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Dear Reader: Happy Holidays!

by Vaun Thygerson
Contributing writer and mother of three

Shakespeare once wrote, “When words fail, music speaks.” This could not be more true than in today’s crazy, upside-down world. There have been many times since March when I have literally been at a loss for words (and anyone who knows me knows that is rare, because I am a certified talkaholic). So, many of us have turned to music to express ourselves. My younger son ordered a banjo to learn to play, and my older son has been teaching himself his favorite songs on my husband’s guitar.

Going to live concerts has been my favorite activity for most of my life. It’s one of the things I have missed most during quarantine. To make up for it, I now have my children perform songs for me. The other night, I listened to my younger son practice the piano with his new, upbeat version of “Let it Snow,” for a good half hour. The holidays NEED music and the heart knows it.

I love Christmas carols, and even though I cannot carry a tune, I have no problem belting them out for all to hear! The KCFM Songbook (pages 23-32), published each year and included with the magazine, is my go-to for Christmas carols! Although we can’t spread Christmas cheer in person, we can still find joy in the lyrics and the time spent with our immediate family. I’ll just have to host a Zoom caroling night with my loved ones complete with our ugly Christmas sweaters and hot chocolate!

Like music, art has a healing property to help us become better people. In the article, “Creating Skills for Life: Art, Confidence, and the Power of Early Learning,” on page 10, you can read about local artist Jennifer Gardiner. She has taught art to many children via her studio, Jennifer’s Designs, and as an artist in residence with nearby schools. Hoping to welcome students back to her classes in 2021, she looks forward to teaching children to appreciate all facets of art for a lifelong love of it.

One thing about 2020 that we can all relate to is how much change we have learned to manage. We are adaptable! In Janelle Capra’s last Hello Mama article for KCFM, “Do You See What I See?” on page 12, she writes about finding the silver lining in 2020. When she looks at the world, she sees people smiling behind the masks and taking on unimaginable challenges. She explains that we can take this personal growth and make next year even better. We are going to miss Janelle’s fun and creative column, but we know she will forever be part of our KCFM family.

In the monthly Humor at Home article, “Too Much Stuff,” on page 13, Julie Willis writes about how stuff can create chaos in our lives. As her children love to collect too many things, she has the answer to keep the clutter at bay. She begs with the makers of things to just stop making things. If that doesn’t work, she is forced to engage Operation Get Rid of Stuff, which always brings on the mom guilt. It’s a cycle!

The true meaning of the 2020 Holiday Season seems more important this year than ever before, as we need to extend more giving, empathy, love, and compassion to our loved ones. This holiday season might be different this year with more COVID restrictions and fewer gatherings, but we can still find a way to make our season brighter with music! From our KCFM family to yours, have a safe and happy holiday season!

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Tags: Parenting

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