If you were reading this blog last December, then you already know about my great love and respect for the Christmas music of Andy Williams. But just in case you weren't, I'll recap. Every Christmas season when my sister and I were kids, my mom played one of Andy Williams's holiday tapes, (then later, CDs), for us, a tradition she carried over from her own mother, who started it all with the record. As a result, I've always associated those happy tunes with tree trimming, cookie baking, and shopping (okay, mostly shopping, as the tape was the soundtrack for many a mall pilgrimage). To this day, it just isn't Christmas until I've heard Andy belt out the fabulously kitschy "so hoop-de-do and dickory-dock and don't forget to hang up your sock" of his signature "Happy Holiday/It's the Holiday Season."
For me, Christmas began yesterday. December 9 was admittedly a little late to be getting things started. As if to make up for all those wasted days, I belted out each song with added gusto, all the while naively thinking I had a pretty good voice, as most people probably do when their own untrained chords are masked by the recordings of professionals.
So, what's my favorite Andy song? I have to go with the aforementioned "Happy Holiday/It's the Holiday Season." But I also enjoy Andy's more well-known "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." (Remember when it was featured in that back-to-school Staples commercial a few years back? The one where the dad is joyfully flinging highlighters and notebooks into a shopping cart while his kids look on glumly?) Fab though the song is though, one line has always perturbed me: "There'll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago." What's with the ghost stories? Are they sitting around a campfire or something? In the snow? It's Christmas, not Halloween. (I realize that Andy isn't to blame for this gaffe, as he didn't write the lyrics. That honor goes to Eddie Pola and George Wyla. Or at least it does according to http://www.answers.com/ or whatever search engine I queried.)
Scary ghost stories or not, hearing Andy Williams's Christmas carols again has inspired me to get on with the season already, to hang those last ornaments and buy those last gifts and forget all about life's daily hiccups to embrace the magic of the season.
Thanks, Andy. I know it wasn't easy.