There are times when I suspect I only keep a guitar around for these last two months of the year. I get restless come early November. I glance at the corner where its case reposes, and I feel a desire to strum, to pluck, and to bruise the ends of my delicate fingers on its wire strings - all for a little fa-la-la, ho ho ho, or a rambunctious chorus of Feliz Navidad!
Today I found the time. (If you can find the time for something, I always believe that Sunday is the time to find it. Lately, I've been on a losing streak for finding time, but when you keep a sabbath day the minutes seem to pace themselves with your perusal of the paper, your coffee-sipping and your pointless shlumping around in PJs) I unsnapped the guitar case - a merry sound, a sound of anticipation! - and I pulled my guitar on my knee, sat down at the edge of my chair, and warmed her up. Clumsy fingers, clumsy voice, bad timing on my Angels We have Heard and my Feliz Navidad, but then my preschooler was dancing, my toddler's eyes were alight, and my eldest daughter came and sang behind me as my fingers finally remembered my F chord for another round of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Silver Bells.
By the time my finger tips were purple with pressing down the strings and absorbing the shock of my glad strumming, my husband had come and entertained me and my girls with his goofy but energetic dance to Up on the Housetop. After watching our daughters join him in dancing like those happy Peanuts characters, I put the guitar away, snapped the case again. Then I blew on my fingers to lessen the pain of holiday music brilliance. Oh, well - I'll get my calluses back before Christmas. I've got a fair amount of jingle belling, gloria trilling and Feliz Navidading left to do.