11/15/2014

Let the Singing Commence Post Turkey!




Okay, I get it! Most folks don’t want to hear Christmas music before Thanksgiving.  Why should I be limited to only hearing them one month out of the year when there are some songs I just love?  So I don’t. Many of them are more about Christian faith and Jesus than old Saint Nick and do not even mention the word Christmas. I am not so if you come by my house on the weekend, you just might occasionally hear a few of my favorites from time to time. However, I agree, like so many other radio listeners I don’t want to hear Christmas music on the radio till Thanksgiving is over!

But when the turkey is carved and eaten, bring on the carols!  What doesn’t move you into the holiday spirit more than a lively old-fashioned holiday jingle or a captivating song about the birth of Jesus on the first Christmas?  And I love the fact that my favorite station in Nashville, Mix. 92.9 plays holiday music continuously from Thanksgiving to Christmas!  I can listen and not worry about buying tons of CD’s because they play them all.


How ironic that Friday I found myself at the radio station I love with a room full of lovers of Christmas music like me.  These avid listeners know, like me, that this channel does something unique. During the holiday season, to make the season bright, they intersperse various stories and clips from fans about their holiday’s special moments.  I have turned my radio up to hear these clips and asked everyone in the car to turn their volume down so I can catch them. The memories people have shared have been hilarious, heart-warming, enchanting and everything in between.  Truly, it adds to the magical spirit of Christmas. These stories are what Nashville is all about and what makes our city and the holidays special. 

This year, being at the studio with one of the groups being interviewed, I got the opportunity to hear a new group of folks live.  Take it from me,
you want to be invited to these folks homes for the holidays!  I am seriously thinking of calling the station and claiming someone from the group I was with Friday has bad credit and I need to contact one of them immediately!   Then I can find a way to finagle an invite.  Oh, their celebrations are as different and as entertaining as each of them are diverse! 

My friends that know me will not be surprised I could not leave my cell phone alone Friday. I wanted to take pictures but the lighting was horrendously bad in the offices. I apologize Anna Marie as I know, without our relationship, I would not have had the opportunity to be there, but dear, the lighting sucks.  Santa needs to brighten the rooms. Last time I was in a room like that someone had a massive hang-over! 

In the defense of radio, who needs lighting I supppose.  And if I sound bitchy, bear in mind, my cell phone does not take the greatest pictures.  It is not the latest greatest model. That one came out the day after I bought mine, naturally.

Several of us were squeezed into a room, the goal was to have the best representation as possible.  I had the fortune to sit back and watch Anna Marie and later Mike Lindsey at work doing what they do best, improvise!  And those of you that don’t know or haven’t met either of them, find the time.  Both are a delight, and what you hear on the air, that’s it folks, the real deal. We survivors call them types "lovers of life."
MIKE LINDSEY


As the dialogue began, one on one, I tried to capture a few things said on my cell phone.   What I could not capture was the best part, the heart.  Looking down at my phone, I would suddenly look up struck by something someone was saying.  Well actually, often times, it was by something in the voice, a hesitation of a tender moment, a uncontrollable laugh, a tear of a long lost moment that came spilling out or a childlike scream of joy over something long forgotten.  Looking up at that face of the speaker, I would see that bright twinkle in their eye, reminding me of the North Star, what we were talking about, why we were here, the true meaning of
ANNA MARIE
Christmas.   

Mix 92.9 goes through this exercise because they care about what we, the listeners care about, what Christmas means to us.   This is the heart of Christmas.  Not the gifts, but all the other emotions that go along with the trimmings.  To them, it is not commercialization at its finest hour.  It is a season of rejoicing and reflection.

I deleted all my notes later that day.  Gone are the words of the people that spoke them and the most important part I carry in my heart.  What I saw Friday was truly worth writing a blog about, just the raw emotion shared among a room full of strangers about one of the single most important emotional holidays of the year. We walked in the room as strangers and I walked out feeling blessed.  I could not do their stories justice if I tried, it is their stories; you have to listen to the radio to catch the snippets.

And just wait till you hear some of their favorite parts of the holidays!  The traditions, so many are centered around food, children, laughter, and neighbors.   The memories will make you tear up, laugh, cheer and smile.  There is not one of us that can’t help but relate to each others stories of the holidays in some small way and reminisce about our own.   And sitting there watching others tell their stories was simply delightful.  It reminded me of what it felt like one Christmas when I was alone with my husband, battling cancer and so lonely.  It was definitely not my favorite Christmas but I was grateful to be alive. There are others in Nashville and elsewhere that spend the season alone but needing someone. Invite them into your holiday festivities.  They may provide one of your best memories yet.

When you hear about an Angel Tree, be an angel for just one trip to Wallyworld or wherever you shop.  Treat one child or adult with a heartfelt gift.   Listen to the stories that are told on Mix 92.9 and you may find yourself jotting down ideas for new traditions or simply laughing with glee in between singing Christmas songs!


Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year are in close proximity but the season of living thankfully, merrily and always beginning each day anew should be a constant.  

Love and joy come to you and may all your season's wishes come true.
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