Upon moving to Asheville I quickly discovered that most people living here are transplants from across this beautiful country. We may have come here for different reasons, but the resounding story that we all share for coming here is this amazing city and the astoundingly beautiful mountains. We can and do have the best of both worlds here in Asheville.
Since most of us aren’t from Asheville, many of us will find ourselves with house guests or traveling to visit family and friends for the holidays. These visits can be so exciting and also extremely stressful (often both!). I find myself in a plethora of emotions this time of year.
For me, there’s the pressure and craziness of traveling to visit relatives and feeling like I’m disappointing those that I can’t see. Trying to make presents for the grandparents because I’m currently a stay-at-home mom and we’re on a budget. Running into time management issues, so I then decide, maybe we should buy presents. Standing in line to sit on Santa’s lap. Wanting to get everything on everyone’s lists. Will there or won’t there be family drama? Lines, lines, lines, will they ever end!?! Yet, somehow, I am a Christmas lover.
I love how your home and city are lit up with beautiful lights, smells, and sounds. The annual traditions of trimming the tree, decorating my home, listening to time honored holiday music, making Mom’s famous party mix and Grandma’s cookies, and seeing old friends and reliving old times.
Even as an adult one of my favorite parts of Christmas is listening to all of the classic songs in the weeks leading up to the big day. For me, it’s not officially Christmas until I’ve heard Nat King Cole’s Christmas album. It’s all a part of the deep rooted tradition I find so satisfying. But after a few weeks of hearing these classics non-stop at every isle turn in the store and every time I get in my car, I find myself longing for something with the Christmas spirit, but with a twist.
I’d like to share a few songs to help alleviate a play list that maybe stuck-in-a-rut. Some are holiday originals, while others are covers. Hopefully they break up the monotony of holiday music and add a little spice to your holiday.
- Merry Christmas Baby (Take 1) – Otis Redding
- Winter Wonderland - Valerie June
- Slim Tall’s Christmas on the Lam - Charlie Parr
- No Christmas for Me - Zee Avi
- Christmas Celebration - BB King
- Christmas in the Room - Sufjan Stevens
- My Dear Acquaintance - Regina Spektor
- Let me sleep (It’s Christmas time) - Pearl Jam
- Blue Christmas - The Lumineers
- Auld Lang Syne - Andrew Bird
Whatever the holidays may hold for you and your loved ones, try not to get too stressed and take some time to reflect on what the holidays are really about.
Those magical moments of belly laughs with those you love. Eating and drinking more than you should. The joy you feel when you realize that it is truly better to give than to receive. It’s recreating what you most enjoyed about the holidays when you were young, making them your own, and sharing them with your family as an adult. And when the going gets tough, just crank the music and grab a glass of wine!
Cheers to the happiest of holidays and a spectacular New Year!
Emily Bugher is a West Virginia transplant, mommy, wife, cheap wine drinker, and brunch enthusiast.