Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The Music of Christmas - Part Three

When I think of Christmas, naturally I think of my mom.  And while she wasn't really into all the decorating, although there was always a tree a few small items set about on the table, what mom loved about Christmas was the food, especially baking Christmas cookies. She also enjoyed going on drives after dinner to see the Christmas lights. 

We were blessed for most of the years of my childhood to live near a neighborhood that went all out at Christmas with every street having a different theme, like Candy Cane Lane (my favorite), and I remember a street with large oversized Christmas cards made out of wood depicting various Christmasy images. It was so much fun! 

Sitting by the tree and listening to Christmas music was something my dad loved to do, and Mom would always join in. But more than listening to the music Mom really loved watching tv, especially the Christmas variety specials that were popular in the day, such as The Bob Hope Christmas Special, The Dean Martin Christmas Show, and Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas. But of all the variety shows that mom enjoyed watching, especially at Christmas, there was one artist that stood out high above the rest, Andy Williams. My mom simply adored the man! She listened to his music year round, but she especially loved his Christmas music and yearly holiday shows. 

I was excited when I came across this video, posted on You Tube, which is a compilation of his Christmas specials from 1962 to 1973.


In addition to the yearly variety shows, Andy Williams had a number of Christmas albums and my mom owned several of them. But the one I recall with the most fondness is The Andy Williams Christmas Album.


This was another album that we listened to regularly at Christmas, and my mom's favorite song was Oh Holy Night. I would have to say on this album favorites are;

The Holiday Season

The Christmas Song

and

It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

I have many fond memories of baking with my mom.  After I got married and had children we typically celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve. My mom usually made finger sandwiches, a couple of different kinds of dip and chips and TONS of different types of candies and cookies. I still have the recipes for the cookies she made, and her recipe for butter cookies is by far my favorite. 

BUTTER COOKIES 
1 lb. butter 
4 c. flour 
1 c. chopped pceans 
1 c. sugar 
1 Tbsp. vanilla 

Cream butter and sugar. Mix in flour until well blended. Stir in pecans and vanilla. Drop by spoonsful on to ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. 

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