Last week I said that I didn’t grow up with too many holiday traditions, but music was always a part of Christmas. A local radio station starts playing only Christmas music right after Thanksgiving. Usually by the first week of December, I’ve tuned in and listen a lot.
Half of our cookie baking day is spent with Christmas music playing. It usually only lasts about half a day. There’s only so many times you can listen to Frosty the Snowman, regardless of who is singing. My favorite Christmas song of all time is Bruce Springsteen’s version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town:
The first time I remember that version standing out for me, I was a freshman in high school. We were all brought into the auditorium for what we were told was a multi-cultural assembly. We were prepared to be bored out of our minds. When the lights went on, though, my English teacher, Mrs. Bellert, was on stage, dressed like Bruce Springsteen. She lip-synced that song. It was hilarious. Her act was followed by many other teachers doing equally silly things. To this day, it was the best assembly I ever attended.
Now that I’ve gotten sidetracked…this is supposed to be about tradition. For me, Christmas isn’t Christmas unless Johnny Mathis is singing. My mom loved Johnny Mathis. She owned all of his albums and tapes (and I’m referring to the 8-track kind). Every Christmas morning, we listened to Johnny Mathis as we opened our presents and helped mom make breakfast for the whole family that would come to our house.
After growing up and moving out, I bought my own Johnny Mathis Christmas tapes (cassettes this time) because his music makes it feel like home. I’m not necessarily a Johnny Mathis fan, since the only time I listen to him is at the holidays, but I’d know his voice anywhere. You’ve probably heard him, even if you weren’t aware. Here he is singing Little Drummer Boy, which is another favorite of mine:
Are you a fan of holiday music? What’s your favorite singer or song?