Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone. I’d like to thank Kate for hosting the Twelve Days of Christmas and give me a chance to talk about my favorite Christmas carol. I’m an alone-in-car singer and there’s a local radio station that goes to All Christmas Music All the Time starting Thanksgiving Day. I sing along (badly!) to them all. But the question Kate as asked is, which one is my favorite? Argh! That’s like trying to choose which piece of chocolate candy is my favorite. I love Mannheim Steamrollers mix of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” and “Carol of the Bells” (which isn’t actually a Christmas song, but an Ukranian folk chant). “Do You Hear What I Hear” is a favorite contemporary song. “O Come Emmanuel” is a favorite religious carol and reminds me of midnight Christmas Eve services.
See? This is hard. I think I’ll cheat and pick a moment in time—or should I say history, given I’m as old as dirt! Back then, it didn’t matter how old I was, I loved sitting down with my dad to watch all the Christmas specials. Back in the day, this usually involved a singer like Andy Williams, Dean Martin, or Perry Como hosting a variety show with a Christmas theme. One of my favorites occurred in 1977. Bing Crosby was the host. Now, you’re probably thinking that I’m going to pick “White Christmas” as my favorite. Love the movie. The husband I watch it every year on Christmas Eve. But no. That’s not my favorite song. During the course of the special, David Bowie just happened to show up on Bing’s “doorstep.” And the two of them performed a duet of “Little Drummer Boy” and “Peace on Earth.” I still stop whatever I’m doing when I hear this rendition and I miss my dad so much. We lost him right after Christmas in 1995.
Have you heard the song? Or seen it? Here, I’ll share the clip from YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADbJLo4x-tk
Thinking about Christmas makes me wish I had a Christmas snippet to share from my new release, FAERIE FOOL. Instead, I found a scene where Rory MacDermot, the hero, is dealing with a little boy caught in a police incident. Rory is a SWAT cop who is in love with Dr. Delaney Burns, the police psychologist who’s also there. While not really about Christmas, I think this excerpt embodies the spirit of Christmas.
Delaney nodded and whispered to the boy. Rory watched as the child picked out a hoodie, a book, and a dirty, bedraggled stuffed animal. He had no clue what the critter had once been. Now it was a dirty gray lump but the kid clung to it like a lifeline. When they were ready, he escorted Delaney and the kid out to the command post to wait. He slipped inside and dug around in a box under one of the seats. When he found the stuffed dog he was looking for, he stepped out and located the doc standing next to the open back door of a cruiser.
“His name is Andre,” Delaney said as Rory walked up. “His mother works the night shift at a nursing home and he stays with his brother.”
Feeling a little stupid, Rory held out the fuzzy dog. The frown lines between Delaney’s eyes melted as she smiled at him. She stepped back to give him room and he felt even more awkward. With one hand on the top of the car, he leaned into the backseat.
“What’s gonna happen to my brother? If you take him to jail, I’ll have to stay home alone. Don’t arrest him, ‘kay?” The boy wiped his nose with the lump of fuzz he clutched to his chest.
“I wish we didn’t have to, Andre, but he’s done some bad things. Child Services will help your mom.”
The boy gulped and nodded, his big, haunted eyes filling with tears. “That cop tried to shoot me, didn’t he?”
Rory swallowed his anger and inhaled deeply. Several times. “That cop was stupid, Andre. He’ll be dealt with.” The boy noticed the floppy dog he carried and Rory held it closer. “Here. I thought you might like this.”
Andre reached for it but didn’t quite touch. His eyes stayed glued on Rory. “To keep?” He sounded so hopeful, Rory’s heart broke a little.
“To keep. He’s yours, if you want him, but you have to give him a name.”
The boy smiled and dimples creased his round cheeks. “Boss. That’s what that lady cop called you.” Andre took the stuffed animal then and folded the dog into his arms, squished in with the lumpy critter.
Rory straightened and his gaze met Delaney’s.
“That was a very nice thing you just did,” she murmured.
Feeling awkward again, he wanted to dig his toe in the dirt and do some stupid “aw shucks” thing. “The kid was scared. And not all cops are bad guys.”
She offered him a tentative smile. “No, not all cops are bad guys. Some of them are heroes, especially in the eyes of an impressionable boy.”
Thanks for dropping by today. To celebrate the season, I’m giving a present to one lucky (if random) commenter. Leave a comment with the title of your favorite holiday song and I’ll let Random.org pick a winner. If you win, you can pick the print version of FAERIE FOOL or a digital format. May your holidays be filled with peace, love, and good will to all.