Christmas Music Makes The Season Bright

by Kevin Burton

   I have a friend who hates Christmas music. I just giggle every time I think about that.

   If you knew this friend, actually a former manager of mine, she is so upbeat and positive about everything.  If you woke up determined to be downcast you’d want to steer clear of her or risk never reaching your gloomy goal. She’s so encouraging.

   And I don’t know anybody else who doesn’t like Christmas music. That she would be the one person in my circles who can’t stand it is beyond hilarious to me.

   I haven’t told her yet that my mini recorded music debut was on a Christmas album, “Winter Warmer,” by Alison Trelfa, released in England last month.  If it ever comes up I will be sure to mention that the only song I am on is actually a New Year’s Eve song called “Perfect End.”

   Christmas music is marinated in memories and has just the right savor to it. It has a way of helping me tune out the bad parts of life, at least in the moment.

   I have a policy against playing Christmas music before Dec. 1 but it’s never a problem. Most years I forget to spin my favorite Christmas songs until right before the day.  Not so this year. I feel the need for that extra lift.

   For a change, I’m having the most wonderful time of the year, the season to be jolly, extend musically for two weeks or so, not just three or four days.

   I’ve also been listening more closely to the lyrics this year.  In this virus era, is it extra poignant for anybody else to hear, “to face unafraid the plans that we made,” in Winter Wonderland?

   Ask me what artist I’m listening to any other time of the year and I guarantee you it will not be Andy Williams. But at Christmas time? No way I would go through the Christmas season without listening to Andy. His voice is as comforting as a fresh layer of snow on Christmas Day. 

    Speaking of snow, Christmas songs are full of snow and blustery weather just as most of my Christmas memories are.  But in my part of the Midwest USA we haven’t had snow at Christmas for years. We didn’t have any weather at all I would call truly frightful the whole of last winter. 

   If I could order up snow, we would get a solid four inches on Christmas Eve and a dusting on Christmas Day to keep it clean and bright.  It would all be melted by the end of the day Dec. 26.  That’s all the snow I need.  

   Lately it’s been very southern hemisphere, snowy Christmas songs, warm or even hot weather.

  That doesn’t stop me from enjoying the music.

   We don’t have Santa images in my household as we prefer to emphasize the birth of Jesus.  Nevertheless one of my favorite Christmas songs is “Up On The Housetop,” sung most famously by Gene Autry. 

   My favorite traditional carols include “O Holy Night,“Sliver Bells,” “Happy Holidays,” “The First Noel,”Silent Night.” I could go on and on with this.

   “Breath of Heaven,” by Point of Grace is a favorite you may not have heard. It’s a song written from the perspective of Mary. The song is beautifully arranged and delivered. It’s on their album “Winter Wonderland.”

   Mary’s submission to the will of God was unlike any other. “Breath of Heaven” always makes me ask myself how I’m doing on that front.

   On that same album “Let There be Light” is a great duet with a male singer I just assumed was Steven Curtis Chapman until I looked it up. It’s actually John David Webster.

    The year I worked at the Sedgwick County Courthouse a really good high school choir sang came in and sang Christmas Carols. Can’t remember what school it was. That was great fun, very touching.  A good church, high school or college choir will often outdo professional recording artist in capturing the beauty of what people call the Christmas spirit. 

   Christmas songs seem to lower my blood pressure and bring a sense of peace.

   I’ll be annoyed when my Christmas snow which didn’t arrive on time, shows up unwanted in late January and February. Maybe I will get the Christmas music back out, turn it on and just smile. 

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