Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas Music

Much to my happiness, Leif is ultra-excited this year about Christmas music. This morning as we drove into work, I flipped my XM radio between the five available Christmas music stations. I came across Perry Como’s version of “Twelve Days of Christmas” and Leif was stoked. I smiled as he squealed at the top of his lungs “PEAR TREE!” while mumbling along to the rest of the lyrics. He hit the main points, “turtle doves”, “rings”, etc. At the end he yelled with a huge smile on his face, “good song mommy!”

This just filled my heart. Every night we have been singing the Twelve Days of Christmas before bed, Leif likes it and the repetitive nature (while rocking) seems to calm him some. Plus for the first time in my life I have someone looking at me and telling me he likes my singing!

My two favorite Christmas recordings go back to when I was a kid. John Denver and The Muppets: A Christmas Together (which I swear there was a Muppet Show that went along with this, but I can’t find it on DVD, the Muppet Family Christmas is not the one I am referring to) and John Denver’s Christmas. Yes, I admit it, I am a John Denver fan. Growing up in the Rocky Mountain States that is just a requirement. Laugh if you must.

The Muppets Christmas is still the coolest Christmas cd ever. Gotta love the little things…

We Wish You A Merry Christmas…

Gonzo: Now bring us a figgy pudding.
Gonzo: No, figgy pudding, it’s made with figs.
Miss Piggy: Oh OK. Sorry.
Gonzo: And bacon.
Miss Piggy: What?

And John Denver’s Christmas cd contains my single favorite non-traditional Christmas song of all times, Christmas for Cowboys. It is funny that I like this song since I have always had a serious aversion to anything cowboy related. But this is the vision of Christmas I can relate to in my heart, not the big city Christmas. Second to this song is Aspenglow on the same cd. The last few Christmases where we have been in Alaska have been especially dear to my heart as we have spent Christmas eve and day (and a few days after usually) at my in laws cabin about 1.5 hours outside of Anchorage. Remote, quiet with lots of snow. Aspenglow is my theme song there.

My favorite traditional Christmas song is Silent Night. This is traditionally played at Christmas Eve services and sung during candlelight services. It is a magical experience to me, to be gathered in a church, holding a candle and singing this song. My biggest problem is making sure my tears don’t hit the flame on my candle and put it out. We haven’t attended a candlelight service in a few years now mostly because of Leif. The candlelit services are usually later in the evening and we try to hit the earlier ones so he can be home and in bed at a reasonable time. But this day will come again soon. I do have to say though, this morning on my drive into work I heard the worst rendition of Silent Night. It was by Stevie Nicks. She is an odd duck, but I like her music for the most part. It was the most flat, boring, monotone singing of this song I have ever heard.

My single favorite version of a song is Barenaked Ladies with Sarah McLaughlin singing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”. This song on its own doesn’t normally rank even in my list of favorite Christmas songs, but this version I just want to crank it and dance around my living room. Who am I kidding? Just ask Leif, we do crank it and dance around our living room.

I also have a few offbeat Christmas songs that I enjoy. The one that kills AB, and not in a happy, funny way, is John Denver’s “Please Daddy Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas”. I grew up laughing and singing this song. From the first time AB heard it, he was horribly appalled. Ok, so I can see why. It is a pretty sad song, I admit it. But it is also dark and humorous in a twisted way. When I play the cd at home, it is flat out guaranteed my husband will silently get up, walk over to the cd player and fast forward it within seconds of it coming on.

AB likes Christmas music. But he doesn’t love it the way I do. He has grown used to the Muppets and John Denver (save for the one unmentionable song), and he likes the Barenaked Ladies Holiday cd (there are Hanukkah songs on it), but his preference is for classical Christmas music. It is our compromise in my car since he could care less hearing Wham sing “Last Christmas” or Madonna sing "Santa Baby" on Holly. Ok, so could I. He used to have a rule that the Christmas music couldn’t come on until the day after Thanksgiving and goes away the day after Christmas. I did inform him recently though that carrying, laboring and birthing his child (soon children) has earned me a little bit of a grace period with the Christmas music. Really, how else could he really respond?

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