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!

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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!

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.

 

Saturday Night Serenade–Oh, For A Pint On A Fall Night

Happy November!  Can it be possible that the holidays are right around the corner?  Oh, it CAN be–judging by the sudden onslaught of Christmas displays in the stores and the commercials on television.

Last weekend was cool here in south Florida.  A/C was turned off, windows were opened, a fresh breeze whisked away all the stale air from the house.  We even had a fire in the fireplace a couple of nights.  This weekend is more or less back to normal for this time of year–bright sunshine and low humidity with high temps around 80.

But last weekend put me in a mood.  I want to escape to a pub in Galway, and sip a pint of Guinness while listening to a local band.

I love this song by Ed Sheeran, and I adore this video even more.  Join me for a pint, and celebrate this beautiful fall evening.  Be sure to hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  Can you believe it’s nearly November?  It’s almost legitimately time for holiday commercials.  Nevermind that I saw my first Christmas commercial on October 10.  And yes, I was keeping track.  Thank you, Hallmark Channel.

Mr. R and I had a blast at last week’s Halloween party.  It was great to catch up with friends we haven’t seen in a while, and to meet some new people, too.  In spite of the fact that it was a Will Farrell-themed event, I went as a Gothic vampire.  But Mr. R ended up with a unique and theme-appropriate, although perhaps not public-appropriate costume, as Ron Burgundy in the pool party scene.

Yeah, he was sans-a-shirt all night, beneath a little bathrobe .  He wore dark shorts over blue BVDs, and managed to drop trou at one point in the evening, all the while shouting, “Cannonball!”  In his all-in devotion to the moment, he even shaved off his goatee and colored his hair and mustache, only to be outdone in commitment by a guy who came as James Lipton (and yes, he was in Bewitched with Will Farrell, I had to look it up), who shaved the top of his head to emulate the self-important drama guru’s receding hairline.

Tonight, however, is a quiet night at home.  We’ve had a bit of a cool front, so there might be a fire in the fireplace, who knows?  I mean, the evening temperature’s hovering in the high 60s.  Fuzzy socks have made their annual appearance.

For tonight’s two-fer serenade, I’ve picked two of my favorite Halloween songs.  The first is the late, great Warren Zevon with Werewolves of London.  Kid Rock sampled this in his song, All Summer Long, but he called it Sweet Home Alabama.  Nuh-unh, Kid, you can’t fool us.

Okay, the second one isn’t so much a Halloween song as it is a spooky video.  But it’s one of my guilty pleasures, so please bear with me.  Don’t miss Antonio Fargas as the driver of the broken-down bus.

I hope you have a great Halloween.  Save a few of your favorite treats for yourself.  Be sure and hug the ones you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–It’s My Birthday!

I’ve always loved October.  It’s fall.  In many places, the weather is cooler.  The leaves are starting to change.  And I mean, what kid doesn’t love Halloween?  Plus…my birthday is in October.  Today, to be precise.  And you know what?  I’m feeling good.

In the past year, I’ve walked away from a career that was increasingly becoming unbearable.  With support and encouragement from my love, I’ve plunged into the deep end, embracing writing as my full-time career.  And I’ve published two new books, bringing my bibliography to eight, with the next two on the horizon.  I’m literally living the dream.

This song by Nina Simone pretty much sums it up.  And incidentally, Nina Simone is a nominee for this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees.  If you haven’t voted yet, make sure you do.

I hope you’re feeling good, too.  Be sure to hug the ones you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Birds flyin’ high, you know how I feel
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by, you know how I feel
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me
Yeah, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me, ooooooooh
And I’m feelin’ goodFish in the sea, you know how I feel
River runnin’ free, you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree, you know how I feel
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me
And I’m feelin’ goodDragonfly out in the sun, you know what I mean, don’t you know
Butterflies all havin’ fun, you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done: that’s what I mean
And this old world is a new world and a bold world for me

Stars when you shine, you know how I feel
Scent of the pine, you know how I feel
Oh, freedom is mine, and I know how I feel
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me

And I’m feelin’… good