This week I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you, my readers, a Merry Christmas. As I am sure you saw this month’s playlist article had a Christmas playlist. As I do for many of my articles, I talk about memories that are connected to music. Today I decided to do the same for some of my Christmas memories.
One of my early memories of Christmas was singing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve. I would play the piano and we would all sing. I think those memories are what gave me a love for the traditional music of Christmas. Songs like Away in a Manger and Jingle Bells are perennial favorites. Around the same time my mother would get out her Christmas music albums with the artists of the time. Names like Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis and Nat King Cole were on top of the album list to be played.
As some of you may recall, I joined the army right out of high school. Part of my time in the service was a five-year tour in Germany. While I loved my time living in Europe, I missed five consecutive Christmases with my family. I stayed busy over the holidays but there were some lonely times not being around family. During this time, as with other generations, other artists of the time released their Christmas music. Paul McCartney had “Wonder Christmas-time”, Wham had “Last Christmas”, The Waitresses had “Christmas Wrapping” and probably my favorite of that time was Band-Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas”. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the latter, there were a bunch of well-known artists that banded together to ultimately raise $14 million for famine relief. I returned to the US in 1985.
During the latter part of the 80s, the first in a new collection of music was released. A Very Special Christmas was a collection of songs by a variety of different artists. The first release was in 1987 and was created to benefit Special Olympics. Since its initial release it has raised more than $100 million dollars to that charity. I had purchased the first release and 2 subsequent releases as I enjoyed all the artists on the CDs. I hadn’t realized until today that there were 9 total CDs in the series. I will have to check them out over this Christmas season.
Now that I have children, I have made it a point to play Christmas music from past and present during Christmas. I wanted my children to hopefully fall in love with all the music that I have come to love during my life. And I have strived to try to listen to the Christmas music released by artists they love, some of which are in this month’s Christmas playlist. If you listen to it you will hear artists like Ariana Grande, Meghan Trainor, Tori Kelly and Taylor Swift to name a few. I know some of you may have a lot to do today so I will get back to the point.
I wish all of you a Merry Christmas. I would love to hear some of the Christmas music that you have come to love each holiday season and are part of your Christmas memories. Until next week, if you’re a music lover, you can hear, see or learn about something new every day on my Facebook group, Spotify playlist or YouTube playlist. And as always, feel free to reach out and let me know about your favorite new musical discovery.