"The earlier the better!," I say, but there are those who snarl at even the thought of Christmas melodies lilting through the air before Thanksgiving. A cashier at a grocery store I frequent said she tires of Christmas music after about two weeks. WHAT? How is that even possible?
My Christmas playlist begins October 31st (unless I can sneak it in earlier without my husband knowing. He's one of those not-before-Thanksgiving types.) The moment the first note sounds, my heart leaps and lightens.
My head-over-heels love affair with Christmas music rewinds all the way back to my earliest childhood memories. Joyous songs always filled the air in celebration of the season with church, school, parades, as well as, in our home. On Christmas Eve each year, my mom or dad would load up the stereo turntable with multiple Christmas albums. From Bing Crosby to Dean Martin, from Andy Williams to the Boston Pops, music filled that magical night as we lay in our beds anticipating the arrival of Santa, the presents, and family gatherings.
Falling asleep listening to Christmas music is probably my most favorite Christmas memory of all. Silent Night, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Go Tell It On the Mountain, The Little Drummer Boy, Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, O Christmas Tree, The First Noel, Parade of the Wooden Soldiers... the list could go on and on! Nothing makes my heart smile like the musical sounds of Christmas.
To this day, I still get to experience, in a nostalgic kind of way, that same child-like joy playing my parents' Christmas albums. Listening to them takes me back to precious memories filled with great times with mom and dad and other family members no longer here to celebrate with.
After retrieving the vinyls from my parent's house, I needed something to play them on. So, for Christmas that year, a Crosley turntable and stereo system was under the tree. I was like a teenage girl again on that Christmas morning when I got my first real stereo for my bedroom. I was ecstatic!
And as long as I'm able, I will play these treasures over and over and over again.
What role does music play in celebrating Christmas, the birthday of Jesus, in your household? What songs do you play over and over? Carefully crafted hymn melodies with the Christmas story scrolled through them are timeless and will forever stir our hearts. It's these songs I will never tire of. It's these songs I want to fill the air with in our home.
It's the music, filled with truth and grace, love and joy, peace and hope, that adds so much in making all of our Christmases merry and bright.
Christmas Memory-Making and Stress-Relieving Tip: Turn off the TV, and turn on the music. Fill the house with the sounds of Christmas in a memorable, unforgettable way for your family, friends and all of those you love. Sing or hum along with the melodies as you busy yourself with the chores of the season. I bet you'll find yourself smiling more and a little less stressed.
My Pleasure, Merry Christmas!