Santa? MY Pebbles!!!

Posted on December 17, 2010

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If you’re around my age (almost 30 now…yikes!) and you watched any amount of television growing up, this commercial is probably etched into your holiday psyche. My sisters and I ran around the house on more than one occasion saying, “Ho, ho ho, I’m hu-hu-hungry!” whether it was Christmastime or not, and I’d bet we weren’t alone. But all these years later, Fred, Barney and Santa still speak to all of us through this ad with important reminders about sharing, giving and the posture of our hearts, and we should heed the lessons whether we think we’re hungry or not.

For those of us who are professional or amateur musicians, December is probably our busiest time of year. Lots of performances, lots of dress rehearsals, and for many people it means lots of stress. And many of us professional (paid) musicians are prone, ironically, to complaining about the rigors of this schedule even though we are supposedly doing the very thing we love to do the most. It is this tendency during this holiday season that we must be extremely careful to avoid. Sharing our holiday music Fruity Pebbles with people reluctantly, angrily, or just because the extra performances will allow us to buy a few more Christmas presents is a very dangerous approach to take. It might not hurt you or your performance today, but long term your overall attitude will only get worse. And before long, if we aren’t careful, what began in our hearts years ago as a pure, selfless love for the beauty of music, musical community and the opportunity to share music with others will quickly become something self-serving, self-promoting, and self-sustaining…assuming, of course, it hasn’t become that already. 😉

Too many musicians, actors, and dancers everywhere play the part of the martyr each December, falling on their proverbial swords to provide holiday performances for the general public night after night after night, yet they still have the gall to complain about the fact that they don’t like doing it. The one time each year that our next-door neighbors take a break from their usual Oreo Cookie cereal (don’t knock it ’til you try it) to slide down the Ticketmaster chimney and partake of our precious Fruity Pebbles, too many performers have a heart like Fred Flinstone’s about it. In their hearts, too many performers view these Barney Rubbles as musical posers, and when that holiday music is on their stand or in their binder for 3 nights in a row, they roll their eyes and disdainfully toss their community a bowl that’s half-empty. I say that’s shameful. But more important than what I think is what Santa thinks about this whole situation.

Over the years, Santa has proven to have a certain sixth sense about him: the uncanny ability to know if we’ve been bad or good. And when we put on a show pretending to appreciate the opportunity to be performing musicians to the face of our communities but let our true colors show behind its collective back, I’m pretty sure Santa notices. Even if you prefer your more substantial musical fare, you should never forget that even Fruity Pebbles are- as the commercial says and as you probably guessed- part of a complete breakfast.

Even if your ONLY musical sustenance was Fruity Pebbles- especially if you believe in using your gifts and skills for something bigger than yourself, and especially if you are being paid to share them- you had dang well better be thankful for the opportunity to not only eat them, but to share them as well.

‘Tis the season to be sharing, artists. Be good, for goodness’ sake. Finish the holiday performance season by sharing with glad and grateful hearts. Happy holidays, music lovers.

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Posted in: Music