Just a Small Town Girl: Music and More for the Holiday Season

The start of the holiday season is a perfect time to get out with the family to see a play or take in a musical. Plus, it’s also the time of year for the relentless pursuit of gift ideas. Soundtracks or DVDs of your favorite shows are tailor made to stuff stockings, for the kids, the husband—or maybe even yourself.
 Living in a Lonely World

I’m not one to get caught up in TV crazes like Survivor, Lost or CSI: Miami, New York, LA, Pittsburg, Spokane, and Syracuse. (Is there a Cincinnati version yet?) But I have to admit I do watch Glee and with glee.

Truth be told, the show is awful. The characters have no morals. In the first season, the married teacher kissed another teacher. The head cheerleader got pregnant. The wife faked her pregnancy and tried to buy the cheerleader’s baby. And yet, when they sing, stop the presses. They raise the roof and add life to old exhausted songs. I’m hooked.

Glee: The Music, The Christmas AlbumWhen I first purchased the top Glee download, “Don’t Stop Believing” my husband laughed at me. He said the Journey version was much better.

But the kids and I couldn’t stop playing it in the car. Soon they knew all the words (even though the show is waaaaay off limits) and had their own solos. A week or so later, my husband was with us in the car again.

“I heard the Journey version on the radio,” he said. “And I wanted to hear the Glee one instead.”

He was converted. Endless repetition really does work.

She Took the Midnight Train

My friend Meggan is a mom dedicated to her kid’s development and the arts. She drives her two daughters Bella and Lucy all up and down the highway to ballet, gymnastics, arts classes and this acting group way north of us, ActUp or ActOut or something. She’s a much better mom than me. Our family rule is one activity at a time, soccer, piano, dance or art per kid. And practice has to be five minutes away or less.

I like to support my friend though. So this month on a Sunday afternoon, I drove my two 30 minutes out to this local high school to see Bella and Lucy in the Wizard of Oz. The kids loved it and the show was well done with great singing and acting.

In fact, so well done that the Wicked Witch’s cackles gave me a wicked headache. Pretty authentic, eh?

Sadly, it made my daughter question our family ways.

“Why can’t I be in plays Mom?” she asked. I didn’t want to tell her it was because her mom is lazy so I explained our family five-minute/one activity rule to her again. I think she accepted it.

After the performance, we gathered in the lobby where all the actors and audience socialized over cookies (make that ran around like winged monkeys). Meggan told a funny story.

Before the show the director pulled the kids together for some quiet contemplation to prep them for the performance. During the silence, a child in the group started singing,

“Just a small town girl…” Soon the kids were all singing together “…living in a lonely world…”

All the way to the end. It was touching Meggan said. Seems all the moms own the soundtrack. The director, however, must have missed the Glee craze.

He turned to a person beside him and asked, “Why are they singing Journey?” Perhaps, the soundtrack would make a good Christmas gift for him.

Going Anywhere

My son’s favorite download from the Glee soundtrack is It’s My Life/Confessions a mashup (musical term I learned from the show) that amps up an older Bon Jovi song from 2000.

When my sweet son belts out these lyrics of teen rebellion… “I just want to live while I’m alive,” it cracks me up. He’s a boy who still asks his mom to pour his cereal in the morning. Some rebellion he’d have.

To put it in perspective, it’s interesting the way the Glee “kids” add energy to old songs. It’s similar to the way our kids add their voices and power to our lives. We’d be as dull as old Journey songs without them and their crazy activities, even the ones that are only five minutes away or less.

What playing on your iPhone and iPod this holiday season? Got any musical gift ideas to share?

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