"Winter is the time for comfort,
for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand,
and for a talk beside the fire:
it is the time for family."
December 1st. I guess it's official. Even though I'm sitting on the couch typing when I have a whole host of other things to get done, the beginning of December brings with it the beginning of the Christmas Season. For some the season starts with Black Friday, or sitting in front of a roaring fire addressing Christmas cards. For me, the season begins when I feel the need to my pop John Denver and the Muppets CD into the player, turn up the volume and loudly sing some of my favorite songs.
Actually my list of favorite Christmas tunes is pretty long and eclectic. From Barbara Streisand to Miss Piggy to the Irish Tenors to Elvis I seem to like them all. Weneki has made me several compilation CD's. It's hard to pick a fave. One year I sent every Christmas CD I own to her and I think it cost a pretty penny to ship them there and back just so she could make one CD. But when it comes to mixing music my daughter is the finest I know. Does that mean she is a music pirate? If so, I didn't really mean it, Weneki has never copied a song in her life!
O Holy Night ranks up at the top of my seasonal favorites. Sometimes I have trouble remembering my name, but I have a clear and distinct memory of practicing for an elementary school Christmas chorale. I was standing in the back because I'm tall - duh! The music teacher was trying to get us to feel the music. So when we got the "fall on your knees" part, she wanted lots of volume and intensity. Why I remember that now, is beyond me. But every time I hear the song, I think I have to sing, "fall on your knees" with gusto!
I also remember around the same time, going into downtown Chicago with a neighbor. I don't think I'd ever been into a big city before or seen storefronts covered in snow-covered decorations. Somewhere Silver Bells must have been playing. For some reason I always associate the song with Elvis Presley although I don't know if it was actually his voice coming out of loud speakers that day.
I can't hear "What Child is This?" without thinking of my childhood playmate Lisa Schofield. Why these songs and events are super glued to my memory bank is anyone's guess.
Another favorite is Ave Maria. Every time I hear that song I think of a snow covered land, hushed and expectant with nothing but the sound of one solitary angel.
At this time of the year, I usually switch out the CD's I have in my car for a variety of Christmas ones. Kathy Mattea, Vince Gill, Dan Folgelburg, John Denver, Irish Tenors all have songs that I like to sing along with. With the windows rolled up, I turn up the volume and let my inner Morman Tabernacle Chorister come out. Nobody can quite match a wailing duet of Michael Bolton and me singing Silent Night, unless it is Dad's German-born warbler, Ernst. Who knew canary's enjoy Christmas music too?
Whether you are moved by the holiness of this season, or just like the over-indulgent-let-it-all-hang-out nature of the days leading up to the end of the year, music is part of the magic. Hymns, carols, cowboy songs, and Bing Crosby. What would Christmas be like without them?
Here is a sampling of one of my all time favorites:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkwnuD5BoMU. What's yours?
Wishing you time to sit and listen to the music of the season. May you be blessed by the songs of angels.
P.S. The picture in the header was enclosed in a recent e-mail. I have no idea where it originated but it makes me laugh! Hope it's not copyrighted or I may be sent to the poky along with Weneki!