We received a record player in our house over the Christmas of 1968. The year of black and white TV and three channels. The only remote that my father had was whomever he would tell to get up and change the channel. The year that Christmas trees were real, and Mom put so much tinsel on the tree it stopped being green 1/2 hour into the decorating. My Dad drove a 1965 VW Van…that had no heat. So when we went to look at holiday decorations on Christmas Eve, the widows in the back were so frosted up we could only see the different colors of lights without any detail. My Dad and Mom sitting up front would be the only ones that had defrosted windows and would oooh! and aaaah! at the lights, and tell us to look at that kids, and see those lights over there kids. We did our best to follow with the ooohs! and aaaahs!
Back to the record player.
It was a small, green, plain boxy looking thing, and when you opened it, it was all white plastic. Secured to the top were two or three 45’s that came with the player. One was the Chipmunk Christmas Song.
“I wonder what this is?” my brother mused. He put the record on the turn table, and gently placed the needle on the vinyl record…and it crackled.
“Christmas, Christmas time is near….”
If we played that song over vacation once, we played it one hundred times. I never remember once hearing my parents telling us to stop. Never once did they show impatience over our entertainment. No smartphones, no computer, no ipods, just a little green and white record player, and as an 8 year old boy, that was pretty good entertainment. Dave yelling at Alvin would make us laugh every time.
Today? Not so much. I would have to tell my children to put their ear buds in. That song is one you love or you hate, and there is no in between. Writing this blog made me wonder if I could listen with the patience that my parents did. Do I listen with the patience that I should?
This Christmas I plan on working on that. To receive everything that world has to offer with joy! To listen as though what I am receiving is a gift…because it is.