The day after Thanksgiving, we have a tradition: we play Christmas music. For me, it's REALLY Christmas when I hear the Doug Stone Christmas album. It came out back in 1992, which was the year after I graduated high school and before I went off to college...I was totally in limbo that year. I was working at Kids Mart and the Gap, and trying to figure out who I was. My brother was in the Marines, on a ship somewhere across the world. All I know is, he wasn't able to come home for Christmas that year and it was hard for all of us. I remember shopping and packing boxes of Christmas to send to him, from a tiny tree to cookies to of course, clothes from the Gap. Everybody got clothes from the Gap that year...man, that was a great discount!
Anyway, back to Doug Stone. I just love the songs--there's one about someone he thinks of when December comes around (I have a friend who I miss the most in December, so I always think of him when I hear that song, even 20 years later!), a song about a child who learns how to give, and the tearjerker, "Sailing Home for Christmas." That song is hard to listen to right now with so many of our men and women not just away from home at Christmas, but at war. It's a beautiful song, though, and it always reminds me of that Christmas that Ronny couldn't come home and it makes me appreciate, even more, being able to spend time with my family at the holidays. Life's busy these days. We could totally say, you know what, let's just not worry about celebrating Thanksgiving or Christmas together anymore. But it would suck--for me, it's not a holiday without seeing my family and sharing memories and food and just TIME. That's a rare thing these days, and a precious one. I'm looking forward to lots of things this Christmas...but family time is the one I'm looking forward to the most.
OH! And one last thing about this CD--I had the cassette originally, and after 10 years it was just worn out. I think I'd even bought a 2nd one because I listened to it so much. Anyway, one year James tracked down the CD for me on eBay since he couldn't find it in any store...so when I see the CD, I think of him, working to track it down just to surprise me and make me smile. He's always doing thoughtful things like that, and I love him even more for it. :)
Check out Doug Stone's CD if you can--it's a great one!