Music, for example. I love Christmas carols. Every year I buy one new album, by favorite artists or compilation albums with songs I hadn't heard before.
Sometimes this backfires-- I learned the song "Susie Snowflake" this year and I think my ears were bleeding by the time she was done.
But I digress.
Every year I also revisit favorites, and it's as though loved ones near and far are with me, no matter where they might actually be at that moment.
I hear "Sleigh Ride", and remember how much my stepsister loved it.
I remember my Big G playing "Oh Holy Night" with the orchestra, and my heart is full. (I also remember her playing "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" for a room full of retirees. I hear their laughter once more.)
I hear "Jingle Bells," and suddenly I am a teenager again and Jennifer and I are singing loudly and joyfully on the bus, not caring who can hear us.
Even the not-so-dignified carols of the "Twisted Christmas" albums get abundant air time every Christmas, and my Mom and my brother are in my mind and laughing with me.
Every song, every lyric, brings someone I love back into the room with me. The voices blend, the notes are clearer. Joy is multiplied because the music is shared.
Which songs will have the greatest meaning this year? Which will be the favorite, the most-played, the newest discovery? Play on.