camus-solstice-jpbNext Wednesday, December 21, is the Winter Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere. (For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, well, enjoy a nice, long, day full of light and Vitamin D. We’ll be thinking of you.) Some people consider the shortest day/longest night to be the middle of Winter, but no. Winter just seems to be starting its roll right about now and we’ll slog through it for another two to three months, depending on how far north in this hemisphere we are.

For S. A. Young, who as you know lives in Boston, MA, that may mean that mountains of dirty snow will still be hanging around refusing to melt until June. For K. R. Brorman who lives on the plains of the Texas panhandle, that may mean her roses will be budding in April. Pour moi, I’m vaguely in the middle, but at some altitude in the Appalachian mountains, so I’ll still be wearing a coat in March, but maybe won’t have to shovel snow after February…

This is the screenshot I just took of my current weather situation…

Please note the "Real Feel" and the wind speed...gah, it's cold!

Please note the “Real Feel” and the wind speed…gah, it’s cold!

Yeah, Winter is most definitely here.

Still, temps aside, I’ve been acting like it’s Winter since Thanksgiving — decorating for the holidays and listening to Christmas music. I always do this…listen strictly to Christmas music from Thanksgiving through, well, at least the day after Christmas.

When I was a very little kid, this is the album¹ my parents listened to and so will always be the soundtrack of my Christmas memories.

franks-christmas-album-coverWhen I got older and moved into my first apartment and had my first and very own Christmas tree, I sought and bought this album — it wouldn’t be Christmas without it. By then, my little sister — who is a savant for music and lyrics, no matter the genre, I’ve never seen her stumped — was also hooked into this recording and, to this day, she and I can sing along to this entire album, including all the flourishes and chorus sound effects. Here’s maybe my favorite cut. Well, it is today, anyway.

 

My playlist is vast and covers many decades and styles of performance. I’ve worn out and had to replace some of my Mannheim Steamroller CDs over the years…

 

New Age musicians really have a magical way of interpreting the classics.

 

But, for sheer perfection, there has never been anyone who could perform “Santa Baby” like Eartha Kitt!

 

So, while the wind is howling outside, I’m cozy with Fergus and the last cup of hot coffee, listening to a jazzy version of “Let There Be Peace on Earth”. I wish that for you, for all of us.

¹as in, a vinyl LP that was played on the “hi-fi”, later the stereo. As a teen, I had it on cassette so I could play it in my VW Bug while commuting to school, now it’s in my collection on CD, of course.