December: Voices, Memories, and Giving

December: Voices, Memories, and Giving

“It’s coming on Christmas.”

The voice may be tenor or soprano. The music may be folk, modern or classical. Whatever your choice, it now begins—Christmas music reemerges as we celebrate the season in sound. We hum, sing along. My husband and I move from Diana Krall and Bill Evans, to the Robert Shaw Choral, Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas, James Taylor’s Christmas songs. Everywhere, there’s wonderful variety, music becoming the focus of family get-togethers, school celebrations and church events. Music is tradition. Music is memory.

REPETITION AND REMEMBRANCE or “GET UP ON YOUR FEET”

What song do you look forward to singing? Do you play old records or click on Spotify? Some of you might be part of a church choir—but with Covid, you might be forced to abandon practices. But you can always sing to your Christmas tree,  remember the songs that make you joyful for your beliefs.

Music captivated my younger brother in his teens, became his lifelong career and passion, so at Christmas, his Christmas Dreams collection is a favorite. He and my son will grab guitars, play, sing, fill the house with sounds of the season—and they’re always open to requests–grandchildren, cousins, everyone dancing. Be joyful, move your body—that’s all that’s required. Got a new move? Share it, for the holidays are always about health and new life, about blotting out the darkness that pervaded much of the world, about lighting candles, fires, and gathering people together to share food, drink and love. ( But honor your host regarding what you can bring to a celebration and do make sure you are vaccinated.)

DECEMBER: A TIME FOR EVERYONE 

The very existence of the Christmas season will always be connected to new life, the birth of Jesus Christ. It is also about memories, the cranberry bread you make every year. The lights you hang on shrubbery, trees and doorways to light up your surrounding world. The warm room, maybe a fireplace burning and always a hug or words of caring for those who come through your door. Just think: even though Australia and countries on the other side of the equator are unpacking their summer clothes—it’s still “coming on Christmas.”

And yet there are shadows that even a brightly lit world cannot dispel. Maybe this is your first Christmas without a parent, a spouse, your closest friend. This is a Christmas where your time will be spent visiting your son in rehab or remembering to take medication for a recently developed condition. Some of you will travel to rejoice with family and friends, or to mourn with them.  But we humans keep going, healthy, struggling, joyful or sorrowful, we keep on…

MORE VOICES…

Chris Erskine, in his column a few years back, reminded his daughter: “Everybody is someone.” That statement is always true, but during this season when emotions are heightened, memories can hang over one’s day like a dark cloud–instead of mistletoe. It’s best to remember to care for or smile at those you meet. And you could ask yourself, do I really need “another ornament” for the overloaded tree? I know I don’t, remembering that my mailbox has been full of organizations asking for help. Write that check, mail it today. 

So whatever your December brings you, I hope you will experience contentedness, the desire to reach out to others. After all, the season is only beginning, plenty of time to be grateful, to make Santa Claus come alive and for a child. Thanks for reading.

Artwork: thanks to Nancy Haley nancyhaleyfineart.com

This is an older post that has been edited.

15 thoughts on “December: Voices, Memories, and Giving

  1. Thanks for the mention of CHRISTMAS DREAMS in your post, Beth & Boomer Highway. Tradition has always been an important element in our family’s upbringing. A few years ago, while noodling around on my guitar, I found a catchy chorus which reminded me of Christmas. I was living in LA at the time, and I knew most of the family would be meeting in the midwest for the holidays. So the song became “I’m Comin’ Home For Christmas”, as that emotion filled me up every year. The song worked and led me to other writing opportunities, kind of my intro into truly writing songs……..Merry Christmas 🙂

    • I’m assuming that Bill Pfordresher is the aforementioned ‘younger brother’ who has made music his career? I would love to order this CD, Bill! Shipping to Canada is a pain. Is there any way I could order the download?

      • HI Diane, I appreciate your interest in Christmas Dreams. You can sample three songs on my website “undersongs.com”. Once on the site go to THE MUSIC and then scroll down to HOLIDAY SONGS. You’ll find “Christmas Moon”, “I’m Coming Home For Christmas” and “Come Along Baby”. If you would like a CD just leave your info on the website (comments) and I can send you a CD, no problem. Have a wonderful Christmas Holliday!!!!!! Bill

  2. I sing all the time! I start each day with a song running through my head. I’ve got Christmas Carols on the radio on the kitchen right now, hoping they will finally play War is Over by John Lennon. Merry Christmas!

  3. It’s funny I was just looking at a Christmas ornament that I made from mom when I was about 8 hanging next to an ornament that my daiughter made in remembrance of mom and then another of my granddaughter. That’s why we do it to pass it on to the next generation. Moms favorite dressing, hubby’s mom’s fruit salad and with each bite another memory. Music is the same way. Memories to music.

    • Hi Laurie, actually it has quite a few original songs written by my brother and his band members. “I’m Coming Home for Christmas” is the big hit. Thanks for reading. Beth

  4. This brought a smile to my face. My husband and I have a running (good-natured) tiff each December. He wants to listen to Christmas music non-stop. I can’t tolerate it! Except for hymns sung in church at midnight mass–and then I usually, remembering my parents singing those songs. Enjoy your music this month!!

  5. SO MANY MEMORIES around Christmas music!
    My dad had a large stereo unit that he would stack a half-dozen LP’s on and they would play–one-by-one. The playing arm looked like a snake-even had eyes painted on it and we (my younger siblings and I) loved to watch it shift to one side, let the record fall, then scoot out over the record again and lower into place. It was magic! I had forgotten. Thank you SO much for the reminder!

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