When I was little, my dad would often play the piano in the evening after we had gone to bed. I'll never forget lying there with my eyes closed, listening as the music serenaded us to sleep. My dad would usually play with the living room nearly dark, or as we often said, "by the light of the moon." He didn't need the light to read the music, he would just play from his heart and let his fingers find their way across the keys.
Once or twice, my siblings and I didn't fall asleep, but had whispered a secret plan to each other as we lay there and waited till the music finished. As the last note died down, my brothers and sisters and I erupted in a chorus of cheers and clapping; our hearts filled with joy and delight over the wonderful music he played.
Do you remember that, Dad? I don't think we ever knew if you heard us yelling "Encore" or not, but we could not contain our applause. In our simple and childish way, we had to express how much we loved the music you brought into our home.
To this day, I love playing the piano in the late evening as well. I hope that I can make the same memory for my children as they drift off to the Land of Nod. I often feel tears in my eyes and a shiver of delight, as I play in the darkness by the light of the moon. Or, in this case, by the soft light of the Christmas tree.