By Kristen Seeber
Women’s Fund of Smith County

 When our boys were young, a family holiday tradition was to attend the Vocal Majority Christmas Show in Dallas with my dad. The Vocal Majority is a Dallas-based men’s chorus of over 100 volunteer musicians who have released more than 20 recordings and have performed throughout the country and abroad, winning numerous chorus competitions. The sound they create with their multi-layered harmonies, acapella, is beautiful and captivating making each performance an extraordinary experience. There is no doubt. The men who comprise this chorus – men of all ages and from all walks of life – have a passion for music and a love of singing. From that passion, comes the gift of joy to those in the audience.

The choir concludes their Christmas concert with the same song every year, “The Secret of Christmas”, written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen.

 It’s not the glow you feel when snow appears

It’s not the Christmas card you’ve sent for years

Not the joyful sound when sleigh bells ring

Or the merry songs children sing

The little gift you send on Christmas day

Will not bring back the friend you turned away

So may I suggest the secret of Christmas


It’s not the things you do at Christmastime

But the Christmas things you do

All year through

 I always loved and looked forward to hearing that meaningful message each December. Now, it is a cherished memory of a special time shared with my dad and with my sons when they were the perfect Christmas age, filled with wonder and eager anticipation. The song and the memory stay with me as a reminder of what really matters.

We tend to get caught up in all the things to do at Christmastime – shopping, decorating, baking, parties to attend, family gatherings to plan. As we scurry from one activity to the next, we may happen upon a Grinch or two, but we also encounter Christmas things – a smile from a stranger who’s holding open the door, the charitable act from a child’s pure heart, a family helping someone to feel less alone. Our own community is responding in a Christmas way by generously donating to the Shine Your Light Campaign which will support 10 local nonprofit organizations that strongly serve our neighbors.

Gifts most certainly surround us on this Christmas Eve – things we want and things we need, presents we wrap and presents we unwrap. Of course, there are other gifts, too, which can be given all year through – the gift of togetherness, the gift of hope, the gift of kindness. It’s really no secret. Any day can be merry and bright.

Kristen Seeber serves as president of the Women’s Fund of Smith County, a nonprofit organization which provides high-impact grants that bring positive change to the lives of women and children in our community. Membership to this giving circle is open to all women interested in learning more about philanthropy. Visit for information about membership, outreach and additional ways to give.