A squeaky and hoarse Merry Christmas

Published 6:47 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The title might be “confusing,” but Merry Christmas from the heart is good, even though it comes out sounding squeaky and hoarse.

Church programs are a part of the season and I am most fortunate in this regard. I am blessed to serve two churches which means two of everything! At our Sutton Chapel program, we had an ensemble from our high school band (we have three members with ties to the band).

They added a dad to the ensemble and played a great selection of Christmas songs. Trombones and trumpets make for good Merry Christmas music.

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My other church has a choir that sings songs of the season and, this year, it was a challenge. Not the singing, the people are very gifted, but our voices were hindered by colds, coughs, sore throats and the like. We got through it, though, and I thought we did a great job, considering.

The best part of serving two churches is that I receive two blessings of the refreshments. Although we say that the refreshments will be “light,” neither church knows what that means. The tables are full of meats, dips, sandwiches, cakes, cookies, and much more.

As I tell them, “if you leave hungry, it’s you own fault.”

I mentioned the sore throats and coughs and “crud” that accompanied our Christmas program at the Mitchell County church. Most of the time, I seem to skip that part of the season. I am blessed to be healthy.

But, this year, I have been included in Mother Nature’s wrathful visits. A fever blister should have forewarned me. Then a slight sore throat with a dose of fever. A tickle in the throat that finally burst through and into a full-fledged coughing fit was enough evidence for anyone to see, I was coming down with something.

That phrase, “I must be coming down with something” is our Southern way of saying we are getting sick. It’s okay, I thought, to get sick, but not at Christmas time. There is too much to do, too many places to be. Unfortunately, we have not learned how to schedule our colds and others sicknesses to be convenient to our schedules.

I was a member of the church choir and had a part in the Christmas program and was determined to do my part. At the same time, I had to preach at the two services on Sunday morning and could not change that.

My throat was sore and tired by the time the afternoon arrived. I would do as little talking in the afternoon and, perhaps, my voice would be strong enough to sing that evening.

When evening came, I felt that I was going to be okay, but it only took the first verse of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” to realize that this was not going to be pretty.

I reached for a note and all I got was a squeak! Things seemed to alright when I talked, but singing, well, that was a reindeer of a different color.

Oh well, Christmas programs are for fun and what’s a little hoarseness between friends. The only problem was that I sounded like a horse when I sang! By the time I was supposed to sing solo, I decided that I would sing “so low” that they wouldn’t hear me and, if they did, they’d feel sorry for me. I’d get the sympathy vote.

I needn’t worry. At the end of the day, it wasn’t so much the quality of my singing. It was the fact that I was there and my “Merry Christmas” was genuine, even though it did come out with a squeak.