Psychologists will tell you that as your life marches along, family members pass away and the Christmas Seasons in memory start becoming your own personal ancient history, it's important to establish new Christmas traditions.
One of my personal traditions is my Christmas playlist, which I wrote about here last year. I'm getting old. I repeat myself.
I started it back in 2000 when I was immersed in a big project at work. Having holiday tunes playing in my office kept things from getting gloomy.
Always a part of my Christmas playlist is John Altenburgh's Christmas at Buzz's Restaurant, which is now available on iTunes. I don't think it was last Christmas. The iTunes summary is accurate. It features Jazzy versions of many traditional songs as well as some fun originals.
The title track is a warm, sentimental perennial for me at Christmas. I don't know if there ever was a Buzz's in Keelerville, WI, but the lyrics evoke a feeling of nostalgia for Christmas pasts that seems real and connects me with my own long ago memories.
Here's my complete playlist for this year, assembled from my album collection, free downloads and digital purchases:
1. Silent Night - John Altenburgh - Christmas at Buzz's Restaurant
2. Nollaig Na Mban - Cormac Breatnach - Celtic Christmas
3. 7 O'Clock News/Silent Night - Simon and Garfunkle - Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
4. Christmas Time Is Here - Vince Guaraldi - A Charlie Brown Christmas
5. Christmas at Buzz's Restaurant - John Altenburgh - Christmas at Buzz's Restaurant
6. In the Bleak Midwinter - Allison Crowe - Tidings
7. Better Days - The Goo Goo Dolls
8. King Holly, King Oak - Johnny Cunningham - Celtic Christmas
9. Jingle Bells - Diana Krall & The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra - Christmas Songs
10. Jingle Bells - James Taylor - James Taylor at Christmas (It was free last week and this version and the Diana Crall version offer wildly different interpretations of the tune.)
11. Christmas Story - John Altenburgh - Christmas at Buzz's Restaurant
12. All I Want for Christmas is You (So So Def Remix) Mariah Carey featuring JD & Lil' Bow Wow - All I Want for Christmas (You gotta mix things up)
13. Little Drummer Boy - Johnny Cash - The Christmas Album
14. Snow On High Ground - Nightnoise - Celtic Christmas
15. Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy- Bing Crosby & David Bowie - Bing Crosby - Christmas Classics (I know, I know, !?. It's from, I believe Crosby's last Christmas TV special, sentimental for me because I remember watching with my family back in the day. The 4 minute version includes the lead-in.)
If you have Christmas favorites, please share.