Saturday Night Serenade–Merry Christmas!

Here at Chez R, we’re done with all the hustle and bustle.  We’ve decorated all we’re going to.  Gifts are purchased, wrapped, packed up, and shipped off.  We expect to spend a quiet holiday here at home, with a short drive across town to visit family Christmas afternoon.

So tonight I’m in a mellow mood, with a little mix of old and new.  The first song, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, is from John Legend’s new Christmas album.

I can never resist The Christmas Waltz, this version by the legendary Bing Crosby.  I was an adult the first time I can remember hearing this song.  I had just moved to Florida, and Publix was running a heart-felt holiday ad featuring it in the background.  (Publix has a knack for making commercials that leave you needing tissues, I’m just saying…)

And finally, as promised, more Pentatonix.  I love this version of Mary, Did You Know?  I think it hits me as the mom of two baby boys.  Yes, they’re both pushing 30, but still.  They’ll always be my baby boys.

I’ll leave you with warm wishes from Mr. R and me for a wonderful Merry Christmas.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Christmas Favorites

Everybody has a favorite Christmas song.  Maybe you even have more than one.  I think my favorite is All I Want for Christmas by Mariah Carey.  And the one with Jimmy Fallon and TheRoots playing classroom instruments is my absolute favorite version.  Be sure to watch for the pop-up kids–they crack me up!

The song features prominently in my favorite Christmas movie, Love Actually.  Here at Chez R, we always make sure we watch it some time during the Christmas season.  It’s one of our traditions.

Another tradition is heading to downtown West Palm Beach to see the Sandi Tree, a HUGE Christmas tree built entirely out of sand, down on the waterfront.  Every half-hour or so they do a whole program with music and lights.  It’s lots of fun.

What are your own traditions?  How about the ones in your area?

I hope you’re having a wonderful evening surrounded by those you love.  Be sure to give them a hug.

And just because I love you, I’m leaving you with Billy Mack (actor Bill Nighy in Love Actually) with his holiday hit, Christmas Is All Around.  If you haven’t seen the movie, seriously!  Do.

Happy Saturday night!

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!

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!