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Opinion: Christmas time is singing time

Friday, December 26, 2008

My radio hasn't turned off of 93.9 Kiss FM since I stumbled upon the fact that they were playing nonstop Christmas music since around Thanksgiving.

Our librarian here at SE Live and the Southeast Missourian has a varied collection of holiday CDs, and Christmas music has floated through the newsroom at the Southeast Missourian each morning for the past three weeks. "Dixieland Christmas" — which I borrowed from her and downloaded as soon as I found out it — pumps the sound of a New Orleans jazz band into my headphones while I write this column.

We've capitalized on Christmas carols for a few sections of our newspaper and produced a newsroom version of the "Twelve Days of Christmas." Can ya tell I love Christmas music? Yep, I'm the one singing along on the next aisle at the grocery store or in the dressing room somewhere.

When I was a kid, we played the same Christmas CD every time we got in the car. Thanks to my parents, I know never to stagger out into the snow after drinking too much eggnog lest I get run over by a reindeer. And I can recite every reindeer's name (Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen) and, yes, I always recall the most famous reindeer of all.

I used to play the Elvis Presley Christmas album and decorate my tree and apartment in Memphis, Tenn. Imagine my delight when I found out I could record my own duet with Elvis Presley. One trip to www.singwiththeking.com, a phone call at 7 a.m. when no one else was in the office and voila! My very own personalized Christmas e-card and song with the King.

You log on to the website and click through, saying you want to sing with Elvis. It gives you a number to dial and an access code. A reassuring autorecording comes on greeting you and telling you just what to do. The music plays through the earpiece and you read along with the on-screen lyrics. Elvis sings, then you sing along with Martina McBride's part. Then you fill out your name and the recipients' e-mail addresses, pop in a short message and send.

I don't know if I'll ever send another paper Christmas card again! By the way, I've posted the link to the site and to my personal singalong on my blog at semissourian.com. I invite you to find inspiration and post your own links in there!

While he might be the coolest, Elvis wasn't the only one to sing during the season. Everyone records a Christmas album or at least a song. Wham! did "This Christmas," virtually every pop artist has a holiday CD. Who could forget Adam Sandler and his "Hanukkah Song?"

They are songs everybody knows and that never go out of style. Year after year you hear people say how Frosty came to life one day.

Here's wishing you a holly jolly Christmas, Feliz Navidad. You just have yourself a merry little Christmas and try to be good for goodness sake because I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus underneath the silver bells.

In short, Merry Christmas, darling.


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Chris Harris
Street Spirit