Today in My History
Books Read in 2019
FA LA LA LA LA
December 9, 2019
Of all the Christmas stuff around at this time of year, in stores, on TV and radio, in newspapers and magazines, the thing that makes me feel the most like "Christmas" is music. From Bing Crosby's Christmas record to choirs in church, music was what made it "Christmas" for me. When I think of Christmas, Bing always comes to mind first, though we have lots of other artists singing Christmas music, as well as many classical recordings as well.
The Bing Crosby Christmas album was always what was on when we decorated a tree. Somehow it doesn't seem right to put an ornament on the tree without Bing singing Jingle Bells in the background!
In the years when we tried to find interesting pictures to take of the kids for our Christmas letter, this was one of my favorites:
The first song I remember learning the harmony to was "You are My Sunshine." My cousin Peach, who had a lovely voice, taught me to harmonize and I loved it. We would sit under the weeping willow tree in her front yard and sing it. In fact, she got kind of sick of me wanting to sing it all the time.
I was always in choirs throughout grammar and high school...and nice that I was an alto, so I always got the harmony parts. I sang so many Christmas carols that to this day, decades since my choir days, I still can't sing the melody line of most of the religious carols!
In high school, our choir went to a home for unwed mothers, run by the nuns who taught in our school. They were filming a TV special and needed a pregnant choir, but couldn't show any of the real residents of the home, so I wore a smock for the first time (no idea I would live in them for about 10 years!) and we sang Christmas carols in the house chapel.
When our kids were little, I sang with a couple of church choirs. Each time we moved, it was a new church and the last one was the most simple of them. I liked the challenge of complicated music and was bored, so dropped out, but we sang a lot of Christmas carols each year.
When we were involved with the Lamplighters, we went caroling on the cable car, from Market Street to the other end of the line, which ended at the Buena Vista Cafe (where Irish Coffee was invented). That may have been my favorite memory of caroling. Such fun singing on the cable car with professional singers...and the Irish coffee at the end didn't hurt either!
We caroled also with the Davis Comic Opera Company (DCOC), walking through the streets of Davis. A much smaller group caroled from Marta's parents' house around the neighborhood playing Christmas carols on the kazoo. I think we were less appreciated than the DCOC group which sang multi part harmony!
When the kids got old enough, we always had the Egg Nog Gala, which consisted of very bad skits and music, the highlight of which was always David's one-finger piano solo of "Deck the Halls."
We always sang Christmas carols in the car on the drive home after cutting a Christmas tree.
I can't imagine Christmas without music.
It saddens me that for some reason in the last five years, I have lost my voice. I don't know what happened, but sometimes I can sing--badly, but mostly I have a vocal range of about 3 notes and when I harmonize for Christmas carols, it's in my head, but doesn't come out my throat.
Fortunately, with modern technology you can find Christmas music whenever, wherever you want it...and if you "sing" along while driving alone in the car, nobody knows that you can't sing any more.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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