When I think of Christmases past, there are a few things that come to mind about the Christmas season in my childhood home. One would be how my younger sister and I would both sleep on the top bunk bed (mine), head to foot, on Christmas Eve. We could hardly contain our excitement and I guess sleeping together helped us sleep at least until sunrise. I also remember one time when my dad took out a garbage bag full of wrapping paper and gift boxes and I saw a bunch of cookie crumbs in a trail outside on our steps. Could it have been from Santa Claus? We thought it was! That made me believe in Santa for a few more years than I am comfortable admitting to on this blog (haha).
One of the last memories that stand out in my mind is the soundtrack of Christmas season for my family as I remember it The Jackson 5 Christmas album. This was ALWAYS on. Of course, I remember the Alvin & The Chipmunks record also playing, as well as the Motown Christmas collection playing from time to time but, Michael Jackson's voice was a big part of the Christmas season for me.
For those of you who may not be familiar with it, the Jackson 5 Christmas Album is as playful as it is traditional and festive. Songs like "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" and "Up On The Housetop" are fun to listen to and always put me in a joyous and upbeat holiday mood, while "Someday at Christmas", "Give Love at Christmas Day", and "Little Drummer Boy" are traditional and must-haves throughout the season.
I do wish that the album had included other Christmas favorites, such as "Silver Bells" and "Let It Snow" but, I am not so sure that those songs would have sounded that good, given Michael's age at the time of recording. (But then again Michael always sounds good... doesn't he?)
Did You Know?
As a high schooler, I began to learn more about the Jackson 5 and came to understand that they didn't even celebrate Christmas. Upon learning this, I became even more thankful for the beautiful songs that these young boys sang for families all over the world, without any experience of celebrating the holiday season. This brings to mind that famous quote of a young Michael Jackson saying "I don't sing it if I don't mean it". But how could he have meant what he sang if he'd never even celebrated Christmas? This beautiful talent, the talent to make us as listeners believe, understand, and identify with every word sung is so rare.
The original album, clocking in at just under 35 minutes, has been remastered twice. The 2003 re-release included a track that was not included on the original, "Little Christmas Tree" and the 2009 re-release (my personal favorite) includes a few remixes, a stripped mix of "Someday at Christmas" and a group acapella of "Give Love on Christmas Day". I found myself listening to this album on the train (what inspired this post)- it always helps me get into the Christmas mood.
For these same reasons, I imagine myself playing this same record (well CD... or MP3... or whatever) for my future children.
I pray that they will be patient with their mom's
Don't have the album? Ultimate Christmas Collection -- Buy it Now!
I would highly recommend the Jackson 5 Christmas album to any Michael Jackson fan who has not heard it already and I guarantee that it will become an album that will be on repeat during your holiday season.