The annual holiday trek made to my grandparents wooded home was full of celebratory mile-markers. It was a 90 minute journey beyond the Houston,TX smog and skyscrapers. Pawpaw and Mamaw’s house boasted of no luxury amenities. The wood-burning oven and scratch made biscuits were enough.
Mile marker 1 was at Huntsville State Prison. This prison is infamous for housing the most violent criminals in the state. Santa probably makes few visits but passing it was a holiday tradition for us. Just beyond it’s maximum security gates, hundreds of thousands of stars would come in to vision. For big city kids ‘stars in the sky’ are almost mythical.
My family’s favorite traveling song was Feliz Navidad. None of us knew the words beyond the chorus, and our make-shift gibberish is what made it fun. “I want to wish you a Merry Christmas taco, taquito empanadas”. Each of us had our own version and they changed regularly.What didn’t change was belting it out at the top of our lungs.
Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano
My most favorite Christmas song is simple in it’s sentiment but I tear up none the less.
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Bing Crosby
Baby It’s Cold Outside by Dean Martin (Who could have said no to him)
Baby It’s Cold Outside from one of my favorite holiday movies “Elf”.
Of course I can’t forget this number from Jimmy Fallon and Mariah Carey. If you’ve seen ‘Love Actually’ you’ll get it. It makes me happy every time.