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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas tunes - why does it HAVE to be Bing Crosby?

A lot of people become very unhappy with me when I say I am not fond of Bing Crosby's renditions of Christmas songs (or of any other "traditional" renditions thereof).

While I respect Christian tradition, I view this time of the year from the pagan standpoint - the conclusion of the old year, the thanksgiving for all things that were good and for the strength to endure things that weren't so good, the time to pray to the gods (however many there are) to send us another good year and help us endure whatever may come with grace. And while I do listen to some Christmas music, I pick out the renditions that help me get into the right mood for the things I have expressed above.

Anything by Mannheim Steamroller, Piano Winterlude and Guitar Winterlude always works. I have all four Winterludes - but I don't like the Sax and the General Instrumental ones quite as much.

When I do want sax, I play Kenny G's Miracles: The Holiday Album (love the Hanukkah Song!). When I want a little fun, I plug in Neil Diamond's Christmas Albums One and Two. Candlelight Carol in Volume II always brings tears to my eyes. While it is very much about the traditional Christmas story, it also largely humanizes it - you can't help by love it.

Give those a shot - I promise they are worth it!

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