Tonight is the 16th annual Christmas in the Grove choir performance put on by my stake. It started small with only the choir and their families in attendance in the chapel of the stake center. It quickly grew and now we hold it in the American Fork tabernacle and people come from all over the county and then some. We usually end up turning people away because there is just no room.
Brandi is singing again this year in the children's choir. I remember when Donovan was barely old enough for the children's choir. Ethan is singing in the youth choir and Jacob is playing percussion. I will be taking part in the audience portion of the program.
If you have had a chance to read my story that is included in the book, Stolen Christmas and Other Stories of the Season (available at Amazon.com), you would recognize the choir director as the same Katherine that is in charge of the choir for Christmas in the Grove.
3 years ago when I first wrote The Choir it was a very different story than it is today. But the one thing that remained the same in every single draft and reworking and then rewriting of the story from that first simple blog post to the submission to the contest to the final draft published in the book, is Katherine. Every single time I sat down to write, it was her face, her countenance, her persanage that made the story. Without her, there is no choir, no story, no Christmas in the Grove.
This program tonight is the event that sets Christmas in motion for me. There is the getting out of the tree and decorations. Lighting the house (a bit ridiculously this year, though), listening to all the songs, shopping, wrapping, baking. But until Christmas in the Grove, they are just motions. After attending the program tonight and feeling of Katherine's love for the Savior and partaking of the Spirit brought in by the choir, then-then it can be Christmas.