Those of you know know me would say I'm more spiritual than religious, but I just happen to think this particular quote applies.
Christmas concerts seem to be the embodiment of all that is sweet and pure and excited and carefully practiced for the season. They are slightly tacky-glue-with-glitter, but they are also a goal for kids to work towards (complete with performance anxiety), and truly, since even I was a kid, have marked the beginning of Christmas.
Sure, to the cynics, they're a jostling, sweaty, noisy, neck-craning cheek-to-jowl with strangers assault-on-the-ears experience when time could be better spent shopping for that last present, drinking Christmas cheer with colleagues or just listening to some orchestrated Bach on the Boes speakers.
But I went to hear my baby. (Okay, she's ten, but she's still my baby.)
She played her shiny brand-new trumpet, joyfully making noise that sounded suspiciously like music, for all her six weeks of learning an instrument she'd never tried before November. (There she is, second from left in that horn section, beside Annaliese in the Santa hat.)
And there was a gym full of other parents and siblings and grandparents doing the same thing, listening to their sweet babies who had, amongst all the other challenges of school and homework and chores and family commitments and roomcleaning and everything else kids do these days to become "balanced", somehow managed to miraculously learn a whole new skill well enough to honour us with their effort.
Merry Christmas. I wish you.