Friends, this time of year is jam packed with holiday traditions, and this, being my 4th holiday song, is now part of them. It’s fun having a specific concept for at least one song a year. Because this one always has to be somewhat holiday themed, it forces me to approach songwriting in a new way and mix things up a little bit. I can’t just record whatever pops up in my head, but instead I have to guide my thoughts and filter through ideas until I find something that works.
This year, as a way to focus my thoughts, I imagined the contrast between the winter solstice, which is typically cold and dark where I live, and the winter feasts that take place at around the same time. It is chilly and gloomy outside, but bright, warm and cheery inside.
With that in mind, it wasn’t long before I had a melody worked out. The words, however, went through a few drafts. The first version was focused entirely on the feasts themselves, and the wide variety of foods involved. I just listed all the traditional dishes and foodstuffs that people prepare each year – it ended up being a really long list!
But then it occurred to me that the magic of the feast isn’t the food, it’s the people. So I scratched out the version that just made my stomach grumble and focused on what really mattered – family and friends. Without them, a feast is a lonely affair. But with them, it’s a time to celebrate and be happy.
Folks! I hope you all have a wonderful December and can enjoy time with your friends and family. If you’d like to sing or play along with this month’s song, here’s the song sheet.