Saturday Night Serenade–Christmas Blues

Only two more weekends until Christmas!  Have you finished all your shopping?  Here at Chez R, we have not.  Finances being what they are, we’re scraping up what we can to put together what will be a lean Christmas for our loved ones.  Everyone should manage to get a little something, but it won’t be like it has been in years past.

Mr. R and I are last on the list, but that’s okay.  We have what’s important anyway, the kind of thing that can’t be wrapped and put under a tree.  And I’m perfectly content with that, as long as we get something out to the family.

I’m looking forward to Christmas Day itself.  It should be calm and bright, no hustle or bustle.  In fact, it will be the first day I can plan on sleeping late for the foreseeable future.

As content as I am, I’m still in the mood for a little Christmas blues, so I’m starting out with the incomparable B.B. King.  There are many versions of Merry Christmas Baby, but his is the best.

The second helping (the B-side, LOL) is Jon Bon Jovi with Please Come Home for Christmas.

I hope you’re snuggled warm and safe with those you love.  Be sure to give them a hug.  Happy Saturday night!

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Saturday Night Serenade–It’s the Holiday Season

I LOVE the Christmas season!   The tree is up and we’re all decorated here at Chez R.  I confess, our shopping isn’t finished yet, but it will be soon.  But I’m thrilled  for the holiday season.  November was brutal–bring on the Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Men!

I’m also excited about all the great music.  I’ve had this Andy Williams holiday classic stuck in my head for days.

“…so hoop-de-do, and dickory dock, and don’t forget to hang up your sock…”  It’s infectious.  It just makes me happy, so I hope you enjoy this tour of Christmastime Manhattan while Andy Williams sings.

There are so many great songs, it’s hard to choose.  I had to add this old standard with a Pentatonix twist.  I promise, it won’t be the last of their songs for the month of December.

I hope you’re with those you love tonight, all warm and safe.  Be sure to give them a hug.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–We Need a Little Christmas

Happy last Saturday of November!
If you’re in the US, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Here at Chez R, we had a nice, peaceful day, with a delicious meal for which we were truly thankful.

Have you ever felt like you need a little Christmas?
We live in Palm Beach County, and we just survived a nasty, contentious election season that ended with the recount from Hell.  Ultimately, I stopped caring about who won or lost.  Just get the friggin’ thing over with, and let’s get on with our lives.

Somewhere along the way, we’ve lost sight of the fact that we’re all on the same side.  We all love our country, and we believe in liberty and justice for all.  We all love our families, and we want to leave behind us a world that’s better than the one into which we were born.  It’s beyond disheartening to see everything turned into Us vs Them.

To be honest, I was ready to decorate for Christmas back in September.  I just wanted a little something to lift the spirits, to distract from the angry, spiteful, false, fear-based rhetoric lambasting us from all sides.

But this holiday weekend, Mr. R and I finally dragged in all the boxes from the garage and set up the tree.  He decorated the fireplace (since it’s still in the 80s, we won’t be needing it anytime soon), and we have a start on the outside lights.  Because we need a little Christmas now.

This version of the holiday classic is from the 1974 movie Mame, and it features the divine Lucille Ball.  If you need a little Christmas like I do, this should be just the thing.

I’ll leave you with a photo of our finished tree.  Normally there’s a cat curled up beneath it, but she must have wandered off.  It’s covered with ornaments we’ve gathered over the years, and things the kids made somewhere along the line.  Those are the most special decorations, now that they’re grown and out on their own.

I hope you’re still enjoying this long holiday weekend.  Be sure to hug the ones you love.

Happy Saturday night!

 

 

Saturday Night Serenade–Merry Christmas!

We’re here.  It’s Christmas Eve Eve.  And it’s all done.  Gifts are purchased, wrapped, shipped off to who knows where.  Decorating is finished.

If you ask me, that’s the beauty of Christmas falling on a Monday.  Now all that’s left to do is relax and enjoy.

I promised to be more grown up this week.  I’ve pulled a beautiful video of Bing Crosby singing a beautiful song.  I cannot tell a lie.  For whatever reason, I’d never heard this song until the year, over 25 years ago now, when we moved to Florida between Christmas and New Years.  Publix, known for their tear-jerker holiday ads, was running a commercial featuring The Christmas Waltz, and I fell in love with it.

Tonight’s second song is a powerful, rock-anthem rendition of a traditional favorite by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  Their Carol of the Bells is beautiful, but can you imagine living next door to this family?  Holy cow!

There have been countless recordings of this third song.  It’s really a Christmas Eve staple.  The beauty of Josh Groban’s version of O Holy Night gives me chills, it’s so amazing.

And…
Because I can’t resist…
One final, perhaps slightly less than grown up song, I leave you with the Dropkick Murphy’s and The Season’s Upon Us.  What can I say?  They put the fun in ‘dysfunctional’.

May your holiday be happy and bright, and may you enjoy a peaceful Christmas surrounded by those you love.  Be sure to give them a hug.

Happy Saturday night!  And Merry Christmas from the Rs!

Saturday Night Serenade–Only My Most Favorite Christmas Song Ever

We’re moving ever closer to Christmas, and you-know-what is getting real.  This week, I did a ton of final holiday shopping online.  It’s convenient, but then the waiting begins.  Will it all arrive in time for me to wrap it, box it, and send it to the four corners of the world?  Okay, mostly it goes to central Pennsylvania and eastern Nebraska, but still.

Next Saturday is the 23rd, or as I like to refer to it, Christmas Eve Eve.  I’ll attempt to pull it together and be adult in my song choice, but tonight, I’m bringing you a three-fer, three different versions of my favorite Christmas song, Mariah Carey’s iconic All I Want for Christmas.  The song features prominently in one of my favorite holiday movies (go figure), Love Actually.

The first version is a shortie by uber-talented ginger, Ed Sheeran.  I love him so much!

I love this next version for so many reasons.  The Roots are actually playing the song on classroom instruments, so that appeals to the teacher in me.  Everyone is so joyous, having a great time.  And the pop-up kids crack me up!

But this final version may be my favorite.  You’ve got not only Mariah Carey, toss in Adele, Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, Sir Elton John, the Chili Peppers, and more.  And they’re all having so much fun, you can’t help but have fun, too.

The world is a crazy place these days.  Isn’t it nice to just forget about all that and embrace the joy that is Christmas?

Find your own slice of joy tonight, and be sure to hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Baby, It’s Christmas

I don’t know where you are, but baby, it’s COLD outside.  Here in south Florida, we’re having a front move through.  Yesterday we hit a record high of 87.  Now, at 1:00 pm, it’s 66 and dropping fast.  You know it’s serious when the fuzzy socks and the Cornelia Marie sweatshirt come out.

For this second weekend of December, I’m breaking out the baby songs.  I love Merry Christmas, Baby.  One of my favorite versions is the one by Cheryl Crow, but this version by The Boss is cool.

And I couldn’t resist this fun spin on Santa Baby from America’s Got Talent.  I just smiled the whole time.  I hope you enjoy them both.

The forecast for tonight is temps in the FORTIES, and I predict a fire in the fireplace and a nice glass of wine.  Bundle up where you are and be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–It’s December!

Well, it’s done.  The tree is up and decorated.  The dining room table is ready in all its festive glory.  The outside lights are up, including three 3-D twinkling snowflakes in the front window, the new addition for this year.

I LOVE December!  And everything that comes with it.  The decorations, the food, the parties, the movies and television specials, and most especially the music.

I’ve become obsessed with Pentatonix.  Are you over them yet?  I know some people are, but they utterly fascinate me.  So I’ve pulled a two-fer for tonight’s serenade.  Mary Did You Know always touches my heart, maybe because I’m the mom of two baby boys.  Well, they’ll always be baby boys to me.  And this version of Carol of the Bells is so cool.

I’m wondering…
What are your favorites?

I hope you’re enjoying this first weekend of December.  Be sure to hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!