By: Wesley Reno, Entertainment Writer
Before I moved away from home, I would spend every Thanksgiving driving to a family member’s house and engaging in the traditional festivities of the holiday. Some of the most memorable parts of the holiday, however, weren’t those that I spent at Thanksgiving, they were the moments I spent driving to and from it.
Whenever we were in the car on Thanksgiving, my parents would play the album December by George Winston to prepare for the coming holiday season. The beautiful piano performances that make up the album are the soundtrack to my childhood holiday memories. Because of this, George Winston’s album will always be something that transports me back to being a child in my mom’s Nissan Maxima.
It’s incredible how people connect songs with memories, particularly with the holidays. I remember sitting at KMNR listening to George Michaels’ “Last Christmas,” I remember driving to my grandmothers on Christmas Eve listening to “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon, and I remember watching my mom string the tree with lights to Amy Grant’s Christmas albums.
Holiday music is filled with tradition, and most of the famous, popular songs are ones that are very old. It seems that recently, however, artists aren’t afraid to release new music for the holiday. Kelly Clarkson, Sia, and even D.R.A.M. have released original Christmas material within the previous 5 years.
The genre of holiday music is just such an interesting market to me. It seems like the most famous songs seem to lack artistic value but make up for it in traditional value. There are so many albums that are artistically phenomenal, but they don’t always get as much success as a respected singer performing Jingle Bells (I’m looking at you, Buble). Sandler & Young wrote beautiful holiday music, but they don’t receive the radio airplay that Mariah Carey does. People like their holiday music to be slightly cheesy, and it’s one of the few genres where that is the case.
It’s also interesting to watch the reception of Christmas music on the radio. It seems that each year it’s beginning to be played earlier (even though that’s not really the case), and it is being met with greater hostility. I can’t count the number of times I’ve overheard a conversation about how stunned people are that the supermarket is playing Christmas music at the end of November. But whenever Christmas season is over, the music is one of the things that is missed the most.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that Christmas music is magical and weird and I love it. I will be sure to get extra jolly to some Buble this season, and I hope that you do too. Life’s too short to not just simply have a wonderful Christma