My favorite thing at Christmas is Christmas music. Since I was a little girl, I have been in love with all of the music. My tastes have changed over the years, but I still love most all of the songs of Christmas.
When I was young, our mom had one of those huge console stereos with a turntable that played size 45 and 33 records and had a built in radio too. I could put a stack of records on the turntable and lay in front of the aluminum shiny silver tree with the color wheel that rotated 3 different colors and disappear into the music and lights.
I loved the album I can only refer to now as "the one with the maroon label," as I have no idea the recording studio's name that produced it. It had Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Rosemary Clooney, the dreadful song, “ I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (always made me sad and I would cry), “I'm Gettin' Nuttin” for Christmas,” and many more of the old classics. Elvis’s Christmas Album has also always been a favorite.
As I have gotten older and lost many loved ones, some songs are very sad to me. “It Won’t Seem Like Christmas (Without You)” comes to mind, especially the first Christmas after we lost Kathi’s boyfriend, Mel Boyd. Since 1984, we have lost many loved ones, and this song always puts a lump in my throat. We lost one of the best voices in our family in our cousin, Denise. I still remember the Christmas we all got together to record us singing Christmas Carols together. “Blue Christmas” will always remind me of her.
Nowadays, I love that XM Radio has several Christmas music channels, (some even start playing Christmas music the day after Halloween). So, if you see me in my car October through Christmas, I will most likely be singing very loud and listening to Christmas music on my way. If I don't wave or even notice you, now you know why.
Southern Cornbread Dressing
Not Pam's Recipe (But She'd Love a Plate If You Happen to Be Making Any!)
your favorite 9" square cornbread recipe
5 slices stale white bread, cubed
10 tbsp. butter, divided
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 c. celery, finely chopped
4 c. chicken broth
1 tbsp. fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
optional: sage leaves for garnish
Prepare cornbread; cool and and crumble. Place in a large bowl with the bread cubes and toss to combine. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9"x13" pan with cooking spray. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook for 6-8 minutes or until softened. Season vegetables with salt and pepper to taste. Place in the bowl with the cornbread mixture.
Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter and pour into a separate large bowl. Add broth, eggs, salt and pepper, and sage; whisk to combine.
Pour the butter mixture into the bowl with the cornbread mixture and stir to combine well. Transfer the stuffing mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until dressing is browned and cooked through. Sprinkle with parsley and garnish with sage leaves if desired. Serve warm.