Holiday Music and Conversations

My daughter has an advent calendar and every day along with the chocolate, a question is printed on the door. 

Past questions have included: "what is your favourite holiday food?" and "what is the best present you have ever received?". Light and simple conversation starters that not really a lot of thought needs to go into. The one she had yesterday somehow became a bit of a doozy. The advent calendar wanted to know what our favourite Christmas memory one. This one, while simple on the surface, really threw me for a loop. 

Not that I haven't had wonderful Christmases, many happy memories have been made. It was more the pressure of choosing just one. My first answer was family time. She informed me that that answer was too vague. Then my mind went blank. Just like when someone asks what my favourite movie, book, or song is. It's one of those funny questions that always make me scramble. That and "what do you want for (insert gift-giving occasion here)?". 

Ask me who my least favourite political party is, or my least favourite food and I am right on it. You might even get a list of options and I might just go on a tangent about either if I am feeling particularly wordy. 

Why is it so much easier to talk about what we don't like? Are we afraid to have something we like taken away from us? Have we somehow decided that it's better, or more "cool" to dislike things? Or is it just easier to be negative than it is to be positive in our current state of every man for himself? 

I did get to an answer that was satisfactory for that daughter of mine. I gave her a top three and then asked her what her top three was. In the end, it was a fun conversation and it made us stop and have a real conversation. Her answers surprised me a little, and it wasn't just about her favourite gifts that she had received. 

This time of year is a super busy time and I am always exhausted by the end of it. Maybe these little conversations starters are a gift in themselves. They remind me every day to stop and connect, even if it's just for a minute. Yes, it might not be a natural conversation at the beginning, but it definitely becomes one and who doesn't love being listened to?

I went in a slightly different direction with today's holiday song. In the spirit of favourites, I chose a song that comes from one of my favourite family holiday traditions. I am pretty sure that almost every family has a similar tradition. In the weeks leading up to the big day we gather and watch holiday movies together. It seems every year we add another one, or forget to watch one. One of my favourites, that I don't think the kids are into is "The Sound of Music". While not a Christmas movie, it is a long one. So around Christmas is one of the only times we have to sit and watch it non stop. 

My favourite song from the movie is Edelweiss. In the movie, it starts the thaw in the heart of the main character played by Christopher Plummer. According to some behind-the-scenes tales he hated the movie and felt as though the whole thing was just too sweet and saccharine. So, while not a Christmas song, it still makes me think of all the family time I get to spend this time of year. And since he passed earlier this year, it makes for a good reminder of how great he was. 



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