Christmas carols bring different tidings to different listeners

Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 02:36 PM.

“When I was deployed to Iraq, the girls and their mother sent me a small Christmas tree at our forward post. We put it together in this little house in the middle of Iraq. All the guys used it to remember home. The girls sent me this ornament that talked and they recorded messages on it like, ‘Merry Christmas, Daddy.’

“Those small things meant a lot. All the guys there wanted to just tell my wife ‘thank you’ because it helped them a lot. Even though I was gone, we had a really good Christmas that year.

“But one of our presents was we got ambushed from all sides by al-Qaida on Christmas Day. That wasn’t so good.”

Celia Broadhead

As a little girl growing up in Winter Park, a special hymn always stood out for Broadhead, who today is a Crestview resident active in the local garden club.

“The carol that has the most memories for me is, ‘On This Day Earth Shall Ring,’” said Broadhead, who has sung with the Northwest Florida Symphony Chorus. “When I was growing up, at our candlelight service every Christmas, that was the song we would end with.

“We would circle the church, and there was a big pipe organ playing big chord progressions before each verse. The church was always packed and it was a very special service. There were different instruments playing, and we had the wonderful candlelight.

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