Thursday, December 6, 2007


I can hardly wait to pop in the Christmas music after Thanksgiving.
I love Christmas music.
The Jackson 5 Christmas album in its entirety.
Nothing works for me like 70's afros and jingle bells.
Harry Connick Jr. singing Ave Maria.
Take 6 and their incredible licks singing Amen.
Fred Hammond, James Taylor, Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.
Oh and do not even get me started on Amy Grant's christmas album.
I lived and breathed that Christmas album in jr. high.
First of all, I wanted to look like her.
Second of all, I wanted to be her.
Third of all, I memorized every single warble, every intonation,
every tiny note variation in EVERY SINGLE SONG.
(not to mention the fake conversations she had while singing Sleighride
yelling to fake people, "Hurry up, you guys! Come on, let's Go!"
I yelled right along with her!)
My sisters, Erica, Jenny and I and my cousin Beth,
were required to sing Tender Tennessee Christmas every Christmas,
for our grandparents, aunts and uncles and gazillion cousins.
We had never been to Tennessee but we felt real tender about it.
Yes, we did. Amy, did you know you brought such joy? Well, you did.
No one knew how to sing Emmanuel like my cousin Beth and I.
It started out all soft and demure, Emmanuel, Emmanuel and then BAM!
Out came the hair brushes, the white girl dancing, the flipping of
high puffy eighties hair from side to side.
Oh the glory of that song. Oh, Amy, how we love you.
And speaking of Amy Grant brings me to Michael W. Smith.
Because I also hearted Michael W. Smith in the eighties.
And we must call him Michael W. Smith lest we confuse him with other
demi-gods of the 80's named Michael: Michael Jackson or Michael J. Fox.
He wrote the most singable songs.
I know a good portion of you sang Friends are friends forever
with some tears in your eyes clutching at your BFFs.
I remember having a Michael W. Smith album
where he was about 18 with a full beard sitting in amongst some
big argyle shapes while he was wearing an argyle sweater vest.
Here it is because I thought you must see Michael in all his
80's funky loveliness. Notice the socks, tsgs, notice the socks.
Michael doesn't play. He pairs argyle with argyle.

Argyle you ask? It was the eighties, people.
People lived and died for argyle. Need I remind you?
And now Michael W. Smith has a Christmas album.
It's a Wonderful Christmas.
And he still writes great songs. It is not so sing-songy.
It is more like a fully orchestrated soundtrack of a Christmas musical.
And I LOVE Christmas musicals. White Christmas, anyone?
At the beginning of it, I want to perform a ballet.
With wide leaps and a pouffy ballerina skirt.
(This I know you would love to see.)
And then at one point, children join in singing, which brings to mind
all of the millions of kids choir rehearsals I participated in growing up.
And then it moves onto a song with bagpipes and drumcorps,
and for goodness sakes, it is so grand and sweeping I want to cry,
because bagpipe music makes me weep in general.
And then there is a boys choir.
Boys choirs make me want to cry, too. I don't know why.
Maybe it is because I have three little boys and I love when they sing.
But all of this to say, if you love movie soundtracks, if you love
crying, if you love Christmas, if you love the feeling that your heart
may surely burst through your chest from the joy of the season,
if you love the poignancy of bagpipes and you wore argyle in the 80s,
you might want to add this cd to your Christmas repetoire.
Thank you, Michael W. Smith.
For the argyle and for your Christmas album offering.

It really is a wonderful Christmas.


deezmath said...

Oh, yes, oh, yes, it's a Charleston Contest!! (It's a Wonderful Life, circa...a really long time ago). Love your memories on this one...I am so right there w/ you on that conversation Amy had. Hilare!

Leslie said...

I love argyle still to this day. In fact, I'm wearing a purple argyle sweater, even as I type this. It is reminiscent of the purple argyle vest I wore in 7th grade with my purple plastic bracelets and purple plastic beaded necklace. The more things change, the more they stay the same. LesP

ps remember when we all went to see Mr. Smith in concert with DC Talk? LOL!

Barbie said...

I used to have the biggest crush on Michael J Smith....

Oh, the argyle!

Jekissa said...

Thanks for taking me back in time with you! You are hilarious and I still LOVE Tender Tennessee Christmas! As one of the younger cousins who wasn't forced to perform at Christmas (but who really wanted to be up there with the older girls) I always loved hearing you guys sing! And I miss it.

Jessi said...

ah yes...the good 'ol days...

Shane said...

Sue, my oldest daughter belts Emmanuel from the back of the van as we play that heralded Christmas album. Does my heart good to hear her, as you did, declare, "Wonderful, Counselor..."

sandrab said...

Ok, suli... I am laughing so hard that I just woke up the angry bear (Darin). Just kidding, not angry; just groggy unrecognizable words coming from his confused state. This blog about M.W. Smith and Amy Grant! I cannot believe we didn't know each other in the eighties, we missed out on even more "espacades" together! I am sure though that I have you beat on dreaming of being Amy! I am most definitly hooked on c.of a! gotta go I want to read more..........