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Christmas Music Makes Me Want to Ugly Cry, and I Like That.

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Christmas Music Makes Me Want to Ugly Cry, and I Like That.

Christmas Music Makes Me Want to Ugly Cry, and I Like That.

I’ve been known to listen to holiday jingles from mid July through February, although I do try to reserve the 24/7 caroling for the month of December only. 

I know some people hate it. Some people think it’s silly, other people find it offensive and at best, my husband just tolerates it. I’m sure everyone assumes that it brings me happiness, which it does, but it also makes me feel sort of miserable. 

Few things in life are as unchanging as hearing “White Christmas, Let it Snow, or Oh Holy Night” every year. Music is one of the most powerful holder of memories. Similar to smelling a scent that blast you back to your childhood, like a pie that you used to smell baking in your Grandma’s kitchen, or the scent of a body lotion you stole from your sister (and told her you didn’t), have you ever had something whip you back to a part of your life, you didn’t know you could remember?

That’s what Christmas music does for me. Having that anchor of the same recurring songs once a year, or maybe just  because it’s the only type of music that my parents played during my childhood, that I still choose to listen to, every note and every lyric hold a memory. 

Sure, new singers record their own version of it, music trends warp the tunes from time to time, but at its core, it is the same classics we’ve had on replay for decades. 

I remember sitting in our  old Suburban with my family, driving through a live nativity. We held hot chocolate in our hands, played holiday music on the radio and fought over who could stick their heads out of the window next to get the best view. Those were the best Christmases ever.

I remember gathering around our holiday dinner table, when all of the grandparents were present. They smiled at us or corrected us kids, helped us cut our turkey and reminded us to wash our hands. That was the best Christmas ever.

Then one by one their seats were left empty. 

I remember the first Christmas I had my drivers license, and I took my parents to a Christmas organ concert at a cathedral in downtown Houston. It was so cool to drive them around for a change. I felt completely grown up. It was the best Christmas ever. 

Then there was the first year I brought Ryan to family Christmas. I remember holding his hand, and watching his smile as he talked to my mom, and I thought “this is the best Christmas ever”.

Then I remember the first Christmas we shared with Mia, she was only as big as one of the packages, and she was spoiled with everything a baby could want. I watched my parents and my in laws grin from ear to ear as we watched her gaze at the twinkling light, and I thought “this is the best Christmas ever”

Then came bringing the magic of Santa alive for my daughter, and going ice skating together, baking,decorating, and making memories that she will one day sit and think about, just like me, all while listening  to “Let it Snow” playing in the background.

This year, I watch my oldest daughter help bring the magic of Christmas to her one year old brother, and our excitement is tripled, somehow, again, and I listen to him “ooooh woooowww!!” And see his eyes light up, and I know it will be the best Christmas ever. 

And one day I imagine, I hope, that my daughter will walk through our door holding hands with someone, and grinning at them from ear to ear, thinking “this is the best Christmas ever”

And I dream of watching my grandchildren one day, opening presents I carefully picked out for them. 

Maybe, even my great grandchildren will remember the place I had at the dinner table, telling them stories and sneaking them cookies, until the spot is empty and the cycle starts over. 

How lucky is Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble, to be there for it all? 

So yes, those familiar croons make me smile from my toes to my eyes, for all the happy moments those notes hold, and all the memories to come that they promise. They also make me want to sob into a pillow, for all the Christmas pasts, for all the empty spots at the table, for all the changes that will inevitably come, but I enjoy every sweet note filled with emotion, and I’m grateful for each of those bittersweet memories. 

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