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–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–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–Thinking Out Loud

Ready or not, it’s the holiday season.  Seems like as soon as the Trick or Treaters trotted home with their sugar-inducing haul, retailers shifted into holiday mode.  Like aging rocker Billy Mack says, “Christmas is all around us, and so the feeling grows.”

But first, here in the States, we’re gearing up for Thanksgiving this Thursday.  I love Thanksgiving.  I love the way the aroma of turkey roasting in the oven permeates the whole house.  I love to watch the Macy’s parade on television, especially the Broadway performances on the street right in front of the store.  I love the roll-out of classic holiday movies, like Love Actually.

More than that, though, I appreciate having a reminder to be thankful for all the ways I’m blessed.  And I am.  I’m a lucky girl.  I’m healthy, I have a great home, this year I walked away from a job I hated to live the dream of being a full-time writer.

On the domestic front, having survived a season in hell, I’m living my happily-ever-after with a man who loves me more than life itself.  When I first heard Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran, I thought of us, and how thankful I am that we found each other.  Here’s a little snippet of the lyrics.

When your legs don’t work like they used to before
And I can’t sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love?
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks?

And, darling, I will be loving you ’til we’re 70
And, baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23
And I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Well, me—I fall in love with you every single day
And I just wanna tell you I am

So, honey, now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
Maybe we found love right where we are

Our lives aren’t perfect.  We worry about finances.  We have two out of three collective adult children who currently aren’t speaking to us (gotta love millennials).  But we have each other, and we’re a great team.  And so I’m thankful.

Just thinking out loud.  Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Be sure and hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Oh, and as a bonus, here’s your old Uncle Billy.