It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

Seriously?   While I love the candy and scariness of Halloween and the aromas of turkey and desserts baking at Thanksgiving, nothing compares to the music, the movies, and the decorations with the biggest holiday of the year.  Christmas is my favorite, so it’s not too early to think that.

Some people get upset when they see Christmas decorations and displays in the stores before Halloween (or fall, for that matter), but if you wouldn’t call me a “redneck woman” (or man), I’d leave “my Christmas lights on, on my front porch all year-long”.

I believe that Christmas music is the best stress release there is and it doesn’t leave you with a hangover!

This is a picture of  “Santa’s Helper Martini”: 5 ounces vanilla vodka, 2 ounces white creme de menthe, and a half ounce of peppermint schnapps!  I will be making these this Christmas (or before)!

Even if I’m not stressed, I usually start listening to holiday music at the end of  September.  However, this year, it’ll have to wait until mid-October because I know I’ll be listening to pretty much Madonna all the time leading up to the October 13th Las Vegas concert.  (It’s hard to believe that the Material Girl hasn’t recorded a full length Christmas album in her 30-year career, although she did a version of “Santa Baby” for a charity Christmas album.)

This Christmas will be different for us since Miss ABBA will only be with us in our hearts and in our memories and we’re going on a Caribbean on the days leading up to Christmas Eve.

But, it’s not too early to think about decorating the house and deciding what new Christmas music I want to listen to after my season openers, “Merry Christmas To You” (1987) and “The Secret of Giving:  A Christmas Collection” (1999) by Reba.  Those two are always first.

While there will be new holiday offerings this season from Rod Stewart, Cee Lo Green, Chicago, Scotty McCreery, Christina Perri, the Oak Ridge Boys, Kenny Rogers, and The Beach Boys just to name a few, only three selections are making my Christmas shopping list and I’ve checked it twice.

The first to arrive is “Now That’s What I Call Today’s Christmas” (September 25) featuring Lady Gaga, Carly Rae Jepsen, One Republic, Coldplay, Demi Lovato, Carrie Underwood, and many others.  Yes, even Justin Bieber!

I’m really surprised that last year’s television special, “A Very Gaga Holiday”, is not available.  I know you can download the music, but I’m a traditionalist.  I like the physical copies since I don’t download. 🙂

When it was announced this summer that country singer and “The Voice” judge Blake Shelton was releasing his first Christmas album this fall, I didn’t have much interest.  He’s a good singer and I have a couple of his earlier albums.  But, I didn’t add it to my Amazon wishlist.

However, once I found out that Reba is a duet partner on a song called, “Oklahoma Christmas”, I was sold.

In addition to Reba, Blake’s wife Miranda Lambert makes an appearance, as does Kelly Clarkson and Michael Buble.  Most of the songs on “Cheers It’s Christmas” (October 2) are traditional holiday classics.

And, my final purchase of the season will be “On This Winter’s Night” by Lady Antebellum, which is released on October 22, 2012.

While this will be the trio’s first full length Christmas album, it’s not their first Christmas disc.  Two years ago, they released the six-song EP, “A Merry Little Christmas”, which was a  Target-exclusive.  That one ended up being my seventh favorite album of 2010!

The six songs on “A Merry Little Christmas” will also be on the new release.  “On This Winter’s Night” will feature a total of 12 songs.

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas!

If it’s too early for you and you’re saying “Bah, humbug” to me, go back to preparing your Halloween costume and eating your Halloween candy that you bought early and have a great day.  I’ll remember to say “Merry Christmas” to you in December. 🙂


14 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cinchy on September 13, 2012 at 5:54 am

    Merry Christmas !!!!


  2. Merry Christmas Anthony! I can’t wait myself with two grandbabies this year…Have you ever thought about doing a drink book with all these fabulous drinks you drink. that Martini looks divine! Happy Holidays!


    • Barbara,

      Merry Christmas early to you. It will be fun celebrating with the grandbabies.

      That book sounds fun and I can’t wait to sample the drink I posted in the blog.

      Take care and enjoy your fall. I hope it cools off for you soon.



  3. Posted by Wanda Otts McCraw on September 13, 2012 at 6:56 am

    That was awesome Anthony! As you know I don’t care for the white stuf like I used to. Guess the age and having to do the shoveling kinda turns me nt wanting too much:) But I do love the decorations and the sound of musics at Christmas. The drink looks so YUMMY…and I don’t even drink. I might have to cheat this year and try it:) First time ever… better do on my day off:) never know what it might do to me:) Yep sure gonna be different without Ms. Abba this year, sure gonna miss her Winter adventures. I bet she’s having a good old time in Dog Heaven & she’s looking down Smiling Love U Dad Thanks for the Wonderful years. Merry Christmas and have a GREAT Cruise.


    • Wanda,

      Thank you. I definitely know you don’t like the snow. It’s the cold that I don’t like.

      About the drink, I’m sure there’s a non-alcoholic version similar to that one. We always make Gretel “N/A” drinks and martinis when we have fun drinks.

      Miss ABBA is having a great time up there and looking over us. I say good night to her each night (her urn is on my nightstand!). We just have to remember to make less food at the holidays because our little “pre-wash” and “garbage disposal” isn’t with us. 🙂

      Take care, my friend.



  4. Cindy,

    Merry Christmas to you, too. I’ll wish you that again in December. 🙂



  5. Posted by Dorothy DeMay on September 13, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Peeps, I love it! Yes, I do get annoyed sometimes that the Christmas displays are out by the end of this month, but the older I get, the more I realize WE ALL should be living Christmas all year round. (especially when I have already begun my Christmas shopping and it becomes a hide and seek game when it gets here because I forgot where I hid the presents.) But the point is Christmas makes you happy and that is all that matters. Enjoy it! Merry Christmas, Anthony, Ray & Gretel. May you all be blessed with abundant joy and good health now and throughout the YEAR.



  6. Doe,

    Thank you. I hope you and your family have a very enjoyable holiday season starting with Halloween all the way up to New Year’s Day. I hope all of you are healthy and have your health restored.

    We won’t be shopping much this Christmas since the cruise is Christmas. But, I like the decorations, the sounds, the food, and family getting together more than the gifts.

    Take care, my friend.



  7. I’ve been watching some of the movies from my Christmas movie list. Like you, Christmas won’t be the same this year without the love of my life. I always tried to make Christmas special for Diane, especially when she became bedridden. I’m not sure what I will do on the holidays this year.


  8. Mike,

    Like Miss ABBA, Diane will always be with you at the holidays and everyday. We’ll just be enjoying them in a different way.



  9. Posted by Peggy Bowden on September 13, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Love the Blake and Reba Christmas song. I need to buy that cd for sure. Thanks for posting it. I might have missed it. Merry Christmas to you and your family and a special wish for snow in doggie heaven for miss abba.


  10. Peggy,

    That’s what I’m here for — to remind my friends of good things and bring attention to the bad. 🙂 Kidding.

    Miss ABBA is having a grand time up there and we’ll remember her in the snow this year, too, and every year in the future.

    Take care, my friend.



  11. I think Santa’s Helper martini would be wonderful with peppermint ice cream added. Sooner than later! Thanks for the recipe, I’ve already shared it with a co-worker.


  12. Lynn,

    Ice cream would make it perfect! Awesome idea. Forget the calories.



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