My Christmas season is not complete without hearing Amahl and the Night Visitors by Gian-Carlo Menotti. I remember singing all the parts, playing the recorder (for Amahl’s flute) and dancing in front of the big bay window to the music in our house at least once a year when I was growing up. It’s the one opera that makes my dad cry. (Neither of us are fans of serious opera…too screechy for my tastes.) I cry and get chills from the beauty and power of the mother’s voice combined with the kings’. I have the original recording which I think I saw on TV when it was first broadcast. It is a portal to the past as well as a way to plant myself in the here (hear?) and now. Because each year, it’s not officially Christmas until I hear it. And today, it’s Christmas.