Christmas of my dreams

Posted 12/17/17

We have bookshelf speakers on our great-room mantle and a component stereo system in the corner. In the cabinet is a CD player, a cassette deck, and a record player. We have Christmas music in all three formats. Each December, we pull them out and dust them off. If you walk up to our door during daylight hours, you’ll likely hear old familiar Christmas melodies drifting from those speakers.

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Christmas of my dreams

Posted

We have bookshelf speakers on our great-room mantle and a component stereo system in the corner. In the cabinet is a CD player, a cassette deck, and a record player. We have Christmas music in all three formats. Each December, we pull them out and dust them off. If you walk up to our door during daylight hours, you’ll likely hear old familiar Christmas melodies drifting from those speakers.

We have over 50 Christmas CDs. In the stack is an eclectic mix that people from almost any age would enjoy. Back in the early ‘90s, we bought a Time/Life boxset of Christmas music. Our music ranges from classical to Leon Redbone’s “Christmas Island.” Playing music first thing in the morning gets our days started off on the right foot.

Some songs make me laugh. An example is Robert Earl Keene’s “Christmas from the Family.” I even like songs that make me feel sad. “Blue Christmas,” as sung by Elvis, is a good example, but “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” performed by Judy Garland, makes me feel melancholy. The Carpenter’s “Christmas” album also makes me sad. Karen died too soon. And then there’s “Silent Night.” If there is a more beautiful Christmas song, I’ve never heard it.

Several years ago, Jilda and I went to Nashville the weekend after Thanksgiving. We stayed with our songwriting buddy Tracy Reynolds and her husband, Eric. After writing a few songs, we were in the groove. We could feel it.

Jilda suggested that we write a Christmas song. We’d never tried to write one together, so the idea resonated. I toyed with some chord changes and began humming. Jilda and Tracy started making a list of things we wanted to say and things we DIDN’T want to say about Christmas. Understanding what you don’t want to say is one of the most important parts of writing a song.

The evolution of our song was slow at first until Jilda hit on the idea of “Christmas of my Dreams.” It wasn’t long after her father died, and the memory was still raw for her. We all smiled because that idea was one that captured all the things we love about Christmas.

After we scribbled the first line on paper, the rest of the song wrote itself. I don’t recall who thought of what lines. All I know is that within a few minutes, we were singing the demo into my handheld recorder. Here are the lyrics:

Outside looks like a postcard

All is silent tonight

Snowflakes big as quarters

Shine in the front porch light

The tree fills up the corner

The whole room smells of pine

We’ve just hung all the stockings

It’s hot cider time

Chorus

Everyone that I’ve ever loved

Friends and family

Have come together to celebrate

The Christmas of my dreams

Tonight no one goes hungry

Nobody’s in need

Every child is smiling

The whole world is at peace

Bridge

Miracles can happen

Even in this day and time

I’ll hold on with all my heart

To this dream of mine

Everyone that I’ve ever loved

Friends and family

Have come together to celebrate

The Christmas of my dreams

Christmas is an emotional holiday. Of course, there’s joy. Just look into the face of a child during December, and you will see joy personified. Excitement is in the air. We will have an opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family this year. But for me, there is also sadness in knowing so many of the people I love won’t be here celebrating Christmas with us – unless, I have the Christmas of my dreams.

Rick Watson is a columnist and author. His latest book, “Life Goes On,” is available on Amazon.com. You can contact him via email at rick@homefolkmedia.com.