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We were all of thirty feet from the side of the stage, a stage full of lights and contraptions begging for guesses about what they would do, where they would go.

Every year, I have seen the tickets go on sale, and every year I wished I could go. Just once. To see the spectacle and hear the music that makes Christmas for me. This time, I decided I would go, and I would take my dad. The guy who introduced me to Trans-Siberian Orchestra so many years ago, and who does so much to make my life easier with four kids. We’re a team on school mornings, one driving the kids, one staying with the little two. But we don’t get to hang out much, just the two of us, and I decided that this was our chance.

We went for the matinee performance, found our seats and watched the arena fill up.

We settled in to watch, in awe, as the silky smooth voice of the narrator started the show. He introduced the story of the Lost Christmas Eve, and for two hours, we were along for the ride. A ride that included epic guitar solos, an incredible amount of hair tossing, Christmas joy, and tears.

I’m not sure there was a dry eye in that place as one of the backup singers came out and sang O’Come All Ye Faithful. It was…soft and tender and overwhelmingly powerful, all at the same time. Definitely one of the highlights for me.

At least three guitarists took turns filling the arena with music, along with one kick ass electric violinist who stood so close to us during much of the performance that we could see the sheen of her leather pants. The stage was full of long hair, tight pants, coat tails, lights, smoke, even fire and snow.

After the story of the Lost Christmas Eve was told, they shed their amazingly awesome corseted-in-the-back tuxedo jackets and played for another hour, ending with one of my most favorite Christmas songs of all time (and one of my current ringtones), Carol Bells.

After the show, we walked up the block to a German Restaurant/Brewery called the Flying Saucer, sidled up to the bar and had a delightfully delicious dinner.

And we were home by 7:45 pm on a school night. All kinds of AWESOME.

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Essence of Now