Three things I love about Christmas:
1. The music
2. The pretty lights
3. The music
I’m a sucker for Christmas carols: always have been, always will be. That said, I am a teensy bit picky about the kind of music I like. I’ll admit to having little patience with modern pop singers, who release seasonal albums that feature themselves on the cover, wearing some variation of a Santa suit and looking vaguely sexy. That just isn’t Christmas to me.
Christmas to me is Andy Williams. It’s Nat King Cole. It’s Bing Crosby. I love, love, LOVE these guys. Yes: I am officially the world’s youngest old fogey. But these albums just feel more heartfelt somehow, more about the music and less about the self-promotion. There’s the nostalgia factor, too. These songs are a part of Christmas Past for me. I hear them and I think of our living room and a Christmas tree strung with lights, huge primary-colored bulbs that got all scratched but still looked beautiful. And I am a kid again, lying on my stomach on the rust shag carpeting and coloring in a Christmas coloring book and basking in a season that was exciting and peaceful all at the same time.
Those were good days.
One carol that always takes me back is “Mary’s Boy Child” (called “Mary’s Little Boy Child” in some recordings). I loved it as a kid and I love it even more now that I have two little boy children of my own. It’s hard for me to name a carol that is more simple and more simply beautiful. Here it is, in a nice little video I found on YouTube and sung by the very great Harry Belafonte. I hope it takes you on a nice little nostalgia trip of your own.