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I miss my mom and dad and brother this time of year.  Though DH and I are headed off to PA today to meet with what's left of my family, it won't be the same, ever.  As you grow older, you lose those you love, and holidays tend to make these times more poignant.

But I bring those happier times back each year now, by playing the songs that we shared, and I dedicate this diary to my folks. And to all of you who may be missing someone special this time of year.  

Please feel free to share a special tune that evokes the spirit of the holiday season for you.

I'd like to start off with my Dad's favorite holiday tune.  Though he was not a "believer" he always made sure we kids had a good Christmas, and often made toys for us when times were tight.  He grew up in Chicago and played in a High School band with his favorite croonster - Nat King Cole, so I will open with this classic:

Nat King Cole- Christmas Song

His daughter Natalie recorded his classic - I'm sure she misses her dad as much as I miss mine:

Natalie Remakes Her Fathers Christmas Classic.

My mom's tastes were different.  She liked more religious tunes, and her favorites were Oh Holy Night, and Ave Maria which she used to sing each year, in English, French and Latin.
She loved Johnny Mathis, so here are his versions:

Johnny Mathis - Oh Holy Night

Johnny Mathis - Ave Maria

I think back to my teenage years - and do-wop tunes, singing on street corners in harmony with my friends, and the sounds of 45 records being spun on my local top 40 station. Though my parents objected, we tended to play everything "loud".  My girlfriends and I would dance around and sing - and I'd try to do the falsetto parts and fail.

A classic group from that time was the Drifters, led by Clyde McPhatter:

White Christmas; The Drifters with Clyde McPhatter

And our local heart-throb was a kid from my cousin's block - Frankie Lymon:

Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers - It's Christmas Once Again

Our holiday music at home usually included something by Aretha Franklin.  Here's her version of Hark the Herald Angels Sing:

Dad would always find a jazz tune to slip in, and no Christmas would be complete without some Ella.

Ella Fitzgerald - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

My grandmother preferred Ray Charles:

Winter Wonderland By Ray Charles

So what music evokes holiday memories for you and yours?

Please feel free to share here :)

Hugs to all.

Originally posted to Denise Oliver Velez on Thu Dec 25, 2008 at 03:43 AM PST.

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