Here's a test to see if you really know me - because if you do, you'll know that more than ten years later, I still know where, dig out, and listen to my NSYNC Christmas album. In fact, at one point I had two of them, because one slid under my passenger seat and after a few days of missing it one December, I went to King of Trade, where I found an abundance of unwanted NSYNC Christmas albums. If only I could have given a home to all of them. (Just kidding).
But really, my message is, this CD brings back more than ten years of memories for me. I still like the songs, the words, the beat, even the too-high falsetto Justin does on the a cappella 'O Holy Night', and moreso, it reminds of how far I've come.
When I was fifteen I received a great Panasonic portable CD player from my older sister for my birthday, my first one, and I thought it was awesome. It looked really cool and high-tech, and I used it and used it until it nearly didn't work anymore, and I had a hard time parting with it a couple years ago - but I gave it a good home at my old friend, the King of Trade. (Life goes in circles, it really does). A lot of play time on this player was spent listening to the NSYNC Christmas songs.
This particular Christmas I spent in California with my mom's parents. There was no rush on Christmas Day, just a regular slow, slow waking up to a bright, sunny, summer-like day in Sierra Madre. Time changes things far too fast - my grandparents are gone and so is their amazing three acres of land in those beautiful hills.
Except when I was sleeping, and even some time when I was sleeping, I was listening to that CD. Now when I hear those familiar songs, the desert foothills, the waterslide up on the hill that dumped you face first into a concrete driveway, the million-dollar view, the collection of signs on the side of the house warning you about alligators and train crossings, and the comfort of grandparents comes back to me and I picture the little 'guest room' off to the side of the living room where I slept that time and many other visits.
The lyrics of the songs talk about being in love on Christmas, celebrating family traditions, and brings to mind happy, picture perfect couples having a perfectly romantic holiday season, topped off with a sweet New Years kiss and an exciting future waiting. That's what really reminds me of how far I've come - when I was thirteen, fourteen, fifteen - I dreamed of the time when I would have the life that I have now.
Here it is:
Our third Christmas together as a married couple, a real Christmas tree in the corner that we decorated ourselves. A little baby that we love so dearly playing at our feet, and presents already under the tree long before Christmas. A handsome husband who comes home smiling and gets up early on Saturday mornings to make me my favorite kind of pancakes, and days filled with all the regular life things: groceries and laundry and diapers. And that's what Christmas is about - how each of us can become much more than we ever could by ourselves, thanks to the supernal gift of His Son, our Elder Brother, who came to earth and showed the way.
Thanks for bringing me all this way, NSYNC. You can stay in the CD player until January, when I'll have to put you away until next year.
To all of you out there in cyberspace - make your life what you've always dreamed it could be, if you're not there yet. Life CAN be happy, happier than you think you deserve. And you don't need Christmas to remind you of that, but you do need CHRIST. Come unto him, this season, and every season - seek, and you will find.