For the past couple of years, our family has been taking little weekend trips during Thanksgiving. Our extended family is scattered throughout the United States so we typically focus the rest of our holidays and travel efforts on visits with them. This Thanksgiving, we spent some time at Legoland in San Diego. While we were waiting on line for the 4D Legends of Chima movie, we met a family who has been coming to Legoland every Thanksgiving for the past 12 years. Chuckling, as he was talking about family holiday plans, the dad said “I know we’re crazy but we love it. It’s just what we do.” What he said didn’t strike me as crazy, though.
Family traditions are special and memorable, and quickly become beloved habits. They form bonds, are reliable, and give children a sense of ownership and something to look forward to. It made me happy to think that traveling with just my husband and my daughter could turn into a special holiday tradition for us.
Our family celebrates both Chanukah and Christmas. Chanukah brings songs of peace and celebration as we light the menorah. With regard to Christmas, we prep in our own home by playing the CD A Charlie Brown Christmas as soon as our tree is up. No decorating takes place until the music is playing. It’s simply something that sets the tone, and gets us in the mood for the holidays. We also visit with our extended family for Christmas, and watch as Em wakes up to find filled stockings and gifts under the tree. In the evening, we launch into a post-dinner dance party battle. It’s a rager and it’s so fun! No surprise that music is the centerpiece of our holiday celebrations.
Sharing stories of tradition and hearing from the family during our Legoland trip, added a feeling of connection and another element of joy for me this holiday season. It was a nice reminder that amidst the hustle and bustle of it all, there are sweet, sentimental moments to be grateful for. Besides, it’s always fun to hear other people’s stories.
As an addition to holiday music posts, today’s post features friends and artists sharing their holiday traditions from their own childhood, things they do with their families now, and of course some music. Continue reading
Sometimes it’s the way a song is sung, sometimes it’s the words, sometimes it’s the simplicity and beauty in the message. In this case, it is all three.
“You Are Loved” by Hullabaloo
Bonus: Get a FREE DOWNLOAD through the Bandcamp widget below.
Recently, Steve Denyes – of the band Hullabaloo – posted that for the months of November and December they will be donating one CD to Toys for Tots for every one that is sold. So far it has been a success with 327 CDs sold (as of 12/2/2014)! Amazing! This act of giving has inspired me to think more about how I can help bring joy to children and families in the same way while also supporting independent artists.
Music is such a valuable resource, capable of providing hope, support, relief, restoration, healing and love (the list could really go on!). Why not spread some of it around?
You can check out Hullabaloo’s FB page for updates as well as some of the other artists who have expressed interest such as Karen Rives Kalafatas of Karen K and the Jitterbugs, Jason Didner of Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam, Trevor of The Zing Zangs and GooberKids Radio, Peter Alsop and Sarah Gardner.
If you’d also like to make a musical donation, check out the Toys for Tots drop-off directory to find a local location. Consider including music from your favorite artist(s) in your donation(s) or you can purchase a CD from one of the aforementioned artists who will ship one on your behalf.
I will be posting a list of my 2014 music picks shortly which I hope will offer you even more ideas for holiday gift giving.
Our home is constantly filled with music. It keeps us sane and often helps ease us into our days and nights. We have been listening to alot of great music lately, both old and new, and I thought I would start to share some of it with you on as much as possible.
Additionally, since naptime has become non-existent, we’ve really been trying to take some “quiet time” in the middle of the day. Music is a major part of making that happen. Chilled out music = chilled out toddler which = chilled out mommy.
So, this week I am publishing 2 playlists. The first is called October Fun Part 1 containing lots of fun jams that are useful for really anytime that is not “quiet time,” at least in our house. The second one is called October Slow Jams which is a bunch of slower songs perfect for anytime of day that calls for a little unwinding (or easing into if you haven’t had your morning pick-me-up yet).
So, without further adieu, I present to you October Fun Part 1 (the first list turned out to be really big so this month might have more than one list) and October Slow Jams. You will find a mix of songs both old and new in this playlist. Also please note that if an artist is not on Spotify, they won’t appear in the playlist. Feel free to listen to the playlists as they are ordered or on shuffle or both. Mix it up however you’d like.
I also urge you to visit each of these artists’ websites and either buy or download their music. You can do that by simply clicking on the links next to each song below.
October Fun Part 1
Fanga Alafia – from Welcome to the Village, Aaron Nigel Smith’s first release with One World Chorus. Proceeds from the sale of this album will benefit the Cura Orphanage in Kenya, Africa.
Bright Clear Day – Sarah Lee Guthrie and Family (Go Waggaloo)
Afraid of Heights – Harmonica Pocket (Apple Apple)
Sunshine – Vered (Good Morning My Love)
Eleanor The Elegant Elephant – Caspar Babypants (HOT DOG!)
In A Timeout Now – Randy Kaplan (Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie)
Germs – Ozomatli (OzoKidz)
I Am a Paleontologist – They Might Be Giants (Here Comes Science)
Make Me – Big Bang Boom (Because I Said So!)
Tickle Monster – Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys (Bubble Ride)
Green Beans Everywhere – Hullabaloo (Raise a Ruckus)
The Shark FighterSenorita Mariposa – Mister G (Chocolalala)
Sol Nal – Elena Moon Park (Rabbit Days and Dumplings)
15 tracks, 44 minutes
October Slow Jams
Bare Feet – Harmonica Pocket (Apple Apple)
Merry -Go-Round – Elizabeth Mitchell (Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie)
Mother Nature’s Son – Aaron Nigel Smith & One World Chorus (Welcome to the Village)
Underneath the Rainbow – Kira Willey (Kings & Queens of the Forest)
Even Bugs Are Sleeping – Caspar Babypants (HOT DOG!)
Time To Fly – Hot Peas ‘n Butter (Catchin’ Some Peazzz)
Goodnight Little Arlo (Goodnight Little Darlin’) – Charlie Hope (Keep Hope Machine Running: Songs of Woddy Guthrie)
Powder Blue Reprise – Renee and Jeremy (It’s A Big World)
Listen to the Horses – Raffi (Quiet Time)
Green Green Rocky Road – Randy Kaplan (Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie)
All the Pretty Little Horses – Laurie Berkner (Whaddya Think of That)
You and Me and a Bottle of Bubbles – Lunch Money (Original Friend)
Catch the Moon – Elizabeth Mitchell & Lisa Loeb (For the Kids Too)
Time – Johnny Bregar (My Neighborhood)
Sleep – Vered (Good Morning My Love)
15 tracks, 42 minutes