It is a given that no one really wants to work late on a Friday night; and, I am certainly no exception.  But, there I was in the office on Dec.7, trying to bring some order to my thoughts, not to mention my desk, after an entire week of “Mondays.”  I guess I should add that I wasn’t exactly happy, grumpy is actually a more accurate and honest assessment.

The darker it got outside, the more I felt completely justified in feeling sorry for myself.  So, it was in this pitiful state that I plugged away at the sea of files threatening to drown any possibility of Christmas cheer.  When, out of nowhere, I began to hear music.  My first thought was that the ghost in the Historic Courthouse was playing a game with me; but, I quickly dismissed that thought.  Even she doesn’t work on Friday nights!

The sounds continued.  Not the “When out on the (Courthouse) lawn there arose such a clatter.  I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter” kind, but the crisp and beautiful sounds of Christmas carols that compelled me to peer out my window.  I could see only the glow of one of the lit Christmas trees on the lawn and the lights from the Texas Theatre marquee across the way…no apparent source for the reverent strains of “Silent Night” that defied me to continue being cross.

The sweet sounds of percussion coaxed me from my mood one note at a time, and soon I was singing and soaring to “Angels We Have Heard on High.”  With a smile on my face, I packed up my things and headed out the Courthouse doors and down the steps.  As I emerged from the portico, I found that the source of the music was the percussion group of Howard Middle School performing on the Courthouse lawn, under the direction of Mr. Reggie Cook.

I stood and listened with a group of parents and passersby who had gathered to enjoy the moment.  I was so impressed by the students and their talents; but, even more than impressed, I was grateful.  The concert may have been planned, but for me, it was serendipity.  The end of a busy and frustrating work week turned out to be the beginning of celebrating Christmas in my heart.

As the group packed up their instruments and drove out of sight, I am pretty sure that I heard them exclaim, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night.”

Wishing you and your family a similar gift this holiday season.

Carol Bush serves as the Ellis County Judge.