"Christmas time is here. Happiness and cheer. Fun for all the children call their favorite time of year...Christmas time is here. We'll be drawing near. Oh, that we could always see such spirit through the year." - Vince Guaraldi
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965).
Christmas was my sister's favorite holiday. Her joy in every aspect of this holiday was immense and infectious. Though her birthday was in July, for us, Christmas was Rory's holiday as well. After she passed (1994), mom, dad and I just didn't have the heart to celebrate it. No lights, no presents, no tree. It was not Christmas without our beloved Rory.
That all changed with the birth of our first child, our son, Rory's namesake. Although he was barely 4 months old at his first Christmas, his very presence/joy encouraged us to celebrate Christmas again. I jumped in with both feet - tree, ornaments, lights, champagne and presents on Christmas morning, surf and turf dinner. It's been 10 years since our Christmas rebirth. Sage and Never have only added to the wonder, joy and grace that is Christmas.
Through their very presence, my beloved three healed us all. What's more Christmas than that?
Over the last 10 years a few Christmas traditions have developed. One of my favorite is, the day after Thanksgiving, Peter gets up early, gets our tree and we put it up. I don't decorate it right away (there are football games to be enjoyed!) Instead the naked fragrant tree sits in our living room patiently waiting for me. I gladly do the bulk of the tree decorating. Of course, me being me, decorating the tree has become a Christmas tradition in itself. Strands of lights strewn everywhere, four huge boxes of ornaments, a perfectly chilled bottle of Veuve and my ever growing Christmas playlist - my sister would be proud ;-)
The songs on my list are from every musical genre, the only prerequisite that the song has a winter holiday theme. Thus, for my latest Paris Playlist, I offer a few suggestions that I think would be perfect for your tree decorating playlist.
We Three Kings - Pentatonix
Christmas Time is Here - Vince Guaraldi
O' Holy Night - Yolanda Adams
Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid
The Gift - Collin Raye & Susan Ashton
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Judy Garland
This Christmas - Donnie Hathaway
I'll Be Seing You - Billie Holiday (1944)
I Saw No Shadow of Another Parting - Kiri Te Kanawa (Great Expectations Soundtrack)
I'll Be Home For Christmas - Barbara Streisand
When You've Been Blessed - Patti LaBelle
Silent Night - Sugarland
All I Want for Christmas is You - Delilah
Jingle Bells - Committed
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Johnny Mathis
White Christmas - Ella Fitzgerald
Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Bruce Springsteen
Merry Christmas Darling - the Carpenters
Ave Maria - Wilhelmenia Fernadez (Diva Soundtrack)
All of these songs (except: I Saw No Shadow...) are available @iTunes. It you want me to burn you a copy, let me know - gratis of course ;-) In the meantime, pop the bubbly, press play and get to work ;-)
Vivre! Rire! Aimer!