Posts Tagged ‘holiday songs’

Christmas – This Year & Last

December 11, 2020

On Sunday, September 9, 2001, I flew home from a conference in San Diego to my then-home in San Antonio.  Everything about that day’s travel was just…weird.  My original flight got cancelled, and they re-routed me, way over-shooting Texas to connect through Atlanta.  About midnight, I staggered through the Atlanta airport, in a state of disembodied fatigue, boarding my last plane to get home.  I remember trying repeatedly to shove my carry-on bag into the overhead compartment, but it just wouldn’t fit, which was blowing my mind, because it always fit overhead bins.  My foggy brain couldn’t compute why this plane seemed to have shrunk, even though, at that moment it wasn’t questioning that in some Twilight Zone world, it actually HAD.

The plane, I finally figured out, was one of those ¾ sized ones we saw much more of in in the years to follow, but in 2001, they were rare enough to fool me into a jet-lagged brain-fry.

Why do I share this story?  Because less than 48 hours later, a cosmic, karmic wave hit, as the Twin Towers came down and changed our world forever. And I had the uncanny sense that the event had been rippling out in time, backward as well as forward, disturbing the matrix as far ahead as that Sunday of my very odd travels.

Which leads me up to 2020.  Can you actually sense big events as they make their way over the horizon?  To me, 2020 spilled backward into Christmas 2019.  Much more than this year, Christmas 2020, the holiday season of 2019 felt as if it had an underpinning of impending doom.  Christmas projects, at least for me, were wrapped in as much tension as joy.

Which led me to write a Christmas song as a personal expression of the stress and struggle that permeated my senses, while searching for the underlying Love that I knew was there.

Then 2020 hit.  If nothing else, my year at home focused me on artistic projects, and, as this holiday season approached, I had the idea to “do something” with the Christmas song from last year that seems to capture this year even more accurately.

There was a certain irony, in that a big stressor last year was that I was trying to produce a “major” video project, “How the Grinch Stole Pawpa and Cece’s Christmas Gifts”, otherwise known as “11 minutes of your life you’ll never get back”.  Technology fought me at every step, and I ended up crashing the software, and the project with it.  I’m sorry to say I did not handle that period with grace.

This year, armed with new, better software, I managed to crash that, too.  But there are Christmas Miracles, otherwise known as the Apple Help Desk.  This year was a triumph of avoiding emotional meltdowns.  Thank you, Santa!

I hope you enjoy the new video, and the song, “Christmas This Year”, written last year, and my gift to everyone who weathered This Year.  May 2021 bring a new song for us all.

And now, for the BONUS ROUND: There are 8 very familiar Christmas carols musically referenced in this arrangement. A couple are pretty subtle. How many can you find? (see below for the answers, but don’t peek ’til you’ve given it a listen or two!)

Christmas songs within the song:

  1. Good King Wenceslas
  2. Away in a Manger
  3. Twelve Days of Christmas
  4. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  5. Joy to the World
  6. Jingle Bells
  7. Silent Night
  8. Little Drummer Boy

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