I know this is a little early, but I’ve already started parking the XM Radio on Station #18. During this National Blog Posting Month, I am republishing some of my articles that are not on the blog yet. This post is from a December 2011 Patch column.
I think it was the week before Thanksgiving this year that I heard the first Christmas song on the radio. To me, that is the shot that starts off the holiday shopping, baking, partying and show-attending race. It is on, and I am not ready. This year, like in recent ones, “I’ve grown a little older”, “a little sadder”, not much “a little leaner”, so to dispel this post-Thanksgiving funk, I put this Johnny Mathis tune on replay until some Christmas joy was mustered.
In no time I was snapping my fingers and tapping my feet.
The music kicks off the season more than the shelves stocked high at Target or Walgreen’s or even the Black Friday frenzy. It is also a great opportunity to teach our children or our younger relatives about some of the great singers of the past. When asked who Bing Crosby was, my daughter replied, “You mean Bill Cosby.” “Uhh…No.” I have a lot of work with that one. But to my credit, my oldest does love Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Nat King Cole.
It’s time to dust off those funny round black things we used to play day in and day out and enlighten this generation with the voices that imbue the anticipation and wonder we experienced during past holiday seasons. I remember Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing together, and thought, how nice, a song that brings generations together. Well, not anymore as far as the youngsters are concerned, they both belong to the same generation: old people and really old dead people.
Christmas music is a medium I use to pass down family traditions. Every year I watched “White Christmas”, and knew all the words to Bing Crosby’s timeless classic. At church, I sang hymns that have been sung for decades set to music created by the likes of Handel and Mendelssohn. Even today, singers are creating new Christmas classics like Reba’s “Mary, Did You Know?”, Celine Dion’s “O Holy Night” and (I confess) Disney’s Drew Seeley’s “I’ll be Home for Christmas” as well as 98 Degrees’ “This Gift”. Evie’s “Come On Ring Those Bells” was a record I played for all my kids every year. A couple of years ago, we watched “This Christmas” and I found an old favorite Christmas song, Stevie Wonder’s “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Me”. I was 12 years old all over again. It’s a good opportunity to give a little history lesson too.
So once we are in the full swing of Christmas music, I will take advantage and slip in the songs by these artists, maybe something will rub off. Whatever songs or music embodies the warm and happy memories of your holiday seasons, be sure to share them with your loved ones, especially those younger ones. Have a great holiday season!