Favorite Gifts

This is a great time to get our BabyLit Christmas Carol Calendar to help count down the days until the 25th. With lovely art and animations, a children's version of the classic story, and surprises for each new day, it's a fun way to wait for Santa.

Over the next few weeks some of us here at Night & Day studios will be sharing a few of our favorite gifts of all time -- whether they were gifts we've given or received from loved ones. This week, staff writer Chris Wrenn kicks things off.

I have a friend who buys me an instrument any time a gift-giving occasion comes around. He does this not because I am a talented musician -- I'm not, in fact I suffer from a complete lack of rhythm -- but because he knows that I love traditional American music. He has given me a concert ukulele, a chromoharp, a mouth flute, and many more odd instruments, but my favorite among them is this autoharp. I've always been a big fan of the Carter Family, Sara Carter in particular, and the bright, tinny sound of an autoharp never fails to make me smile.

The truth is I rarely pick up any of the instruments I own. Sure, sometimes I'll have a wild thought and beat against some strings or blow through my harmonica, but mostly they lay on tables and shelves silent of song. There are times though, when my eye lands on one or the other and I'm reminded of the gifts that mean the most to me: the friends I love, the music that has enriched my life, and the all beautiful places I've seen. These people and experiences work together to make each day a joyful noise, and a life lived in those spaces never loses rhythm.