My kids and I play this game while driving around Portland doing our last minute Christmas shopping. There's a lot of gifts this year, returning to America after seven years living abroad.
We listen to the Holiday station, K103.3 and sing-a-long. Bing Crosby and Burl Ives, Frank Sinatra and Karen Carpenter. They play on repeat like some satellite shot into space beaming a Christmas message to aliens in the far corners of the galaxy.
But every day there's always one! One Song! That seems to repeat itself more than usual. One Christmas song that out-duels the others for supremacy. Maybe an anomaly, maybe by design, maybe just pure random chance, but while driving in the car for three or four hours, we hear it a half dozen times.
Jose Feliciano. Brenda Lee. Nat King Cole. Bobby Helms. Gene Autry. Dean Martin. Andy Williams. Eartha Kitt. Jackson Five. The Drifters. Wave after wave of nostalgia. These sweet old tunes of peace and love. Gifts of goodwill and forgiveness.
That's a part of Christmas I secretly enjoy, reflecting upon this one day every year spent doing the same things in the same ways with the exact same routines and outcomes... but in slightly varying degrees. Altered over time, but significant nonetheless.