Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

December 21, 2013

Holiday thoughts

By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun

— For the many years that the Christmas season found me “behind a microphone” I must admit that I found myself growing weary around this time in December from the nearly-constant bombardment of Christmas music. You know the saying — too much of a good thing, right?

Having been away from that line of work for several years, I think I’ve actually grown accustomed to the seasonal songs like most folks — although I must admit to having had my fill of “Santa Baby” several weeks ago.

This year, there are three Christmas-related songs that I seem to be particularly enjoying more than others. Two are longtime favorites, while one is an old song with a new rendition.

“All I Want for Christmas is You” by Vince Vance and the Valiants (although the Mariah Carey version is good too) will always be near the top of the Christmas music tree for me. And while the years have brought us several versions of “the Valiants” it is hard to beat the vocal performance of Lisa Layne in what I generally refer to as “the original” version of that song. It speaks to the heart and breaks it down to a simple thought — “things” are not as important as having the love of your life in your life. I still find myself tearing up when I hear it.

You’ll have to bear with me on this next one. Those of you who know me very well at all will likely understand.

It’s “Run, Run Rudolph.”

Yep. I make no apologies for that, either.

Kelly Clarkson of American Idol fame included her version of that fun Christmas song on her latest album, and featured it in her recent Christmas special on TV. It’s probably one of the songs that has been on almost every rock- or pop-oriented Christmas album through the years.

To me, its just a fun song that makes me smile and forget about things for a few minutes, enjoying the music.

And I’m just sayin’ — there might be a dance involved on some supermarket surveillance video floating around out there. To date, a search of YouTube hasn’t turned it up, though.

Third on my list is a classic song by a classic artist — you just can’t beat a “classic.”

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams finds me singing in the shower, the car, and sometimes the grocery store (yes, that could have been me.)

It makes you think of Christmas parties and tacky sweaters — all things Christmas-y — although I never really figured how the “scary ghost stories” fit in to the holiday.

But it also makes me think about the “most wonderful” things that people do for others this time of year.

This past week, we’ve seen just that kind of spirit, right here in our little town.

Learning from Sgt. Toby Romack that the needs of the Salvation Army were met after they found they had 100 unclaimed “Angels” from their tree was indeed “wonderful” news to hear this “time of year.”

And a grassroots campaign started on social media by Misty Chandler of Custom T’s encouraging everyone to help out the Navarro County Food Pantry with a $5 donation ended up drawing a lot of attention, and a lot of contributions — many of them in excess of the $5 request — to help the ministry that helps feed the hungry year round try to re-stock the shelves after meeting the Christmas meal needs of over 900 this year.

That, Misty, was a “wonderful” idea.

And all the folks that participated (in fact, I hear are still participating as I write this on Friday) are truly “wonderful” as well, being so generous and caring.

This has indeed been a “most wonderful year” and I hope that you and your family find the peace and joy of Christmas in your hearts and homes.

Merry Christmas.

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Bob Belcher is Managing Editor of the Corsicana Daily Sun. His column appears on Saturdays. He may be reached by email at bbelcher@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com