Christmas music

My family has always been really into ambiance around the holidays. Candles, music, fire in the fireplace... It's so funny how those things have stuck with me, the greatest of which is definitely the music. Growing up, my parents always seemed to have a soundtrack for every occasion. At Easter it's Handel's Young Massiah, on a cool summer evening it's Gordon Lightfoot, and whenever I need to feel the Christmas spirit, all I need is some Winter Solstice and baby I'm there!

I think because of my parents' influence, I hate listening to the Christmas stations on the radio. They always start the holiday rotation way too early and they play the obnoxious stuff far too frequently. I mean, how many times can one really stand to hear Gloria Estefan wail on about how special this Christmas will be? Once is too many.

This year, however, I just may have found my saving grace: The SIRIUS Holiday Pops channel. All classical music all the time, with an occasional choir thrown into the background. Beautiful renditions of all the songs I love, and even the ones I don't somehow sound amazing. How many times can I listen to the LA Guitar Quartet's version of The Nutcracker Suite before I tire of it? If I ever get there, I'll let you know.

As we develop our own family traditions with Addie, this is one I definitely plan to keep. I want her to associate the magical feeling that music can give with the beauty of Christmas. Just like me, at some point she will probably find the "soundtracks" annoying. But then, when she's grown and needs a little pick-me-up those days before the 25th, I hope she will turn to the same pieces I do to give her comfort, calm her soul and put her heart where it should be this time of year: at peace.

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