don’t always know the good people have done for others until after they’re gone.

That’s why we need the holidays to spend time with those we love, to build bonds and happy memories, and appreciate all we have. That’s what “Silver Bells” says to me. As you go about the holiday hustle, stop for a moment. Take a breath. Give a smile to a stranger. And listen to the bells.

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