Christmas Music


Dear Optimists,

I’m kind of fixated on the whole Christmas thing right now…the tree is trimmed, the Christmas Lego sets are up, the 100-year-old train set heirloom is running and I’m done shopping. Last week I discussed a few traditions, so now I’m thinking about Christmas music. I refuse to think about it before December 15th, unlike the DJs who start ramming it down our throats on Thanksgiving. So I thought I would go with a discussion on the best Christmas records of all time. And I mean RECORDS.

I have this amazing album called Jingle Bell Jazz on which a jazz band covers a bunch of holiday songs. Best 25 cents I ever spent. It’s one of my favorites. And I could NEVER go a whole holiday season without my favorite two: Beach Boys Christmas and Charlie Brown Christmas. Those two are always playing when it comes time for a Christmas event in my house. Another favorite, which took me years to find, is The Ventures Christmas Album. They kind of mix up carols with their own songs and sound…so much fun!

This year I’ve added a new addition. Even though I think the world has had enough of Zooey Deschanel, the new She & Him Christmas Album is adorable. It’s all cover songs, so I appreciate that they didn’t attempt creating new songs. There are a few with the lovely ukelele that they seem to love in their music, which is a nice addition, and they even did two Beach Boys covers! So yes, I’ve added it to my list.

I also love Mele Kamikimaka. It always makes me think about National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. But heck…we’ll save movies for another day.

Love,
Den

Guest Post! Family traditions

Dear Optimists,

Don’t you just love Christmas? When I was younger Christmas was about presents and family and food, but also about the actual Christian meaning of Christmas.  As my brother and I grew into the teens, it became a lot more about the presents than anything else. Then as we grew up and both moved out of our first home, we realised it was about so much more than that! We both, at the ages of 27 and 29 (he’s older), still wake up at 6AM with excitement of the day to come, but the first Christmas we did this and we weren’t together, we had a little cry on the phone to each other.

The years we had spent being excited about presents, we realised we got excited for reasons unbeknown to us back then. We loved waking up together and opening our stockings, then waiting for the all important 8AM wake up call for Mum and Dad. We would head downstairs to see if the carrot and milk we left for Santa and the reindeer had been eaten and drank. We would open our presents from Santa with such excitement, and then get dressed in our best clothes for trips to see the family and then back home to settle for a big Christmas dinner and crackers 🙂 And oh the joy of Christmas films on the TV. Arguing over who got the remote and which film we would watch first was the best!

My brother now lives in Edinburgh and I very rarely get to do this ritual with him anymore. We managed to both be in the same place last Christmas, and I woke up in the morning at 6AM and bounced into his room to give him a big sloppy hug and kiss, with happy tears in my eye, since we were both home and could be like kids again. Every year, our presents are still from Santa, and last year we played our games on the Wii, instead of playing with Legos like we did when we were younger. (Den’s note: Why did you stop playing with Legos? They’re the best! Can I have yours?) But we still argued over the television. Some things never change!

Its amazing how some families have traditions that will live for years, I know I will enforce the same values into my children, and I hope they do with theirs. So my fellow Optimists… I ask, what family traditions do you have at Christmas?

Love always,
Beth of the great blog Life Since Then