” with joy and songs”
I instigated a very interesting conversation on facebook a couple weeks ago. It was the day after Thanksgiving and I was all set to fire up my Christmas music when I started to wonder what I might be missing. My Christmas collection is vast and varied, but there’s not much that’s new.
So I posed a question to my fb peeps, asking their favorite Christmas music. And they answered. A lot of them. They named artists or albums they couldn’t live without, and individual songs without which the season wouldn’t be complete. And they named songs that have been covered by different artists, but which symbolize Christmas for them, no matter who sings it.
There were the classics: Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole and … And there were newer artists who bring a fresh approach to familiar songs. There were choirs and soloists and instrumentals. There were simple, childlike songs like the Little Drummer Boy, and glorious, lofty, soaring epics like Handel’s Messiah and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite.
I explored a lot of new music after reading all their answers. I went online and listened to things, and learned a little and bought a few. I’ll admit there were a few times when I listened and thought, “What does she see in this??” or something similar. But mostly, I opened my mind and saw something intriguing in what was new to me.
Traditions are awesome, aren’t they? Customs and beliefs that connect us to previous generations, and ways of introducing our children to the people that came before them. But also true is that variety is the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor. (William Cowper)
Perhaps you’re struggling, as some do this time of year, with the impossibility of Christmas being as it “should”. Someone can’t come home, someone else insists on some tradition that crashes headlong into one of yours… The wrong foods, the wrong weather, the wrong home… Try to think of it not as a Christmas tradition not being fulfilled, but just as a variance. A divergence from the preferred and an experiment into something new. Worst case, you’ll broaden your horizons a little, and maybe give yourself a laugh in years to come as you roll your eyes and shake your head and say to a loved one, “Remember the year we did that??”