Throw another log on the fire and gather the young ‘uns..I’d like to tell y’all a story of the night a modern day Scrooge was slayed by the country music star.
It all started back in October when I received a series of excited texts from Joe..”I won tickets to a concert!” He had never heard of the singer, and neither had I…but he was going to the concert, by gosh, because in his 50 years of life this was the first contest he had ever won and he was going to see “Trace” whatever his name is, and sweetly said we could have a real date night, just us two. Yee-haw.
A quick “Trace Adkins” google revealed that ..get ready..he was touring a Christmas concert. A Christmas concert in November. Have I mentioned lately that Christmas music before December 24th generally makes me anxious and depending on my level of holiday preparedness could provoke any number of personality disorders that are lying dormant in a charred part of my soul? A quick survey of friends and strangers revealed that everyone in the universe has heard of Trace Adkins, the man who is famous for singing about that “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk”..a song that is dedicated to the adoration of the firm fannies of country gals in teeny- tiny shorts. Now, imagining a concert of epic hillbilly proportions, I encouraged Joe to give the tickets to someone who loved the man..what a nice gesture it would be..a thoughtful surprise for a deserving friend. Nope..he was going. Sell the tickets, I urged..to the highest bidder! He flinched, but ultimately didn’t budge. Dang it, looked like my badonkadonk was headed to the big show.
We arrived to the grand old Lyric Opera House in Baltimore City and were immediately struck by the sight of Trace’s humongous tour buses taking up two blocks. Just pull over boys.. like they were at a road-side bar. I was already chuckling and preparing myself for a yuk-yuk fest.
The yuk-yuk was on me, apparently. When I took my seat in the balcony overlooking the stage and under a beautiful, harp carrying angel I began to have a stirring of emotion that I now recognize as a good sign. Something good was happening…I could feel it.
A string quartet, four gorgeous young women opened for Trace, combining amazingly beautiful music with humor and warmth, and explained the Celtic twist to the Christmas music that would be played in the show. Have I mentioned that Saint Patrick’s Day is my favorite holiday and we start playing Irish music on December 26th around here? When Alyth McCormack, a singer from Ireland, who performs with The Chieftains came out and floored us with her traditional Celtic songs, I’m fairly certain that was when my mouth fell open for the remainder of the show.
By the time the six-foot-six, hunka burning love Trace Adkins, who I had no idea existed a week earlier but was now a God to me, strolled onto the stage,I was floating outside my body feeling more in tune with the topless angel above me. Perhaps, I thought, the angel had already seen his show, and had thrown her bra at him, as I’m sure he is not unaccustomed to such behavior, Christmas or not. But, seriously, when he started singing in his impossibly deep, reverent and beautiful voice, and telling the ancient stories that accompany the carols that we all know so well..the tears began to fall.
It was a beautiful thing to be reminded of the Christmas Truce of 1914..when German and British soldiers during WWI, who had been killing each other all day , began singing “Silent Night” or “Stille Nacht” in their trenches, and joined together in song, meeting each other in the middle, shared personal items and goodwill, and then went back to battle the next day. I wept and squeezed Joe’s hand, he leaned over and whispered “you’re glad you came, aren’t you?” He had no idea.
I had no idea, until today, Black Friday, how glad I was that I went to a Christmas show in November against my will. I had to go out..I actually needed to go out. I never, ever go shopping on Black Friday..but there I was..in a store with Christmas music blaring. Look, I won’t lie..I almost lost it during what seemed like a twenty minute version of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You”. Torture. All I want for Christmas is for YOU TO SHUT UP, was all I was thinking. But, some Christmas decorations caught my eye, a sparkly pillow that said “Joy” and some glittery candles..and I didn’t turn away..I actually purchased them. Wow..you just don’t know. When I returned to my car, shiny, happy items in hand, and the radio was playing Pachelbel Canon in D by the Trans Siberian Orchestra..I turned it up, not off. Who am I?
I’m ready to put a tree up.
My family is confused.