Monday Smiles – 12/3/2012
One of my fond memories of Christmas as I was growing up in East Haven, Connecticut, was going Christmas caroling the week before Christmas. Our carolers were a ragtag bunch and odd mix of adults and kids with faces I only vaguely remember. Always present was a woman from down the street with a warbling local choir soprano that sometimes tended toward a screech on the high notes. I think she may have organized the event just to show off her singing but I suppose I shouldn’t complain. We’d walk house to house, gathering on the sidewalk under the picture window that graced each of the small ranch homes in our neighborhood. Families would gather in the window to listen, some patiently and some appreciatively. Occasionally, there would be hot chocolate for all. We sang the standards: Silent Night, Adeste Fideles and my favorite among the religious carols, O Holy Night. And of course we’d close with We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Even though my Christianity is far behind me, I still love Christmas carols. Have I ever told you I have an almost frightening memory for lyrics? I know most of the lyrics to every carol, in some cases, multiple verses almost no one knows. And I can still do Adeste Fideles in Latin.
These days, the holidays officially start around here when: (1) it starts snowing on Bud’s Blog (did you notice?); (2) I make the first trip to the storage bin for decorations (yesterday); and (3) I download my Christmas playlist to play in the car. And of course, the Sirius XM Love Song station has changed to Holly, playing an assortment of Christmas music by popular artists that I could do without. That’s why I have my own playlist. I’m fussy. Last week, Terri of These Are Days posted Christmas Radio, a post about the Christmas music she loves. The favorites included several that I’ve never heard and it occurred to me that it’s likely we all have some non-traditional Christmas songs on our list. For instance, I have Manhattan Transfer’s moody version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
and Diana Krall’s jazzy version of The Christmas Song.
Yes, I can be upbeat, too. How about Bobby Helm’s 1957 Jingle Bell Rock, the first rock n roll Christmas standard of my generation,
or The Beach Boys’ Little Saint Nick, a remnant from my surfless Surfer boy era (I was a lifeguard, OK?)?
OK, one more, although it’s not likely to snow here in Socal. It is raining , though.
It’s Monday. My Christmas playlist is playing. I’m smiling.