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December 17, 2012

I would like to extend my condolences to anyone affected by the tragedy in Connecticut on December 14th.  The entire community has been in my thoughts and prayers.  In a time where the media is focusing on the background of the monster in effort to answer why and to help us understand how anyone could perform such a despicable act, I encourage us to focus more on the memory of those lost and embrace the families and friends of those beautiful children (and adults).  I can't begin to comprehend the joy of seeing your child's face in the morning then the heartbreak of the stolen opportunity to tuck them in at night; I definitely squeezed Madison a little tighter when I got home and held on a little longer than normal.  My heart breaks for those affected.

Sometimes there aren't words adequate enough to express how sorry we are in certain situations, this being one of those times and one of those situations.  In times such as these, it seems a hug conveys more than words ever could.  Someone I work with hugged a teddy bear tightly when she got home Friday afternoon after hearing the horrible news and has decided to mail that teddy bear to Sandy Hook Elementary school.  When a time of the year illuminated by Christmas lights is darkened so quickly, actions like this remind us there is still hope left and encourage us to all focus on the true reason of the season.  My wife and I will also be hugging a stuffed animal and before we pass it off to our coworker to include in her package, we'll let Madison wrap her tiny arms around it.  Hopefully, parents stripped of the chance to feel their child's embrace will somehow feel the love transmitted from ours.

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Every year we add a new Christmas album to our collection, last year we added this one, and because of Madison's favorite music of the last year it was a given which CD (yes we still buy CDs from time to time) would be the one to add for this year.

Cee Lo's Magic Moment may not look like your traditional Christmas album, but it surprisingly consists of mainly classic Christmas tunes like This Christmas, The Christmas Song, White Christmas, and Silent Night.  There's a nice rendition of Mary, Did You Know? that is probably my favorite vocal performance of the 14 tracks offered.  However, in true Cee Lo fashion there are some fun additions like Run Rudolph Run that you'll be singing long after the song is over and You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch that will have you lost in visions of sugarplums childhood memories.

There are a couple of features on this album, too, with Christina Aguilera chiming in on Baby It's Cold Outside and Rod Stewart on Merry Christmas, Baby.  Yet the star of the album belongs to All I Need Is Love with the Muppets.  It's upbeat.  It's fun. [Given the recent events of last week, the message couldn't be more appropriate.]  See for yourself below (or here).

Cee Lo also takes on All I Want For Christmas by Mariah Carey... maybe I'm partial to the original version, but Cee Lo gets an A for effort.  Overall, it's a fun addition to the standards offered at this time of year.  If you're looking for a few songs to add to your collection, I would suggest Run Rudolph Run and Mary, Did You Know? with All I Need Is Love or What Christmas Means To Me if you have room.  Check out my other Christmas music recommendations here and be sure to let me know what you're listening to this time of year!

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