Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sing a Song of Christmas

Grandma gave us money to buy a stereo component set the first Christmas we were married. The speakers were three feet high and the large amplifier supported a turntable and cassette deck. We enjoyed LP records for several years and accumulated many cassette tapes as well. I still have our vinyl collection but the cassettes were not as durable. The knobs broke off the old stereo and we gradually stopped using it when we started buying CD recordings. This year our CD player gave up the ghost just before Christmas so I bought $20.00 speakers for my iPad, loaded our CD collection onto iTunes and enjoyed hours of seasonal music in a new portable fashion.

There are many timeless Christmas compositions which most everyone recognizes at this time of year. I have heard one too many recordings of "O Holy Night" and will leave the room if I hear "Christmas Shoes" again. (The movie is worse than the song). But I love listening to Christmas music performed by British choirs, Sarah McLachlan, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Barbra Streisand, The Carpenters, Anne Murray, and many other contemporary and classical artists. I enjoy playing anything that is not too difficult.

A highlight of our Boston trip was a visit to Symphony Hall to hear the Boston Pops holiday concert. We watch it each year on television but it was a pleasure to see the grand, acoustically perfect building. Part of the performance we saw was recorded for a new live CD to be released in 2013. I believe some of next year's concert will also be included. The program included readings of The Grinch, The Night Before Christmas, carols, classical selections as well as the traditional sing-a-long.

In the past 35 years we have gone from vinyl to cassettes to CDs to mp3 and other digital recordings. I wonder what we will listen to 30 years from now? Live performances may be the only thing that stay unchanged.


  1. Don't want to sound like a Grinch, but I'm glad I hear very little Christmas music so what I do I enjoy more.

  2. We have or had that very same book. With a little work, you could have your sheet music on your iPad. Not that you'd want too ... just sayin. My preferred Christmas music these days is not the usual. I could go the rest of my life without hearing White Christmas again, and once or twice a year of the standards like O Come All Ye Faithful is sufficient.

  3. I agree with both of you...it is easy to overdose on standard Christmas music. I do not listen to it on the radio for that reason preferring my own playlists. I will have to look into the iPad sheet music options.

  4. I love Christmas songs for the most part. But that canned instrumental stuff they play in stores takes me right out of the Christmas spirit.

    No matter how sophisticated the technology becomes, nothing will ever replace listening to a concert with live people. I would love to hear the Boston Pops do their seasonal specials.

  5. In the past few months I have heard that vinyl is on it's way back. I have even seen "record players" for sale again. One Christmas when I was about 5 years old Dad back a stereo and we would sit around it on Saturday nights listening to gospel records. He kept that old stereo right up until he passed away. To many memories with it to just toss it out. I like Christmas music but you get over dosed on it. It's just about this time when I think I've heard enough. Just a few more days!!!


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