Christmas Tunes Fill the Air…Already

Published 1:39 pm Wednesday, November 10, 2021

By Peggy Walker, R.D.

Today’s Special

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Do you hear what I hear?  It’s Christmas music everywhere and I’m tuned in.  I once lived by a self-imposed rule of no Christmas music before Thanksgiving. This year will mark 40 years of hosting the holiday dinner and we’ve loved every one of them. Lots of precious people, dear memories, and delicious food have filled our home and souls over these years.  

Thanksgiving truly is a wonderful time, though we once got in trouble for skipping it.  

DW and I moved into our house in Batesville in late October 1980, I was pregnant with the boys (though I didn’t know there were two of them) and we hadn’t told anyone that we were going to be parents.  

We had spent about six weeks with DW’s mother down in Tillatoba during the house hunting, buying, selling and closing process because we had already started our jobs in Batesville.  

I wasn’t feeling so well and we were tired so we chose not to go to either family’s dinner that Thanksgiving, opting instead to stay home and grill steaks for our dinner.  We enjoyed the time in our new home and taking the day off, but it didn’t go over so well with either family.   

We made up for it the next year by inviting all of them for turkey and dressing with all the trimmings at our house, they came and have kept coming.

Well over these 40 years it has gotten much harder to stay focused on Thanksgiving with seemingly every store and so many homes putting up Christmas decorations way early. And the music, it’s almost impossible not to listen to holiday tunes in November.  

Dear Nicholas loved Christmas music and made it his quest to find it on the radio before I did (of course this was pre-streaming and downloading capabilities).  Eventually I relented and allowed myself to listen in the kitchen while I cooked and baked for Thanksgiving dinner. Though I couldn’t (and still don’t) decorate for Christmas before turkey day, that just wouldn’t be right.

So today I must confess that now I listen to holiday music as soon as I find it, even before I start all the preparations.  I never get tired of hearing those tunes, new and old.  No more self-imposed restrictions on Christmas music.  

DW tolerates it, bless him.  Just this past weekend, we drove down on Sunday afternoon to see our Mississippi children and listened to XM holiday playlists there and back.  (Though once when I was distracted by my phone, DW slyly changed it over to the Willie Nelson Station. It didn’t take me long to figure it out.)

I do draw the line though on Thanksgiving Day.  No Christmas music is played until after lunch, though we do have the Christmas parades on television on Thanksgiving morning, but that’s a tradition, isn’t it? And then football takes over for the rest of the day, another tradition.  But later, after dessert has been served and the dishwasher is humming along, I bring out the Christmas mugs for fresh coffee and refills of hot apple cider.  

And for those who are tired of football, holiday tunes will fill the air.

Let the music play, for ‘tis the season at my house!

Recipe of the Week

Pretty Yukon Mashed Potatoes

These yummy potatoes have become a new tradition at our holiday table.

3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes

1 cup whole milk

½ cup butter (or margarine)

¼ cup heavy cream

4 ounces cream cheese

½ – ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt

⅛ – ¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)


Scrub potatoes, peel at least half of potatoes (or peel completely as per your preference). Cut into wedges, place in large saucepan and cover with water; boil over medium – high heat, about 25 minutes or until tender. Drain. Keep warm. In same pot melt butter, milk, cream and cream cheese, stirring until creamy.  Turn off heat, add potatoes to hot mixture, and mash thoroughly. Add seasonings; beat with electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.  Add 2 -3 tablespoons of milk or cream if too thick. Makes 6 – 8 servings.  (We like them with no peeling and prepared with butter, salt and pepper but no garlic.) Enjoy!