December is an album by pianist George Winston. It is my favorite Christmas music. Winston recorded it in the fall of 1982. That was quite a year for me/us. I had just finished “upgrading” our home in Conifer, Colorado – to a fully modern one. Moreover, my wife had became pregnant with my first (her third) and only child in the winter of ’83.
Maybe, that’s why the album is so special to me? Ever since then, forty years ago – it has been linked (in my mind) with snow, Christmas, and hope. It’s snowing here, now and I’m playing December on Spotify, via a new smart TV. How strange is all of that?
The Thanksgiving just past we gathered together at her (now ex-wife) place in Denver for the first time in many, many years. My son is thirty-nine. He’s doing well, thank you. Lives in LA, of all places. He came out for a quick visit because of the holiday break. And this year the day of thanks fell on my birthday. It, the 24th of November, is also the day of “contentious conviviality”. That according to Gary Goldschneider, if you’re into that kind of thing. I am. It sure rings true for me. His book, the Secret Language of Birthdays, is pretty amazing. It was a bestseller at my bookstore.
are many and long lasting. I’ve got a Spotify playlist of my favorites. Some of which are:
- Carol of the bells
- Hark! the herald angels sing
- The Christmas song
- We three kings
- God rest ye merry gentleman
- Good king Wenceslas
What are your favorites?
Is there a special attachment to them?
Which version do you like best?
Carol of the Bells is on December, which begins with Thanksgiving, a Winston original. Mostly the arrangements on the album are melancholy, sad. But they bring me peace, and happiness. That seems strange.
the giving and receiving of them doesn’t do much for me. In fact, I’ve almost an aversion to the practice. I’m not sure why? But, it has the feel of bribery and manipulation. There’s also a sense of guilt and obligation. I’m not big on cards, either. In addition, I’m really not a fan of the “Christmas letter”, sent out in mass to friends and family. Again, I can’t find a specific reason embedded in my past. Maybe it’s just my nature?
The dislike of those traditions surely cause me some problems with relations. After all, GIFT GIVING is one of the five love languages, according to best selling author Gary Chapman. Along with:
- Acts of service to others
- Words of affirmation
- Physical touch
- Quality time
I’m into quality time and touch. Which both are, it seems like, in decline in today’s world.
How do you feel about gift giving?
Do you have a go-to paramount language?
Happy holidays and merry Christmas all you gentlemen and gentle ladies.