What kind of Christmas music do you like? Do you like it at all? It can be too cheesy for some, and many songs are silly to be sure! Nonetheless, I can easily put that aside this time of year. In fact, I even kinda like it. Music is so powerful. Like a long-forgotten scent, it can instantly transport us to another moment in time. Which songs do that for you?
I’m quite sentimental when it comes to Christmas in general, and Christmas music for sure. I enjoy relishing in the memories of the traditions of my family of origin, including those of my now deceased maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother. Here is a playlist for you to enjoy if you like traditional Christmas music like I do, mostly Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, gospel and the like.
My grandfather loved the music of Jim Reeves, and I remember the song “Dancing the Christmas Polka,” played every Christmas, more times early and OFTEN! I could tell then that it was a really old and cheesy song by the way my parents reacted when Granddad played the song. But to me it was a very funny song, and my sister and I laughed at the word “Polka.” I wondered, “How do you dance the Christmas Polka? How can I dance the Christmas Polka?” It sounded silly and fun. I never thought to ask the question aloud. It made my grandfather smile, and sometimes sing and dance with a silly grin while raising his eyebrows up and down. He was otherwise a very stoic man, so I liked when he put on Jim Reeves. Reeves’ music seemed to transform my granddad into an animated version of himself, full of the magic of Christmas too – just like me.
We called my paternal grandmother “Honey,” and she loved to cook, and boy was she good at it! My Dad and sister got that gene, and I just pretend I did, usually being a faithful “sous chef” during holiday gatherings. My Honey loved my sister and I as if we were perfect little porcelain dolls. She loved to dress us up and treat us like little baby angels. She also loved to decorate for Christmas. She always used her fine China, and even on the wages of a secretary, somehow the table looked as if it had been prepared for royalty. She lived for holiday gatherings. I miss her. I use her china now.
My favorite decoration at Honey’s was a very small carousel, made of Balsam wood, which had its distinct location every year on the formal dining room coffee table. It had small candles, which when lit, caused the windmill atop to whirl around almost instantly. Its animation by fire was just another sweet slice of Christmas magic and miracles at her house. How did it work? As soon as I gave the obligatory kisses and hugs, I always checked to make sure my favorite magical decoration was still there. It always was.
In my adulthood I found a fun tradition online many years ago, and began the tradition of “The Christmas Pickle.” This is a really fun one for kids!
Tell me what some of YOUR FAVORITE songs, memories and traditions are. Tell me about your favorite Christmas recipes. Together, let’s celebrate the good stuff in life and celebrate the Good News of Christmas. We may have been brought together by the mesh mess in our lives, but my prayer this Christmas is that what holds us together is much stronger than plastic. I pray that the bonds of human love, friendship, compassion, forgiveness, and empathy for one another is what will overcome all in the end.
Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah!
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:5