Who knew that the little song I wrote during a hot August evening when I was sitting at the playground watching my children digging in the sand at the playground would one day be ordered and performed by groups all over the country? I was desperate for a theme for the upcoming Holiday Concert I was preparing for. I had been looking in catalogues and music stores all summer and still had no contenders. (This was well before the advent of Google Search Engines!) Finally, while I was just quietly watching all of the children playing, it dawned on me to simply write a song about wishes -- the wishes children have when they try to guess what is in the presents under the Christmas Tree.
Of course, I had no paper or pencil or manuscript or piano or a computer handy, so I just had to work it all out in my head and hope I could remember it long enough to write it down later. Fortunately, it turned out quite nice. The children at Orchard Dale Elementary School in Whittier California just accepted it as a fine theme song and sang it with enthusiasm all Fall and finally on the program later that December. The children thought singing the two parts together was quite a trick. They were rather proud of their efforts. They also liked singing the other songs on the program having to do with dolls, and trains, and toy soldiers, and even a hippopotamus that we included on the program. The holiday concert was a success and the 250 children, most of the kids in the school, sang beautifully.
Now, years later, my daughter called me the other day and asked if I had ever written a program around "Under the Christmas Tree." She was teaching it to her children to sing on a program and wondered if I had ever used it as a theme song for a concert. Funny, she needed to be reminded that, yes, I had actually written it for a Holiday Concert for her to sing when she was in Elementary School. True, it has been many years. That daughter now has eight children of her own!
I am so glad that the grandchildren will be singing it this Christmas! That makes me happy! It fulfills my Christmas wishes this year!