Christmas-Colored Glasses

The twenty-minute drive from my house to the gym is fairly nondescript. The streets are two-lane straight with a few turns and traffic lights along the way. Not much to look at on a winter’s morning. But the month of December brings about a miraculous change. With the car stereo belting out songs of the season there’s suddenly a lot to see through the windshield.  It’s as if I’m viewing the world through Christmas-colored glasses.

Maybe you’re like me when you’re on the morning drive.  You’re half-asleep, a little bit late, and the slightest miscue by another driver puts you in a bad mood.  I try to blank out the world around me by toggling my radio presets between news and sports.  It’s a wonder my lack of focus gets me to the right destination.  But Christmas music changes all that.  The happy tunes bring everything back to the crystal and clear.  They’re like a gift for the spirit.

                

Two radio stations in this part of Colorado switch over to Christmas music in December.  An adult contemporary station runs an endless loop of about thirty “holiday favorites” from Thanksgiving to New Years Day.  I’ll bet they play the Boston Pops’ version of “Sleigh Ride” and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” four or five times a day.  It gets old.  But they also play the best of Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and Andy Williams so I forgive them. Then we have our Christian contemporary station.  Their round-the-clock Christmas playlist keeps it fresh, with more carols than pop songs.  They’re a little more in tune with the reason for the season.

Earlier this week I absentmindedly tuned back to one of my regular music stations.  Mistake. Their version of celebrating the season had people calling in to say why they deserved to be on “Santa’s naughty list”.  One caller said she babysat recently and told the misbehaving child Santa died of COVID.  Another said he slept with his ex’s sister and a week later slept with the sister’s best friend.  Seriously?  This is the spirit of the season?

                

Spotify plays its part on my drive, especially when radio stations bend to the inevitable commercials.  But not playlists.  Albums.  Spotify Christmas playlists just don’t cut it for me.  I have yet to find the perfect mix – you know, not too much of this, not too little of that.  I think Christmas albums by individual artists or groups do a better job of a “just right” playlist, which is why I’m peppering this post with three of my favorites.

               

Now then, let’s get back to those Christmas-colored glasses.  Exactly what did I see on my twenty-minute drive?  A lot more than I did before I tuned in to the season’s songs…

  • Children headed to school, laughing and singing as they walked.  I think we can agree; Christmas is all about children.  Or at least, one child.
  • Signs in front of churches advertising Christmas Eve services.  Most offer a 5pm, 7pm, and 9pm option, meaning lots of people are heading to church on Christmas Eve.  As we should be this year.
  • A lone tree at the end of a driveway decorated with just two ornaments.  What to make of it?  Maybe a senior citizen lives here, and two ornaments are all he or she can manage.  A reminder to gift to our local “Christmas for Seniors” program.
  • A third-story apartment and its tiny balcony decorated with garlands, wreaths, and lights.  Yes, all walks of life celebrate Christmas no matter the look of their “house”.
  • The sign at the gas station advertising today’s fuel prices.  Unleaded is advertised in red numbers, diesel in green.  How’s that for impromptu Christmas decor?
  • Our little town’s myriad Christmas decorations, covering trees, buildings, and lampposts, I may not always agree with the spending of our tax dollars but with this investment, they get it right year after year.

This is my personal mandate for the 2021 holiday season.  Take the rest of the month and listen to nothing but carols whenever you’re in the car.  You’ll don a pair of Christmas-colored glasses and be amazed at what you’ve been missing around you.  Believe it or not, the world looks pretty good right now.

Some content sourced from Wikipedia, “the free encyclopedia”.

22 thoughts on “Christmas-Colored Glasses

  1. You make a good point about December 26th. It’s hard to keep the carols going immediately after Christmas. I’m going to try to bridge that gap until New Year’s Day.

    Like

  2. Hi Dave,
    It is amazing to see what and how much we are missing because we are not paying attention. I go through life in a blur just wanting to get to my destination. I miss the beauty of the journey too often.
    I will follow your advice and perhaps even write down the newness in my days!
    Blessings to you! ♥ ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We have a large collection of old 33s that we’ll play during the Christmas season and sometimes we’ll put on the Spotify or Pandora Christmas mixes.

    and we like to head over to the church and listen there.

    In the car I mostly don’t listen to anything – helps me see things around me better. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Somehow playing Christmas music on 33’s sounds better than any of the more modern options out there. Like being dropped into “It’s A Wonderful Life” or something like that. Nice tradition there, Andrew.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I use the iHeartRadio app to listen to North Pole Radio and IHeartChristmas and they don’t have any commercials and play a great mix. None of that Naughty List nonsense ha! I do like the idea of Christmas-colored glasses 🙂

    Like

  5. Christmas is supposed to be a joyous time, to lift one another up. I hope the music and bright lights and ornaments of the holiday season can brighten people’s mood and may that sentiment prevail when the music stops and the decorations are taken down. We can only hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amen to all that, Linda. My wife and I were just commenting on how the houses in our area look more decorated than in 2020. With that in mind, you could argue we’re headed in the right direction.

    Like

  7. One of the Detroit radio stations starts playing Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving and I always tune in when I’m driving. But it doesn’t play hymns so recently I downloaded Mitch Miller’s Christmas Album (an oldie from the 60’s I grew up on) with all the old hymns and have been listening to it on my IPod when I walk. Both are getting me in the mood for Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If the radio in my car still worked I’d do as you advise, but alas it’s a goner. May I just sing a few Christmas carols to myself as I drive along? Probably not on key, but with good intention. Happy Holidays to you and yours. ⭐️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I really need to step up my tech game and learn how to put together my own play list. My tastes run a bit narrower than any station provides. I can do without Elvis, Gene Autry, Dean Martin, and the Beach Boys. I WOULD include some Andy Williams and Mormon Tabernacle Choir for sure, and then Sandy Patty, Andrea Bocelli, Nat King Cole, Karen Carpenter, Narada, and the London Symphony Orchestra–for starters. (Age probably has something to do with my out-of-the-mainstream choices!)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The Tabernacle Choir album is from 2006 so I’m surprised this is the first year I’m listening to it. Powerful, wonderful Christmas music, every single selection. And every time I hear Karen Carpenter at Christmas I get a little sad we lost her beautiful voice well before its time.

    Like

  11. I am late getting here, but fortunately my Catholic tradition celebrates Christmas as a season that *starts* on December 25, so I have plenty of time yet to enjoy your music choices. I will report back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did not know that about the Catholic faith. Everyone seems to shut down the Christmas music the moment they wake up on December 26th. I found the collection from the Tabernacle Choir to be particularly inspirational this year, so I’ll look forward to your take. Having Sissel Kyrkjebo as a soloist is a big plus.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I know – the rest of the world starts celebrating Christmas over Thanksgiving weekend (if they can wait that long) and packs up on 12/26. We Catholics, on the other hand, observe Advent in the weeks leading to Christmas, when the festivities are supposed to start. Christmas is supposed to run to either 1/6 (epiphany) (the 12 days of Christmas) or maybe even as far out as the baptism of the Lord the following Sunday.

        In real life, most Catholics do it just like you do. But some of us either are stickers or just like celebrating. So if you drive by my house and see decorations still up on January 9th, laziness will not be the reason. 🙂

        Also, I liked Carrie Underwood’s album more than I expected to. I’m in the middle of the MTC.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hard to top Carrie’s version of “All Is Well” and “How Great Thou Art” if you ask me. Not many singers can put power and length into those high notes like she can.

        Like

    2. I can report that I enjoyed each of your Christmas music selections. I am not generally into country music, but both Carrie Underwood and Laura Story turned out some mighty fine renditions. There were parts of the MTC that I found a bit too “show tune-ish” (if that’s a word) but then that is probably unavoidable when making an album from a live holiday concert. Other parts were simply sublime. Thanks for the suggestions.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. My country music bias shows by including Carrie Underwood in this shortlist but man can she belt out those high notes. And I get your comment about the MTC show tunes. I preferred the slower tracks on that album instead, especially the ones in Latin. Glad you enjoyed the listen.

    Like

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.