Over the next several weeks, towards Christmas Day I will be sharing the stories behind my Christmas songs. Reminiscing is a powerful exercise for me, because it means I get to see how the birth of the Christ child has affected my life from childhood to where I am today. If you have entertained a writing career, or you would like to at least journal some of your memories down on paper for your children and grandchildren, then join me this Christmas Season.
The photo below has helped me start this project. Pictures are always helpful in writing projects. You could also start by finding an old photo from your Christmas past.
Christmas on the farm, when I was a child, was hiding with my sister between an old brown recliner and the furnace. Dare I say at 6:00 a.m. in the morning? Sometimes earlier! We had to catch a glimpse of what Santa brought us underneath our Christmas tree, which sat in the far east corner on a loud seventies blue patterned indoor/outdoor carpet. We thought we were quiet, that our whispers couldn’t be heard. Mom always knew and would tip-toe out to our hiding place and gently coax us back to bed. I never knew then I would have the chance to write down my stories in song, and one day share them through recordings. The front cover of my Christmas Album is a photograph of myself, my three siblings and a snowman, standing in the snow on the farm, two miles north of Olds, Alberta. As I continue to share these Christmas stories you will eventually find out what heart breaking family event inspired me to make the album.
Christmas in town, when there were just three of us born into the world thus far, is harder to remember, but I am thankful for old family photos. The back cover of my Christmas Album is a picture of myself and only two of my siblings, (the fourth and final addition would arrive two years later) opening presents on Christmas morning. The photo boasts curlers in my hair, and a less frightening carpet than I described above, and you can tell the coffee table is mid-century modern. I think the photo dates to nineteen sixty eight. I guess I could call my brother and ask him what year he was born. I think it's interesting to note for all you Olds-ites out there, that the living room in the photo was located in a brick brownstone right across from Olds College grounds. In fact, where the Pomeroy Inn and Suites sits today, use to be the apple orchard I played in as a kid.
‘Shining this Christmas’ is the last track on my Christmas Album, released in 2002. It is a contemporary upbeat celebration of Christ’s birth, and how the hope He has brought into the world, has affected my life through the years. I remember working with a children’s Sunday school class and using this song for the Christmas Pageant, sparkle and stars, and tiny faces lit up with joy, as we swayed and sang to the accompaniment track. I am delighted to report that my Christmas Album is available on my website, AND the accompaniment tracks to each song are available as well. Everyone is always looking for a song, old or new, to sing at Christmas time. I am so thankful for technology, when it works of course, because sharing music has become as simple as clicking a button.
Before I wrap this first story up I should let you know that I am going to be posting some of the related sheet music on site as well. This song happens to have a very catchy piano part, which makes it so fun to play.