Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it. To someone who has seen a dozen people frown, scowl or turn their faces away, your smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds.
One of my favorite things about the holiday season is listening to Christmas music. Singing Christmas carols is one of the joyous traditions of Christmas. I grew up listening to Nat King Cole singing Oh Holy Night, bubb, bubb, bubba Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, Frank Sinatra and Sing Along with Mitch Miller. The Sing Along with Mitch album helped me learn lyrics to many of the traditional Christmas carols. One year my father brought home a stack of albums for our family and told us, “I think this woman is going to go far in music.” The woman he was referring to was Aretha Franklin. Also In that stack of records was the album produced by Phil Spector titled A Christmas Gift for You. This album became a family favorite throughout the years. My sister and I would always sing and dance through our favorite song Sleigh Ride by the Ronette’s. This is my all time favorite holiday album.
All the music on A Charlie Brown Christmas with the Vince Guaraldi Trio is so good I can listen to it any time of year. I purchased the album December by George Winston in the early 1980s. This album became a classic favorite for me in the winter months. His version of Joy elevates my spirit to another place entirely as I imagine snowflakes dancing. Emmylou Harris’ Light of the Stable is another album that puts me in the holly jolly spirit of Christmas especially the song Christmas Time’s a-Coming. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Emmylou’s country charm. About ten years ago, I purchased James Taylor’s A Christmas Album at a Hallmark store in Scottsdale. The album was later released with a different cover. James ‘ version of Deck the Halls is the best version of the song I have ever heard. Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas is a soulful version of all my favorite Christmas songs. She is adorable on the cover and at the top of her vocal strength. I adore her version of All I Want for Christmas is You and always look forward to hearing it again.
In 2010 the Indigo Girls released their first Christmas album Holly Happy Days which I immediately purchased from iTunes. Their version of I’ll be Home for Christmas is lovely and so is Angels We Have Heard on High. Last Christmas Lyle Lovett released Songs for the Season. Though there are only a few tracks, these songs are wonderful especially his version of Christmastime is Here. Check out the site YulePlay to listen to your favorite Christmas music. Since Christmastime is here, have yourself a musical Christmas.
This weekend is the music festival Bumbershoot in Seattle. Last year we got to go to the event for the first time in 21 years. Here we are then and last year.