My father, Eugene Vaughn, loved Christmas tradition. He instilled in his children, and eventually his grandchildren, the blessings of week-long family gatherings over the Christmas and New Year holidays. These times were always filled with one-on-one activities we just didn’t seem to take time for any other time of the year . . . card playing, piecing puzzles, playing Battleship, and, of course, on Christmas eve, reading of the Christmas Story from the bible.

In later years, Lea added a Birthday Party for Jesus to our Christmas eve traditions, with an elaborately decorated table filled with festive foods and snacks. It was also a time of wonderful, heartwarming, conversations, and building excitement for the youngsters present that year. Our granddaughters will never forget the excitement of receiving “Reindeer Food” that they could sprinkle in the lawn around the house, to attract Santa’s reindeer.

These traditions have great impact in the life of a youngster, and live on to bless future generations. This was never made clearer to our family than when our youngest son went off to college, and found himself yearning for those traditions. He expressed these things very eloquently in a short story he wrote and a subsequent Christmas Carol he composed to celebrate the importance of family during the holidays. Here is what he recently wrote:

“It was 1991, and I was a sophomore at Purdue University. When Christmas rolled around, I was painfully low on cash. I wasn’t sure what to do for my family for Christmas that year. I had been toying around with a bit of writing over the last few years, so I came up with the idea of writing a short Christmas story. Little was I to know that so many feelings… so much of me… would find its way into the story. When I read the story to my family Christmas night, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It was a beautiful moment — one that I will remember forever!

Now, fast forward nine years…

It was the year 2000. I had spent almost every waking moment that year writing music for a studio band that I was in, so I decided to attempt writing a Christmas carol for my family’s traditional talent show that we do every year on Christmas night. Easy stuff, right? Ha! I was only able to write a couple of verses in the one or two hours that I had, but it went over really well. It was fun when I asked my family to sing along after having only heard the song for the first time just a few moments before! I wasn’t even sure what key the song was in!

Well, the next year, I had a little surprise up my sleeve. Starting in late July, I began collaborating with Brian Hazard of Color Theory to finish the song. It wasn’t easy writing a traditional-style Christmas carol — trying to capture the true warmth and magic of the season without being too cheesy — but it was incredibly rewarding when we finally wrapped it up! And what a wonderful surprise for my family that year! I couldn’t even wait until Christmas night. Christmas Eve hit and I was all aglow!

I had really started getting into the spirit of Christmas early that year and it was a long wait until December 25th! Since I had a bare bones recording studio in my home, I had also decided to create an audio version of my Christmas story that year. It had gone through a lot of small revisions over the last ten years, but it was time to finally put it in stone. So, while I was working with Brian on the Christmas carol, I decided to ask him to write a short instrumental to include in the audio version of my story. It was designed as a companion song to the carol, but was meant to capture the deeper, more personal side of Christmas. I swear there was such an amazing degree of divine intervention involved, because Brian created the song with very little direction from me; yet, as I began to piece everything together — layering his music in with my reading — I must have cried a dozen times out of sheer joy! The timing and overall feeling of the music matched the storyline perfectly! Bravo!

Please visit Brian’s site at colortheory.com — beautiful music from an incredibly talented individual!

I am sharing these two productions with you simply because I love Christmas and I hope they will somehow touch you the way they have me all these years. Please feel free to share this site with anyone and everyone — it’s a great way to help your loved ones find their spirit! Christmas is such a beautiful season! It brings out the best in us… reminds us of everything we take for granted.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Listen to the original Christmas carol and read the lyrics here:  The Magic of Christmas

Read the original Christmas short story and listen to the audio version here: The Warmth of My Santa’s Beard.”

God bless! Our prayer is for love, peace and tremendous growth in faith in the coming year.

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