Look at their faces…
Their eyes twinkle like the Bethlehem star.
Their faces are lit up like the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.
Their cheeks are rosy red.
Their voices fill the room with Christmas cheer.
They are singing Christmas carols and songs of the season.
Their joyful voices sing as one as 30 of them form this most magnificent choir.
They harken us back to our innocent childhood days of the magic of the Christmas season.
They are a choir of most elderly men and women who suffer from the memory stripping disease of Alzheimer’s.

And yet, with their debilitating diminished memory capacities they are able to do that which most of us adults cannot do this time of the year…



Mary Lenard and her longtime friend Marge Ostroushko founded the “Giving Voice Chorus” in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mary offers that the “magic” of this choir is due to the fact that the music of Christmas, along with other golden oldies are stored in a part of our brain that is last affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

Mary Lenard said she cried at the first rehearsal.
Listen to these most powerful and poignant words…
“It’s a time for them to remember who they were before the disease came,” she says. “They don’t feel like they have Alzheimer’s when they’re singing.”

There is just sixteen more days until Christmas.
I am wondering if you suffer from “Christmas Alzheimer’s.”
I am wondering if you have somehow in some way lost the “magic” of Christmas over the years.
I am wondering if you long for the days of the innocence found at the foot of a lighted Christmas tree with its pine scent filling the room while at its feet, Christmas presents bask in the glow awaiting their day to be ripped open.
I am wondering if the busyness of the season has infiltrated our hearts, minds and calendars so much to the point that we find ourselves breathing a sigh of relief when it’s all over.
I am wondering if you will make and take the time and purposefully carve out whatever time it takes to experience the magic of Christmas and do what the “Giving Voice Chorus” does this time of year…

Remember the unadulterated joy of singing…”Hark the herald angels sing… Glory to the newborn king”
Remember the anticipation of Christmas Eve when all through the house everything is as quiet as a mouse…
Remember the voice of Linus who on this day 49 years ago uttered these words on national TV…

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2. 8-14)

Remember that you are the Reason for the Season… “For God so loved the world (that’s you!) that he gave his one and only Son…” (John 3. 16)

Remember that part of you that cherishes, treasures and simply loves the lights, the glitter, the trees, the hustle and bustle, the quietness and the peace…

Remember the peace that came into the world in the form of a babe to offer you just that… peace.

My hope and prayer is that we can rediscover and remember who we were before the “disease” came, the disease of “Christmas Alzheimer’s”…

See if you can remember this Christmas…

Laugh often and Fear not!




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