Extended Holiday Edition: The Chieftains – “The Bells of Dublin/Christmas Eve” – 12.20.11

Well, I’m off to Boise, Idaho today to visit family and friends for the holidays, so I thought this would be the perfect time to put up a song that always reminds me of the Christmas/Holiday season.

Some of my friends absolutely hate Christmas music and walk around all December with their hands over their ears yelling out anything to drown out the festive holiday tunes playing everywhere. I do get slightly annoyed by hearing the same 6 or 7 generic Christmas songs playing over and over at every single store you walk into, but I do have a soft spot for most Christmas music. I think there are a few reasons I enjoy it so much.

The first reason is my birthday falls three days after Christmas on the 28th and then New Years Eve is just thre days after that. Christmas songs to me are like a 25 day musical fuse that leads up to a powder keg of festivities at the end of the month.

The second reason is because as a kid/young adult/adult, I loved all the funny/parody Christmas songs that were out there. I had every song and CD that you could get, from the Bob Rivers albums, to Mr Hankey’s Christmas Classics to one of my favorites – “The night Santa Went Crazy” by Weird Al. Now, whenever I hear lyrics like “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” I start to smile because in my mind the lyrics are “Walking Round in Women’s Underwear.” (I’m super mature like that)

And then there is the last reason, which is where The Chieftains fit in. The Chieftains The Bells of Dublin has always been on high rotation during the holiday season at my household ever since I can remember. Whenever I hear them it reminds me of several events from when I was a kid. I can remember decorating gingerbread men cutouts made from recycled grocery bags and having my mom write in little activities on the backside of each cutout. Then everyday leading up to Christmas, my sister and I would get to open one up and do something awesome like go get TCBY, go to the Boise tree lighting or Tuba Christmas. That wasn’t all though, no we also got to unwrap Christmas books everyday as well as open up a section on an advent calendar and pull out an ornament and put them on a hanging felt tree.

In the years following my childhood, The Chieftains The Bells of Dublin not only reminds me of family memories but also ones with friends and girls… mostly girls. I can remember driving around looking at the overly decorated houses with one girl and nervously going in for a kiss. I remember going to the Winter Garden Aglow with a different girl (different year, I’m no player) and I only had one pair of gloves so we each wore one and held hands with the other. I remember several different events from my years at college at our annual XXX-Mas party, most notably from my senior year where I had someone special to share the ridiculousness with. I remember cutting out paper snowflakes for hours and hanging them all over a house I lived in with friends and then putting on our Blu-ray DVD of a fireplace and having an amazing Christmas Party.

Not every holiday season has good memories, I remember I was pretty bummed out last year and I had a very terrible one my junior year of high school but that just makes the ones that are good that much better.

I’m not exactly sure what I will remember from this year but it might be The Chieftains music blasting as I danced around my tiny little studio apartment in a big fluffy coat, pajama pants and slippers (no heat turned on at my place) while cleaning up, doing dishes and decorating the humongous 1 foot tall tree my parents sent me and stringing lights up around my windows. Or maybe I’ll remember hanging out with old and new friends drinking $2.49 bottles of Trader Joe’s wine not doing much of anything but having a great time doing it. Whatever it ends up being, I know my Christmas-memory-time machine that is The Chieftains The Bells of Dublin will help me get there.

I hope everyone has a good holiday season and is enjoying whatever festive tunes put them in a great mood. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays (suck on that Fox News)!

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