I love the happy, warm feelings of this time of year. The settling simmer of peppermint schnapps in my hot cocoa while I watch the lights twinkle. The childish grins bursting from excitement as they wait for a moment yet to come. But the songs that really get to me (now and any time of year) are those heartbreaking, bittersweet ones about longing.
There's the ones I've always loved. Like, my ultimate favorite.
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" ::
Judy Garland (from Meet Me In Saint Louis)
Also, aversion of one of my favorite older Christmas Hymns. It's got some cheesy synth in it, but his take on this song is beautiful. I love the arrangement. James Taylor's music always holds a special place in my heart since it's one of my dad's favorites. I grew up listening to him from a very early age.
"In the Bleak Midwinter" :: James Taylor
And there's always something about a group of people singing Auld Lang Syne ala It's a Wonderful Life. I like to tinkle this out on the piano at a glacier pace (because I'm not very quick on the keys) and it makes me a little bit sad and happy all at once. (But Judy's version will definitely only make you cry.)
"Auld Lang Syne" :: Cast of It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
New to the sad song list this Christmas is a tune from a localish band (Cincinnati). The whole album is great, and they've made two Christmas collections.
"All I Ever Get for Christmas Is Blue" :: Over the Rhine
Bright-colored holiday decor is necessary to balance out some of the wonderfully bittersweet dreariness, I think. Here's something I made last year for my decor bin. A bendable bow to embellish a grand old mirror I refinished. (I found it in a friend's old barn a couple years ago and he gave it to me to clear up space - isn't it gorgeous?!)
The bow is simply doubled-up pipe-cleaner with yarn twisted tight around it. I doubled it up to give it more strength, but it still doesn't hold much shape. Maybe triple it if you're considering trying to write a word with it or something. I know. Super easy, right? Not much of a tutorial. That's the best kind of project. And I think it turned out pretty super cute. I'll be using it for years to come.
Got any favorite sad Holiday songs you'd care to share? I'm always open to learn new loves.