I load it on my shuffle the night before Thanksgiving and the next morning I run the Atlanta Half marathon to Christmas music. One of my odd little traditions that make life wonderful.
Tomorrow is the 33th annual Madison Christmas Rush, Fun Run, 5K and 8K. I try to run it every year – and so I’m charging up the old shuffle.
Here’s my top five holiday running songs. The songs I can’t help but repeat a few times before moving on to the next tune. Do me a favor and leave your favorite in the comments. I’m ready to add some new kick to my stride back up Dixie Highway toward the finish line.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Andrea Bocelli
Honorable mention: Jackson Five, Justin Bieber
4. Little Drummer Boy. Justin Bieber and Busta Rhymes.
I love this. Call me the eternal teenybopper. Guilty as charged.
“Playin’ for the king. Playin’ for the title. I’m surprised you didn’t hear this in the bible.”
Maybe it jettisons my subconscious back to sitting in pjs watching Rudolph and all the old Christmas shows. I love everything about this song. His voice. The jingling bells. The 60s Holiday Special back up singers. The lyrics . . .
“Have a holly jolly Christmas
And when you walk down the street,
Say hello to friends you know,
And everyone you meet.”
1. Merry Christmas Baby — Bruce Springsteen
Bruce and saxophone. Miss Clarence 🙁 but he’s rockin in this video.
I didn’t know till googling this video that Otis Redding sang a cover of this in 1967.
Appendix — Joy to the World, Mariah Carey
These two women can belt out a song.
Honorable Mention: Natalie Grant.
Other tunes I love to run to around Christmas . . . .
You would think after almost 50 years, I’d get used to someone moving my cheese.
My life interrupted. Plans changed.
But when someone hides your cheese at Christmas, it takes awhile for the emotions to adjust.
I got a call last Friday night that they moved my Dad to ICU.
So we decided to pack up everything and head down to Florida for Christmas.
Nothing was wrapped. I still had shopping to do. But when someone moves your cheese — even at Christmas– you must go in search of it.
Said goodbye to our tree (it was so pretty this year).
We loaded up clothes, presents, wrapping paper and plenty of Scotch tape and started driving.
I shared the backseat with my two youngest.
After a couple of hours when laptop batteries die and your seat doesn’t recline, you begin really think Santa must be supernatural to put up with riding around in that sleigh all night.
~ ~ ~
Christmas Eve was spent with family.
That was the wonderful part of having to search from my cheese at Christmas in Florida. So much of my extended family still lives right where I grew up.
This was the Christmas Eve I knew as a child. Kids bouncing off the brick streets and everyone donned in shorts and flip flops.
Of course, this also included a Christmas Eve visit to my Dad in the hospital.
I thought I’d find my cheese there.
But Dad was okay. Sad he wasn’t coming home and not with the family for his favorite holiday.
So we left him with a Christmas kiss. I so wish I could have strung a little strand of twinkling lights over the large sliding window doors into his room — but as kind as ICU nurses are at Christmas, that didn’t happen.
~ ~ ~
Then we went to our family party.
The Christmas Eve party went to at six months old.
Surely my Christmas cheese would be there. Found somewhere among the 60 relatives that now gather.
It was wonderful to laugh and talk with cousins. Remembering those Christmas Eves long ago when we would run outside in the warm, dark night — searching the Central Florida skies for a red blinking light.
I pulled out my camera at the end.
We said our goodbyes.
~ ~ ~
At home there were presents to wrap.
Maybe I would find my Christmas cheese there?
Every year I stay up way too late wrapping everything so the kids wake up to a tree transformed with presents. I couldn’t get my wrapping mojo on so . . .
At 10:30 my sister and I decided to leave the excited children and head to church.
I used to love the 11 o’clock candlelight service before children came. Communion and candles and quiet worship.
We went to church in Winter Park. Not our church growing up, but we knew of the minister who had been an associate pastor long ago in our Orlando church.
Sorry no pictures from the service.
It was beautiful and quiet.
Communion and prayer at the altar.
Then toward the end, a soprano sang O Holy Night. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever heard anything like it. Just when you thought her voice couldn’t be anymore spectacular — she reached a bit higher.
It was then. In a strange church, certainly not the church I thought I would be this year on Christmas Eve — that I found my cheese.
Christmas came once again.
Change is never easy but to live is to change.
In the quiet, solitude of church — the baby who changed the world was reborn in my heart.
I’ve been around long enough to know when someone doesn’t want to be found. And with those types, I’m not going to bother.
A few weeks ago, we pulled out the Christmas decorations. This included our nativity. Mary, Joseph – the baby. Shepherds, sheep and camels. Then there were the Wisemen.
I suspected a problem with them.
We have a renegade and he’s AWOL this Christmas. I assume he’s hiding out in the attic amongst boxes containing ancient school books, baby clothes and one size 10, puffy-sleeved, gargantuan-skirted, Princess Diana era wedding dress.
I tried to fix him but I guess my mend wasn’t cosmetic enough to suit his highfalutin’ tastes — so he took off. (more…)