The Meaning of Christmas and '12.25'

Hopkins ponders the connections of the holidays

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling  and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991);

Writer, Cartoonist, Animator


Happy Holidays!

As I sat at home at close to 2 am on Christmas eve I came across the above quote. Of course, I remember the movie, and even the quote, but for some reason, the words struck home. Tears … memories … thoughts.

As I sit I believe that the sentiment is so very true! Christmas is not about presents, and it is not about tinsel and egg nog. We know that.

Sure we get caught up in the fury and the advertising, but deep down, we all know that this time of the year is about so much more than the gifts under the tree.

Christmas is about family and giving praise and thanks for the blessings we have in our life. For many, there is the praise of God and for all of us, there is a sentimentality that is present as we gather with friends and family in our homes and churches. It is a special time of year. For many, it is the best time of year.

But speaking for myself, the memories of Christmas are never the presents. What I remember is the walk to church in a snow storm, or running down the steps at 5 am, or the first time I realized dad might be Santa … and as I have grown older … watching my daughter open her presents, remembering laughter at the houses of friends, and even the silence of an evening walk to the movies in a driving snow storm.

"Christmas is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas."

Dale Evans

Indeed – it’s the relationships we remember!!!

Funny … drum corps is the same way.

We like to think its about championships, and music, and rifles and snare tics. But really, why are here is so much greater than that! Drum Corps, and well, the Cadets, are here to provide a service for young people. We exist to show brass players the work it takes to be the best in the business; we are here to show 5 tom drummers what real teamwork is all about, and we are here in the world to show color guard members how to win with class and lose with dignity.

We do get confused. The culture of the activity emphasizes the competitive aspects of a summer. And yes, speaking again personally, while I have been fortunate to serve as director the corps has won the world championship 10 times, and 19 times, the corps has not. Amazing, but I will say, not as amazing as the success many of our graduates have had in the world after drum corps. Musicians, music teachers, doctors, accountants and parents – we have many alumni in the world and most every man and woman, is out in life making a difference in the world.

So, as we approach New Year’s … let’s rejoice in the greatness that is marching music … and let’s fully enjoy the holiday season. Indeed, Christmas is not about the tree and marching is not about the trophy.

Both are about goodness. Both are about a life worth living. And therein—this summer, the Cadets plan to bring both together – to live, as one, under the glare of the summer sun.

Perhaps this little note from the STORY OF THE DAY says it all.

Here's the Story of the Day:

Season of Joy

"She asked me when the season of joy was supposed to end & I said I didn't really think there was an exact date, so we left the tree up till June that year."

Or maybe … August

Happy Holidays to all!!!



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