Christmas Music Memories



Holiday music revives the heart and soul.





My first childhood Christmas music memory happened when I was about 6 years old, lying in bed on Christmas Eve.  I can still picture myself hearing on the other side of my bedroom wall, my parent’s muffled voices mixed in with Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song album. What I realized years later was that I had been listening to them performing their Santa duties to one of the iconic Christmas albums of all time.Nat King Cole

My all-time favorite Christmas music memory has to be the Carpenters Christmas Portrait album. My parents got it when it was first released in 1978 when I was 18 and a HUGE Carpenters fan. Playing that album/cassette/CD over the years means Christmas to me. When my husband bought our little family our first CD player for Christmas in 1988, he had the Carpenter’s Christmas Portrait CD playing as a sign that he knew how special that album was to me and to help me adjust to the “new” technology. From that day on, it has been the Carpenters Christmas Portrait that has played every Christmas morning when my husband gave the “OK” that Santa had come and the kids could come downstairs to see what he had left.Carpenters

In 1996, a church youth leader of my then 12 year old daughter introduced us to Amy Grant’s Home for Christmas CD. It was the first Christmas CD I had bought since receiving the Carpenter’s album. As I listen to those songs, I remember the “older children” Christmas music memories: when presents became bigger and more meaningful as the Santa-centeredness faded.

Over the years we added traditional Christmas music memory favorites (Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis) to newer Christmas music memory titles by Jim Brickman, Kenny G and Kelly Clarkson.

As a an empty nester, I knew I had to make new Christmas music memory traditions, ones that fit my changing mid-life Christmas celebrations which may or may not include our children, their spouses and the grandchildren from year to year. I was searching for new classics to help me embrace this time in my life. How did I choose the Christmas music of my mid-life? By turning to social media, of course.

Lots of friends were sharing Mary Did You Know by Pentonix on Facebook. By far, the most beautiful rendition I ever heard of this beautiful Christmas piece.

The rest of their That’s Christmas to Me CD is just as amazing. No instruments — just their voices.

From social media, I also learned that Idina Menzel had a new Christmas CD available,, Holiday Wishes. Listening to Wicked’s Elphaba blast out traditional favorites and new favorite tunes to me (December Prayer) warms my heart and will be our standard playing fare for Christmases to come.

Christmas music memories bring out my most cherished memories —  past and present.

What is your favorite Christmas music memory?