KEEP CALM, Summer’s Coming (15 Days of Sunshine-Inspired Songs) SONG 2

The ocean is a mighty harmonist.  –William Wordsworth

Listening to “Beyond the Sea” is like starring in your own personal musical.   I imagine sand, surf, sunshine and fun!  I’m the lead (of course,) gracefully dancing alongside a dreamy surfer WHO CAN SING.  There’s an ensemble of dancers and extras moving melodically to the beat.  And in unison, the cast perfectly depicts life on the beach…all while belting out the oh-so-catchy chorus!

Long before I ever visited the ocean this song painted an amazing picture…one that didn’t disappoint.  In real life, the ocean is a force all it’s own and being near it provides some sort of “magical power” (I believe they call it positive ions.)  Whatever it is, it’s calming and peaceful.  It’s mesmerizing and energizing.  It’s blue perfection.

Bobby Darin’s rendition of “Beyond the Sea” made the song famous in 1959 when it reached no. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.   However, his version was one of several remakes of Jack Lawrence’s rendition of “Beyond the Sea.” And Lawrence’s adaptation was actually taken from the French song “La Mer” by Charles Trenet.  Trenet’s original melody was an ode to the ocean while Lawrence’s interpretation was rewritten to be that of a love song.  Quite a history for a little ditty that has been featured in countless movies and televisions series since it originated in the 1940s.  All that aside, it’s the perfect addition to my summer music playlist…taking me oceanside…even if it’s only in my imagination!

UP NEXT:  Song 3…drums, please!

KEEP CALM, Summer’s Coming (15 Days of Sunshine-Inspired Songs) SONG 1

Summertime is always the best of what might be.  –Charles Bowden

As soon as the first warm rays of sunshine arrive, this song comes to mind!  Suddenly, it’s 1985 and all is right in the world.  “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves was a chart topper when I was just 10 years old.  Double digits, no worries or cares and summer was so close I could practically taste it (the song was released in May.)  There are two things I find absolutely charming about this little ditty…1) despite the fact that this tune came out more than 30 years ago, my kids practically know all the words AND 2) the song has one of the most dreariest music video settings EVER!

Thanks to pop culture, “Walking on Sunshine” has been the catchy, upbeat, background track to more than a handful of movies and television shows, it’s been highlighted in a variety of commercials, and is featured on countless “best of summer” playlists.  The song has been rerecorded at least three times and is a universally popular cover for bands worldwide…making it hard to believe that it was the group’s only top 40 hit in the U.S.  Searching up the video on YouTube is a real treat, too!  Hard to believe that this song, which invokes so many sunny, feel good vibes, was shot on an incredibly gray, bleak (typical?) day in England.

As a kid, I really only remember cranking it up on the radio while eating popsicles and dancing around my mom’s kitchen.  Now, it’s a permanent feature on my own summer music playlist.  I still crank it up today…in my own kitchen, of course (popsicles optional.)

UP NEXT:  Song 2…a classic, beach favorite!

Parents’ Guide to the ULTIMATE 80s Summer (Your Kids Will Thank You)

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.  –Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

So, I’m thinking about putting my current mommy neuroticism on hold for just a bit and going with the flow this summer.  Way?  WAY!  You see I was totally inspired (that’s “totes” inspired for you millennials) the other day by this clever blog about creating a ’70s style summer for ours kids.  While I could absolutely relate to the writer’s top 10, the bulk of my childhood actually took place in the 80s…complete with jams, jelly shoes, Hypercolor t-shirts, mix-tapes and some of the best movies/television EVER!  Thinking about that place in time brings back memories of super rad summers…chillin’ with choice family and friends, no grody schedules bringing us down,  livin’ it up with totally tubular fashion, and maxing out with non-stop gnarly fun 🙂  Back then we turned our nose up at bogus rules and wigged out parents that just didn’t understand the 80s way of life.  Dudes and dudettes, the 80s were BOSS and wouldn’t it be totally righteous of me to share those good times with my kiddos?  Agreed?  Cool beans.

Rockin' the 80s look!

Rockin’ the 80s look!

Here’s my take on the ULTIMATE 80s summer.  Grab your shades, fetch your fingerless gloves, style that hair sky-high…and prepare for AWESOME.  It’s going to be a tripendicular good time…major.

  • Wear what you want…how you want.  Have you seen some of the styles from the 80s?  Hideous, sure, but fun and unique every time.  I don’t remember my folks saying, “cover up” or “that’s too revealing” because in the 80s it was about funky layers and mismatched everything.  So Mom didn’t do laundry last night?  Whatever, kid…you’re living in the 80s now and your faded gym shorts look good with that yellow button down shirt…just remember to pair it with your converse sneakers and a backwards ball cap.  K-RAD.
  • Watch TV…a lot of TV…actually the same shows over and over.  Back in the day nothing new came out in the summer on television.  It was rerun city, baby, and I LOVED IT!  I didn’t mind hitting the couch, remote in hand and settling in for rerun episodes of Three’s Company, The Facts of Life and Family Ties.  So you’re replaying them during the show’s regular time slot?  Still must see TV for me!  Get hooked on my mom’s soap operas…there’s nothing else on, why not?  HBO is showing Sixteen Candles for the third time today?  I’m glued anyway.  While I’m not on board with letting my kids get hooked on soaps, I see no harm in letting them binge watch some retro goodies like Boy Meets World, The Sandlot and Goonies.  Excellent!
  • Drink Kool-Aid ALL DAY and eat your weight in Popsicles.  They always tell you to stay hydrated…especially in the heat of summer.  I know it sounds like a lot of sugar (and it is,) but that doesn’t mean anything to the 80s kid.  Orange Kool-Aid (same color and “flavor” as juice) was perfectly acceptable at breakfast with a bowl of cereal and toast.  The punch version was a staple at every birthday party I ever attended.  Lemonade Kool-Aid was just as good as fresh-squeezed and PINK lemonade Kool-Aid was the beverage of choice for the uppity, preppie set.  When you’re not sucking down this sugar-water, head on over to the freezer for a frozen treat.  Popsicles are inexpensive and unless you want to risk brain freeze, they can kill a lot of time.  Hands down…there is nothing like working on a grape popsicle while sitting on your front porch during a scorching hot, summer day, my friends.  Go ahead, kiddos, enjoy (to the max!)
  • Sunglasses are a must…even indoors and ESPECIALLY at night.  That’s right.  Wear your shades, like all the time!  Your specs speak volumes about who you are and what you stand for…sporty, goofy, cool and if you can pull off the flip-up sunglasses look…all the better!  The coolest kids I knew during childhood had a pair for every day of the week (probably mallrats.)  So come on kiddos, grab your plastic eyewear of choice and get your spec-tacular summer started.
  • Baseball and sunflower seeds.  This pretty much sums up my existence during my childhood summers.  This duo provided evening entertainment as well as a pseudo dinnertime meal.  In the 80s we didn’t have all the fancy flavors they do now…we ate our salted sunflower seeds until our lips were swollen and we lost all feeling in our tongue.  When we were done…we begged for more!  This vicious cycle is never so appealing as when we’re camped out at the baseball diamond.  Sure, you have those who prefer peanuts siting in the stands, but nothing really fills a hole (or maybe burns one in your throat) quite like sunflowers seeds.  Bonus points on your 80s summer if you can score some Astro Pops at the ball park (those bad boys look soooo much cooler than they taste!)

    The Astro Pop :)

    The Astro Pop 🙂

  • Stargazing…oh, yeah.  I can’t remember if we borrowed the telescope or if it was just handed down to us, but either way we were the luckiest kids on the block (even if we didn’t really know how to use the silly thing!)  We spent countless nights outside on our back porch just checking out the moon and trying to spot planets among the stars.  We looked for constellations and laid flat on the picnic table in our yard to take in all the night sky’s wonders.  It was peaceful and totally stellar at the same time.  Come on kids, put down your technology and open your eyes to something so much better!  Shooting stars and meteor showers are just as mind-blowing today as they were in the 80s.
  • Brush up on your gaming skills, dude.  No, I’m not talking about video games…I’m talking about real games…as in the type you gather around a table to play!  Growing up in the 80s we took our games pretty seriously.  Bragging rights were always at stake, occasionally money was involved, and sometimes a stupid dare was the prize.  Either way, we played to win.  All night Monopoly games, vicious games of Sorry and Battleship, and my favorite–card games.  Nothing says summer like a knock down game of Spoons!  This is definitely on my list for this summer.  My kiddos need to learn this throw back game and maybe even how to throw a few elbows in the process…I said we play to win, remember.
  • Fun…on the cheap, duh.  Ahhh, yes…the 80s were a good decade for America.  As kids, most of us didn’t know that we were average middle class and that was okay.  We didn’t expect new cars, designer clothes or the latest gadget.  We were content with simple things and made the most of our days with basic, cheap fun.  For example, we grew up without Supersoakers and Nerf water guns.  The sprinkler and the garden hose provided all the fun we needed.  Water balloon ambushing an unsuspecting friend walking into the backyard was good for a million laughs.  I can remember neighborhood water wars…and when our rinky-dink water guns weren’t enough to win the battle we repurposed 2 liter soda bottles to soak each other to the bone.  Make-shift water games and activities are the absolute best…and my kiddos have already started creating their own water fun with friends this summer.  No pool required.  For added inexpensive fun, check out free zoos (yes, they do exist,) state parks and road side attractions.  You have not lived until you’ve had your photo taken with an extreme size, concrete animal or the world’s largest something or other!  Homebodies can make a whole mess of fun with a good, old-fashioned watermelon feed…complete with seed-spitting contest.  Go ahead, invite the neighbors.
  • Summer music playlist…for sure.  In the 80s, a mix-tape took time and skill…and usually involved a pretty hip friend.  Getting the hook-up on the latest songs sometimes meant that you had to listen to the radio and quickly hit the record button when your favorite jam came on.  I remember countless tapes where I missed the first few beats of a song, you could hear the commercials or maybe even a little of the the DJ talking (pretty amateurish, I now, but whatevs.)  I also remember the awesome feeling that came with getting a “real” mix tape, where 5385cee5557560322982989a1b9ee844someone with an elaborate music collection or DJ skills put together only the best.  Rockin’ out in your bedroom with your boom box full blast…there’s nothing quite like it.  A close second would be toolin’ around town with your Walkman in tow.  Poolside fun requires just the right set of jams, too!  When we were old enough to cruise Main Street the perfect mix tape could make or break the night.  Today’s kiddos love music just as much and here’s where their technology could actually come in handy.  With the swipe of a finger, kids can create their own, FREE summer music playlists or tap into ready-made lists on music streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Prime Music or Pandora.  It amazes me just how much 80s music they already know thanks to pop culture, but the best part is when I pull up the old music videos for them to see with their own eyes!  Thank you, YouTube.  Let’s just say it’s good for a lot of laughs 🙂

So take a chill pill and relax.  After all, savoring summer isn’t privy to just one decade.  We can all take part in this bodacious ride!  Summertime is where we write some of our best stories.  It’s where we create many of our favorite memories and cement those relationships we will always treasure.  This is where best friends are made, family road trips take place, where crushes and first loves are experienced and we collectively have a chance to breathe and reset.  Take in the warm temperatures, go places you’ve never been, laugh a lot and when you run out of things to do–start the list all over.  The rules are different in the summer…and the 80s rules…well they just RULE!  Parents, say hello to what just might be your best summer yet.    Totally (to the max.)

The question isn’t “what are we going to do,” the question is “what aren’t we going to do?”–Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

 

Cowboy Take Me Away (My Silent Midlife Crisis Part V)

Facebook quiz results. And these things never lie! Cowboy up!

Real cowboys never run, they just ride away.  Anonymous

Texas is calling, but first things first:  Everyone knows that I would die on the prairie.  Seriously, D-I-E.  I’m not exactly Veruca Salt spoiled, but I’m pretty sure I land somewhere in the pampered princess department.  That being said, I’ve discovered something about myself recently…I LOVE westerns.  Seriously, L-O-V-E.  Of course, I’m categorizing this new development as just another part of my silent midlife crisis.

Most weekday mornings (ok, Saturdays, too) you’ll find me glued to the television, coffee in hand, watching the western series Big Valley.  In case you’ve never stumbled on to this show, it features the Barkley family of Stockton, California.  Each episode tells the story of a widowed matriarch, her adult children and life on the ranch.  There are horses, bad guys, near calamity at every turn, adventure and drama.  Everything you could ever want in a 1960s television show, plus they wear cowboy boots and hats!  BONUS.  I really can’t get enough of it.

I wouldn’t classify myself as western or even the least bit country…well, I did go through a bit of a country music spell in the ’90s, but didn’t well all?  My best friend and I even went to a Little Texas concert at the county fair…hats included.  I’ve been to the Lone Star State several times.  Oh, and I’ve ridden a bull (not mechanical) and a horse.  My guardian angel is a cowboy.  He drives a dirty, old white truck (but that’s another blog.)  Maybe I am a bit country after all?  Yeah, I know…none of that really counts.

These things aside, I’ve been asking myself what’s the appeal here?  Why am I so invested in this show and these cowboys?  The answer has eluded me, but I think I’ve finally come up with something.  It’s their PERSEVERANCE.  It’s fiction and probably even cheesy fiction at that but in each episode, one of the characters must fight to save a person/critter, battle the elements, rescue a loved one, defend his/her honor, and ultimately save the day!  And it’s not easy.  One character, Heath (played by Lee Majors,) gets shot practically every other episode…and still manages to come out on top.  It’s impressive, but more than that, it’s INSPIRING.  A reminder that good guys win, one should never give up, there’s glory in overcoming obstacles, and even if you’ve been shot multiple times you can muster up the courage to go on.  (Yeah, that last one was a bit of a stretch.)

Dealing with life change isn’t easy for any of us.  Whether these changes are mental, physical, emotional, locational or even hormonal…change basically just sucks sometimes.  And in the midst of my own life changes, I’ve found westerns.  I’m not sure how everyone else is dealing with their midlife issues, but this is what works for me.  So, if you’re into westerns…and Big Valley in particular…look me up.  We can chat about our favorite characters, storylines, plot twists and answer that one unanswered question…why aren’t these heroic and extremely handsome cowboys married?  Inquiring minds want to know…

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  Hebrews 13:8

Nostalgia is a B— (My Silent Mid-Life Crisis, Part IV)

The funny thing about chasing the past is that most people wouldn’t know what to do with it if they caught it.  —Atticus, poet

I am a sucker for nostalgia.  “Remember when…” and “how we used to….” followed by “back in the day….”  Yes, ALL good stuff!  In my heart, I carry around a zillion memories, stories and images, of days gone by.  I can’t help myself.  I remember our old house (the one by the church,) my Pepto-Bismol pink basement bedroom that had a closet with a secret door.  I remember awful lunch ladies who wouldn’t let me go out to recess if I didn’t try EVERYTHING on my plate.  I especially remember the one NICE lunch lady who healed my wasp sting with a special baking soda balm (in my recollection she wears a superhero cape!)  Filed away in my mind are all the important “firsts,” childhood friends, and a hidden compartment labeled NEVER, EVER DO THAT AGAIN!  Nostalgia.  Something as simple as a song or a smell can take me back.  Next thing you know, I’m lost in thought…off on my own adventure…sort of like stepping through the secret door in that old closet.  Suddenly, I’m in a completely different place…and I like it there.

Yes, nostalgia is a tricky thing.  For a control freak like myself, it’s absolutely bewitching.  I know all the plot lines, the dialogue, the setting and most importantly, the outcome.  These are my stories.  These are my people.  These are my glory days.  I think the Twilight Zone touched on this theme…the idea of “going back” —as if all our best days were behind us!  If you’re a fan of the show, you know nothing good can come from chasing the past.  And I mean nothing.  Yet…it’s tempting.  We all have that desire to relive a special moment, right a wrong, fix a relationship or situation, say words that we left unsaid…the list could go on and on.  And while the concept of nostalgia seems so benign, when one crosses the threshold of midlife, nostalgia can cause things to get ugly…fast.

Theodore Roosevelt famously said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  There’s so much wisdom in that statement.  As we reach our supposed “midpoint,” it’s natural to take inventory and evaluate our lives.  Am I in a good place? Am I happy with the choices I’ve made? Should I have chosen differently?  Before long, we start making plans for the future.  What will my second act look like?  What still needs to be done?  What should be done?  We start examining our lives internally AND externally.  Graying hair, wrinkles, shifting weight and suddenly we’re regretting every yummy dessert and cursing those not-so-funny laugh lines. Making these assessments often lends itself to comparison.  Look at what she’s doing.  Look at how far he’s come.  Look at what they’ve got.  Combine these comparisons with nostalgic reflections, mix with hormones and suddenly you’re gulping down the poison of one volatile cocktail!

Sure, nostalgia is a B—, if we blame others for the choices we made in the past, if we use it as a means of justifying today’s regrets and if we let it fuel our present dissatisfaction. But before we write nostalgia off as just another bad word, let’s do a little re-labeling. Shift our perspective, if you will. Nostalgia is a B—but what if that B stands for BLESSING?  Hear me out.  In a healthy context, one where we recount the past for the good that it set into motion…we can truly see the blessing.  In good ol’ George Bailey fashion, we can come to value the past…both the mountain top moments AND our days in the valley.  Clarence, the angel, reminds us, “One man’s life touches so many others, when he’s not there it leaves an awfully big hole.”  I don’t want to compare my life to anyone else’s.  I don’t want to wallow in regrets or seeth with envy.  I don’t want the past to keep me from moving forward.  My past (and yours) is precious.  It has set into play the person that I am today (flaws and all.)  And if I don’t like that person, I can change.  My story isn’t over (and neither is yours!)

This midlife stuff is hard.  None of us have it all figured out.  It’s important to offer yourself grace and remember, this is all normal.  And while I’m not sure that I can say that I wouldn’t change a single thing, what I can say is that I don’t regret a single moment.  The good, bad, (the uncertain) and especially the ugly.  Nostalgia is a B—, but its definition is up to me.  Plus, it will always be one of my favorite places to visit…because I know all the plot lines, the dialogue, and the settings.  These are my stories.  These are my people.  These are my glory days…and I have a few more to make in the process.

Remember the days of old; consider the years long past.  Deuteronomy 32:7

UP NEXT:  Cowboy Take Me Away (My Silent Midlife Crisis, Part V)

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Your Blog Gets a Podcast (aka Can You Hear Me Now?)

The written word can be erased…not so with the spoken word.  -Anonymous

This is going to sound morbid…at least that’s everyone’s response when I tell them why I decided to take my blog “next level” (yes, I’m laughing at MYSELF as I type that!)  I wanted to make sure that my kiddos knew the stories behind our Christmas traditions and, narcissistically, I wanted to make sure they heard them in my voice…FOR ALL TIME.  I mean, that’s the kind of loving mother that I am after all.

Readers who know me, often say that they can “hear” my sense of humor when they read my posts.  My close friends laugh at the snide little inside jokes and hints that I drop in my writing.  My family likes to point out that I can’t hide my snark (that’s up for debate as far as I’m concerned.)  Still, as a former broadcaster, I know that tone and inflection add that something extra to a story.  A simple pause, deliberate whisper, or a mere lilt goes a long way.  In this age of text messaging and Twitter, the spoken word’s value goes up tenfold.  Thus, the podcast.

I’m a big believer in the podcast.  I have several favorites.  Everything from news, politics and pop culture to social media theory and all things NPR.  It’s storytelling magic and I’m always surprised (sometimes pleasantly and other times not so much) to put a voice with a name.  According to Forbes magazine, at least 112 million Americans have listened to podcasts…and that number continues to grow.  A constantly connected culture, we can listen in our homes, cars, at the gym and beyond!

Let’s be real.  Truly excellent and iconic writers…we’re talking the BIG NAMES, let their words speak for themselves, but some of us (like me) could use a little help sometimes.  Connecting with an audience is a core principle of writing…and thanks to the podcast, it’s never been easier to solidify that relationship.  Besides, even Shakespeare would have jumped at the opportunity to create a podcast.  Writers are so vain.

 

 

Bing Crosby is Slowly Killing Me (Did I Say That Out Loud?)

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…just like the ones I used to know….”  Bing Crosby, singer & actor

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right?  Exactly.

One of my favorite aspects of the Christmas season is the music.   Growing up, I recall the local radio station playing Christmas music solely on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  That meant that we had to get out our little boom box and cassette tapes and record as much of it as possible.  This served as “seed” music for the following Christmas.  And boy did we wear those cassette tapes out!  Today, it’s a different story.  Often times I hear Christmas music playing way before Thanksgiving…and I’m not the DJ orchestrating this holiday magic!  In shopping centers, restaurants, and even on the radio, the Christmas tunes are cranked up loud and proud early in the season.  I don’t mind really…and then again, maybe I do.

I mind because it seems that every year (without fail) one song seems to capture the season for me.  A Christmas song brain worm if you will.  On good years the song is something fun and light-hearted…a sweet ditty sung by Michael Buble, Mariah Carey or even that little cutie, Justin Beiber.  Other years, though, the song is something that stirs up a completely different (less cheery) feeling.  I don’t necessarily want to call it darker or deeper or even more soulful (yes, I know I’m talking about music and not coffee!) There’s just something about that one song that touches the most tender part of my heart…a melody that evokes such profound emotion that it almost always manifests itself in near tears (ok, occasionally one leaks out.)

In the past, these “other” songs were always familiar Christmas tunes…but for whatever reason, they took on a new flavor.  For example, a few years ago Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” could completely kill my yuletide joy.  Still, that makes sense, although I love, love Elvis, the title is “Blue Christmas.”  Other songs on this glum list include “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Josh Groban with its added military personnel audio (oh, the tears,) Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Old Lang Syne” with its resounding sad tale of lost love (more tears,) and need I say ANYTHING about those stupid “Christmas Shoes” by New Song?  Boo hoo hoo.  And then there’s the overwhelming “whoa” of “Please Come Home for Christmas” by Charles Brown…just to name a few. During these years, I can’t decide whether to avoid the song completely or just play it on repeat until the feelings subside (which doesn’t work by the way.)

Today, with the onset of digital music streaming, we can customize our own playlists in a matter of minutes.  This is awesome because who doesn’t like personalized stuff?  A “just-for-me” anything speaks to the most narcissistic part of our brains and makes us feel important and special.  I’m all down for that…I have a zillion custom playlists.  So basically, my game plan is to just avoid the song altogether.  (Avoidance is one of my favorite psychological strategies.)  Still, there are algorithms. And try as we might, people, we cannot escape them!  Now that Pandora (such a fitting name by the way) knows ALL of my Christmas music favorites (thanks to the thumbs-up-thumbs-down buttons) I am at her mercy and this year’s song has been a doozy!  A Christmas classic, a favorite among favorites, such a BASIC Christmas song that it is altogether inescapable…no matter where I turn.  I’m talking about the beloved holiday staple, Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.”  Yes, that’s the one breaking my heart this year (can I say that out loud?)

Who doesn’t love “White Christmas?”  I mean, I absolutely adore it!  It’s the best-selling Christmas song of all time!  But this year, whenever I hear it a sadness ensues.  It’s like I’m hearing this familiar tune with new ears.  I remember the song from childhood, fell in love with it AND Bing Crosby while watching the old black & white version of Holiday Inn…and the song was further impressed upon my heart when I discovered the movie of the same title a few years later.  Bing sings the song so effortlessly.  As I write this I can picture him at his piano…the debonair crooner drawing us in with this perfect song.  His voice so melodic and rich…all the casual sophistication of an American icon just pouring out of every single note.  Did I mention that I adore this song?  One can only imagine how surprised I was to find that this song, this tried and true favorite could cause me such grief.  It was like walking into a door…and I never saw it coming!

Turns out that I shouldn’t be surprised at all with the heartbreaking aspect of “White Christmas.”  It’s nostalgic.  Wistful.  There’s a sense of longing…and hope.  A wartime favorite, “White Christmas” was the song American soldiers clung to following the attack on Pearl Harbor.  It was a staple on Armed Forces Radio as soldiers tuned in while stationed overseas during World War II.  For many, on the war front and at home, the lyrics told of bygone days and easier times…a reminder of a “normal” that they hoped to reclaim.  For the songwriter, Irving Berlin, the lyrics were much deeper as many believe he wrote the song during a bout of extreme homesickness.  Still, other music historians claim the song was actually written to memorialize Berlin’s infant son who is said to have died on Christmas Day. Given this history, the song certainly takes on a different significance and gains a depth that I wasn’t aware of before.

For these reasons (and so many more) Bing Crosby is slowly killing me…at least he is this Christmas.  And while at first this slow, figurative death was limited to “White Christmas” it has moved far beyond.  Now, it’s EVERY Bing Crosby Christmas song…and there’s no way to avoid it.  I immediately recognize his voice and something just gets caught in my throat.  My heart sinks a little.  My eyes get damp in the corners.  I can’t explain it.  I’ve been jokingly (and seriously) blaming everything on hormones lately, but really I know it’s something more.  It’s me.  It’s today.  It’s nostalgia.  It’s dreaming.  It’s gratitude.  It’s a brokenness.  It’s hope.  It’s this present time and place.  It’s perfect and imperfect all at the same time.  It’s Christmas…just listen.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15