Happy Holidays!


Sirius XM Radio announced today the addition of two new channels – Holiday Traditions (Ch. 18) and Holly (Ch. 13) – both of course for the upcoming Christmas season.  It is only November 2nd today but that date is right in line with what has become the norm for the institution of All Things Christmas in the commercial vernacular. Even though the temperature today climbed to an unusual 16ºC I couldn’t resist tuning in to hear Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme sing “Happy Holidays!”  I also caught a hint of Bing Crosy’s classic “White Christmas“.  It doesn’t require much to get me to soak it up and sing the well-known lyrics.

SiriusXM’s holiday music channels will offer listeners a variety of traditional holiday songs, classical Christmas carols, country Christmas classics, contemporary holiday tunes, soul music, Hanukkah music, acoustic Christmas music and Latin seasonal music. SiriusXM’s commercial-free holiday music channels will be available on multiple satellite radio channels, and via the SiriusXM App for smartphones and other connected devices and online at siriusxm.com


At this time of year some people measure the progress of the calendar by what they hear in the aisles of the grocery stores or other popular emporia.  Because I spend so much time driving my car it is there that the seasons of music first assail me.  No matter the venue however the shift is the same and we can be assured that for the next eight weeks there will be heard everywhere relentless gusto about Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year.  While there are naturally some who abhor this inundation, most (myself included) quite relish it. Quite aside from excusing the obvious profit-oriented indulgence as the only chance many businesses have to make a dollar in the year, I rather prefer giving vent to magical Christmas scenes and uplifting New Year’s aspirations. And frankly the likes of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Boston Pops, Luciano Pavarotti, The New York Philharmonic, King’s College Choir and Thomas Hampson are not lost on me at Christmastime!  The energy of Christmas continues to inspire me year after year.  Many people simply can’t wait to begin decorating their home for Christmas.  Already local newspapers are advertising Christmas craft and food fairs.  The exuberance of the period is impossible to ignore. There are so many delightful prospects wrought by Christmas.  The enthusiasm is infectious.  Besides it won’t be long before November ties its cold noose about Canadians and we inevitably succumb to the melting thoughts of warm fireplaces, cozy rooms, snowbound trails and woollen sweaters.


For us the further significance of this advent is that it marks the commencement of our journey south.  We are poised to depart in a mere 60 hours or so.  We’ve done little in the past several days other than pack, a poorly organized and wearing exercise to decide what not to take.  When one has a car it is all too easy to avoid discretion and instead to capitulate and simply throw the article onto the pile.  We’re improving at mastering the task but likely we’ll bring back lots of stuff we’ll never use. Anyway that really doesn’t matter. What matters is that we’re starting to wind down on this front, a process which coincidentally involves arranging some small Christmas gifts to those who have been of assistance to us throughout the year.  I also helped my mother with her contribution to the Christmas Gratuity Fund at her retirement residence where the staff works so diligently.

As much as I like to fill my head with “visions of sugar plums” my more immediate goal is to make it through the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains without encountering a snow storm. Based upon current weather predictions (assuming them to be at all reliable) we may beat the nasty mountain weather by about a week.  Once we’re below West Virginia it should be smooth sailing.  Luckily for me the prospect of mild weather doesn’t in the least contaminate the mystery of Christmas.  All things being equal we should enjoy happy holidays.