It's the most wonderful time of the year ...
No, really. As a professional musician, I've had to start working on my Christmas repertoire, brushing off songs that I haven't played for nine months. Many of these tunes have been part of my annual set for years, so they quickly come back to my fingers and brain, but with fifty-plus pieces to revive and an instrument that doesn't lend itself to sightreading, I always start before Halloween ... and often when it's still far too warm to think about Christmas.
Is it any wonder I rarely listen to Christmas radio or CDs? I start even earlier than the malls do.
By and large, my selections are Christmas tunes that I enjoy. There are some I can't stand, and I try to avoid playing them. For instance, I have an irrational dislike of "Silent Night," and will only include it upon request. There's certainly no lack of beautiful tunes to play instead.
At this point, I have largely plumbed the depths of Christmas music that a) I like; b) is recognizable; and c) is playable upon the harp. I would love to play the Charlie Brown Christmas song ("Christmastime Is Here"), but it isn't harp friendly. Still, I'm always keeping my eye out for something new I want to add.