Whenever the subject of poetry comes up — and I’m a bit surprised how often that is — I’m the first to say I don’t much like it. But you know what I LOVE? Lyrics. I know. Tomato, tomahto.
There’s been a Facebook thingy going around asking what your favorite Christmas song is. I didn’t answer it because, well, it seems too hard to choose and I’m tired of doing hard things lately. But while I was eating breakfast this morning, I finally pulled out all our holiday CDs.
I’m getting a late start this year because I’m in the final, agonizing stages of birthing a new novel and it’s requiring all my focus and grey matter. Not even fudge or egg nog could tear me away—aw, who am I kidding? If I had fudge or egg nog, I’d be as distracted as a Golden Retriever at a tennis ball factory run by squirrels.
But while I was listening to carols this morning, I tried to determine which was my favorite. And it WAS hard! So I did what I always do when something is hard … I cheated. Instead of just one song, I separated my choices into categories.
The first category is SECULAR. And for this I chose “The Christmas Waltz,” elegant and jazzy when Nancy Wilson does it. And isn’t that album cover cool? So retro.
Second is CHURCHY. For this I chose “Once in Royal David’s City.” This version by the Chieftains and the Renaissance Singers simply can’t be beat.
The third category is DANCABLE and I can’t believe there are any choices but “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Argue if you must, but I’m ignoring you.
Fourth is FAVORITE TO SING. Don’t get me wrong; I sing all of them. Even the ones without lyrics. (I do a fabulous “Linus and Lucy.”) But my Very Favorite to Sing is “Do You Hear What I Hear.” If you were here, you would hear me, singing not only Johnny Mathis’ part, but all the choral parts too. Not to brag, but it’s quite spectacular and exhausting. It’s also a lot of fun, you should try it.
And the last category is GUARANTEED TO MAKE ME CRY. Those who know me, know that just about everything falls into this category, but there’s one I wanted to single out this year; the song that got me to thinking about my favorites today.
I haven’t been in the holiday spirit lately, yes, because I’m crazybusy, but also because we are empty nesters and don’t have any kids coming home this year. Both Navy boys will be here in February, though, and we saw our Oregon daughter in September, so don’t feel bad for me.
But this song — “Home on Christmas Day” — made me sob through my scrambled eggs this morning.
The lyrics spoke to me, like good poetry should.
“Home On Christmas Day”
And now that winter’s here soon it will be Christmas
I see your face so clear though you’re far away
Your home is in my heart, it’s everywhere I go
And I’ll be waiting here ’til you’re home to stay
I think of winters past we were all together
The sweetest memories all come into play
Your voice rings in my ear just to let me know
That you’ll be here with me home on Christmas Day
Angels calling from up high will bring a starry sky
To light the frosted ground below
So you will know your way back home tonight
A candle burns so bright to show the way
I’ll make a silent wish just for you this Christmas
To keep you safe and warm never led astray
That everywhere you go you’re sheltered from the storm
And that my Christmas wish is with you every day
Angels calling down to say they’ll always know the way
To lift you ’til you soar so high
That I will see you in the sky above
My Christmas gift of love will guide you back
And now I promise you with all my heart this Christmas
That all the love we shared will never go away
Your spirit’s everywhere and I hope you know
That you are always here home on Christmas Day
Home on Christmas Day
I’ll make a silent wish that you enjoy the poetry of the season, wherever you find it.