Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Things that make you go hmmm.....

Last night was a lovely evening of food (my tummy is still so full I'm not even requiring breakfast this morning!), friends, and conversation.  Jimmie Sue did NOT disappoint in her culinary creations--and she made my favorite chicken and pastry.  WOW!  She's awesome!  Her home is lovely, her food is lovely, she's lovely!  Just a great evening!

After stuffing ourselves, a few of the staff settled in around the fire and listened to some Christmas songs.  Tim kept trying to impress us with his "knowledge" of Christmas music--which sometimes was accurate, and other times....creative.  Then we listened to a few songs in which some of us knew and others didn't--which led to an interesting conversation.  Chris W. stated that our Christmas knowledge rested on the exposure in the home--the classics that our parents forced upon us.  While I totally agree (and I just wrote a 25 page paper attesting to this belief), I must say that maybe my childhood music exposure was a little different than others--thus causing my abnormal love for Christmas music.  

In about a week, radio stations will stop playing Christmas music, I won't hear it out in public anymore, and while decorations will still be up they will lose just a tad of their shiny magic.  

And I, for one, will be sad!  I LOVE CHRISTMAS MUSIC!  

So, here's my list of thanks--because the following people/places have molded my mind and appreciation for holiday music:

1.  Mom & Dad:  For keeping the radio on at our house and in the car so we could hear holiday music constantly while we were on vacation (my parents were teachers).  My parents are very much into music as consumers.  Mom made us listen to her records like the Nutcracker and other Christmas compilation records with everything from Nat King Cole to Randy Travis.  We learned all sorts of crazy songs--and loved every bit of it.  At our house Christmas started on Thanksgiving Day when Mom put up the tree while watching the Macy's Day Parade on TV.  Great Times!

2.  Grandma:  My mom's mom was/is an awesome lady.  She's one of those that loves Jesus and thanks Him every year for an excuse to decorate her home and listen to Christmas music.  She always has her table set with her Christmas china (not to be confused with the other Lennox pattern that is on it throughout the year!) for every day eating.  

Grits?  Use the china!  
PB&J?  Use the china!  
Pizza?  Use the china!  

Grandma loved playing her piano and would play any request from her stacks of hymnals or from memory.  I loved sitting with her as she played "What Child is This?" and "Winter Wonderland."  She loved some Anne Murray, too, which I must admit I still love "Snowbird" and will happily sing along when the radio plays that nostalgic tune!

3.  Robin:  Hands down the coolest aunt ever!  Even people not related to me admit how awesome she is!  Robin is my mom's sister and is a fantastic guitar player (one day she just decided she wanted to play and taught herself on the family drive to Florida), artist (owns an interior design company), and all around nut.  She's my hero!  I remember countless Christmases sitting by the fire at her house singing Christmas songs until the wee hours of the morning.  We would sing until our throats hurt and no one ever complained that she and I were keeping them up.  It was and is our tradition and I look forward to it every single Christmas when we're together.  Our favorites were the Amy Grant classics (yes, good old Tennessee Christmas!!!) and "O Come, O Come Emmanuel."  

4.  Music Teachers:  I must say that I was spoiled.  I had incredible music teachers--Mrs. Hoyle was the NC Teacher of the Year and she was AWESOME!  We always had great programs with loads of holiday classics--and I loved learning the music.  So much fun!  I also had Mrs. Hensley at church who believed in children learning standards of Christmas, and with every church program we learned more and more wonderful songs!

5.  A high school ex:  While I must say that this individual was not one of my brightest moments, but he did provide me with a love for jazz and standards Christmas tunes.  I adore Frank, Bing, and Harry and when I hear this type of music it makes me so incredibly happy!  I love going into Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, and Pier 1 during holidays because those hip places love to blast this music--and I'm more than happy to mosey through the store just for a few minutes of happy Christmas tunes.  I love that whole era--the 1940s-50s war era when men were MEN and women were happy to be at home.  When families ate around the table, and when it was good to be moral and decent.  When people worked hard for their money and were patriotic.  

I sometimes think I was born in the wrong decade (does that even make sense???)  

So, there you have it Woolards....my musical heritage.  I can't blame it on any particular record because we didn't have any that stayed long enough on the player.  I think everyone in my family and childhood has musical ADD like me!

Merry Christmas everyone!  Enjoy this music for just a few more days.  It's so lovely and such a wonderful reminder of why we have this fantastic season!

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