I know a lot of people love and get excited for Christmas, me too! I also know a lot of people who aren't a fan of the Holidays for various reasons. Lots of great reasons at that. I hate the idea that people will go thru extremes and show so much hate to buy gifts supposedly out of love. Working at Target for seven years I saw a lot of ridiculous stuff; people running people over with sales carts, people crying because they couldn't get certain gifts, people throwing fits because something sold out...on Christmas Eve event. Just bonkers. Not to mention that a lot of what the Holiday is supposed to be based on is inaccurate or plain all out false. However, I choose to put all of that to the side as I completely support anything that is ultimately based upon people coming together to show love and appreciation for one another. People in my inner circle don't tend to caught up on most of those issues I'm talking about so for us it's a really great and beautiful time.
Specifically for me I get child-like excitement around Christmas and it's not even about me expecting to get anything. I never expect to get anything particular, I'm happy with anything that some gets me, as that is how it should be...no expectations, just appreciation. My excitement comes from memories. As a kid my parents gave me and my sister some legendary Christmas mornings. I have so many vivid memories of waking up and walking out to the Christmas Tree with so much anticipation that I could easily have exploded on the way. I remember years where I couldn't even figure how to get in the room because nearly the entire surface of the floor was covered in gifts! Toys, records games, clothes, bikes, etc...
I was spoiled and lucky no doubt. I don't take it for granted and as I grew up I tried to pass on those experiences to the people I loved. In the last few years I've tried to more involved in programs to help families who aren't as fortunate and try to give them positive experiences for the Holidays by helping with programs to get them toys, coats, clothes and stuff like that. Truth be told, I have not done as much in that area as I can or should be doing. I'm going to shift some additional focus there this year. A couple things I was involved with, in one form or another, this year inspired to take it the next level moving forward.
Not just at Christmas either. For me, I try to live my life with some simple goals always at the forefront of my mind; 1)Focus on my goals, 2)Be good and show love and respect to the people around me and those who are always there for me & 3)Be conscious of being good and courtesy to people in general. It's so easy to get lost in your own world and take out your frustrations on others or just be in your zone and not even realize that you are causing complications for others.
My point in all this is just to remind everyone to try to be good humans and treat people with respect, appreciate what you have, and don't let your path to your goals be at the expense of others. I feel like everyday I am seeing more and more signs of people losing their humanity and being selfish, uncaring, reckless, loveless, and stuck in a negative frame of mind, that requires more negative stimulation for perceived satisfaction. Just be good peoples!!
Oh yeah, I nearly forgot I had a music related point to...ha. Besides the stuff mentioned above, I have one other with the Holidays...the music. Honestly, it's not different than any other day in the world of music, but still worth addressing. Every Winter radio shows gear up for their Christmas Music Season and every year I heard the same songs, by the same artists every year. Don't get me wrong I appreciate the Christmas "hits" an traditions and they should be revisited every year, but I feel like there's these other Christmas songs that get ignored, particularly for the Hip Hop generation. In the realm of Hip Hop you'll generally hear 3 songs; Kurtis Blow "Christmas Rappin", Run DMC "Christmas In Hollis", and maybe Treacherous 3 featuring Doug E Fresh "Xmas Rap" from Beat Street. However, there's a decent amount of other Christmas joints that range from traditional, abstract, bizarre, hardcore, etc... Not just Hip Hop joints, but some nice funky and soulful tracks as well that were birthed from the seeds of the Roots of Hip Hop Culture.
Here's a list of some X-mas joints for the Hip Hop Generation that are worth seeking out:
Sweet T-Let the Jingles Bells Rock*
Big Daddy Kane, Roxanne Shante, MC Shan, Mr Magic-Cold Chillin Christmas
Billy Jackson-Have A Happy Christmas
Buzy Boys-Funky Fresh Xmas
Cold Crew-Rappin' Christmas
Cutmaster DC-Santa's Beatbox
Cutmaster DC-The Night Before Christmas
Dana Dane-Santa Claus Is Coming To Town*
Derek B-Chillin' With Santa*
Spyder D-Ghetto Santa Christmas Rap*
Fab 5 Freddy featuring Blondie-Christmas Rappin'
Grand Rapmasters-Deck The Halls
The Grouch, Brother Ali, Eligh-How The Grouch Stole Christmas
MC Globe (Of Soul Sonic Force)-Twas The Night Before Christmas
Pow Wow (Of Soul Sonic Force)-Twelve Days Of Christmas
Rooftop All Stars-Here Comes Santa
Super Jay-Santa's Rap Party
Prince G & Clever MC-Happy Holiday
Lightning Rich-Santa's Groove
Audio Two-A Christmas Rhyme
Disco 4-He's Santa Claus*
Emerald Street Boys-Christmas Rap
Lou Rawls-This Christmas Will Really Be Christmas
Stevie Wonder-Someday At Christmas
Temptations-Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
Jackson 5-The Christmas Song
Jackson 5-Give Love On Christmas Day
Milly & Silly-Getting Down For Chistmas
Albert King-Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'
Donny Hathaway-This Christmas
James Brown-Go Power At Christmas Time
James Brown-Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto
James Brown-Soulful Christmas
Louis Armstrong-Christmas In New Orleans
Mack Rice-Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'
Rufus Thomas-I'll Be Your Santa Baby
Minnie Riperton & Rotary Connection-Christmas Love
Otis Redding-White Christmas
Mirror Image-Deck The Halls
Alton Ellis and The Lipsticks-Merry Merry Christmas
Jacob Miller and Ray I-Silver Bells Nast to Santa Claus
John Holt-Lonely This Christmas
King Stitt-Christmas Tree
The Maytals-Happy Christmas
I have a bunch of other ones, but there's a hefty list to get started with. If you know of some other Hip Hop, Soul, Funk, Reggae, or otherwise great Christmas songs worth checking out then list em... Have a great Holiday Weekend!!
HERE'S A FEW THINGS TO LISTEN TO:
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/01-How-The-Grouch-Stole-Christmas-prod.-Brother-Ali.mp3|titles=01 How The Grouch Stole Christmas (prod. Brother Ali)]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Juice-Crew-Cold-Chillin-Christmas-1988-Warner.mp3|titles=Juice Crew - Cold Chillin Christmas (1988 Warner)]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/sweet-tee-Let-The-Jingle-Bells-Rock.mp3|titles=sweet tee - Let The Jingle Bells Rock]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/03-The-Night-Before-Christmas.mp3|titles=03 The Night Before Christmas]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Billy-Jackson-Have-A-Happy-Christmas.mp3|titles=Billy Jackson - Have A Happy Christmas]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Cold-Crew-Rappin-Christmas.mp3|titles=Cold Crew-Rappin Christmas]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Rooftop-All-Stars-Here-Comes-Santa-1988-Rooftop.mp3|titles=Rooftop All Stars - Here Comes Santa (1988 Rooftop)]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/05-05-milly++silly+-+getting+down+for+christmas.mp3|titles=05 05 milly++silly+-+getting+down+for+christmas]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/08-08-Funky-Fresh-Xmas1.mp3|titles=08 08 Funky Fresh Xmas]
*all of those marked are from the Profile Records "Christmas Rap" album which also has the Run-DMC "Christmas In Hollis" track...