Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How a Secular Christmas Song Became Our Song (for Atticus)

from the archives:

We hadn't been married very long and we didn't have much money. It was almost Christmas and although we weren't Christians we always gave each other gifts. The pickings would be slim this year, though, as the budget for presents was non-existent.

Atticus knew that I loved Nat King Cole's smoky voice crooning The Christmas Song. I had described it as "almost perfect." But this was in the days before digital music and mp3 players. I could hear my favorite song of the season only if it happened to come on the radio, as I didn't own the album. Atticus wanted to buy it for me, but our budget was so tight that even a new cassette tape (remember cassette tapes?) wasn't a possibility that year.

It was Christmas Eve, and I had to work. Feeling a little disheartened that we didn't have much to give one another, I was nevertheless looking forward to the meal that Atticus would no doubt have ready when I got home.

When I reached our apartment, I put my key in the lock and thought, "It's awfully quiet in there." I opened the door and found a candlelit room, heard a click, and then Nat's smooth voice. Atticus took my hand and we danced.

My dear, sweet husband had scrounged around our apartment, found a blank tape, and then waited. He had vigilantly stationed himself by the radio all day long as he cooked, waiting to hear and capture that song. He waited and waited some more, and finally hit the "record" button when the coveted song made its appearance.

He captured it; he captured me again. And ever since, when Nat starts to sing, we dance.


  1. That story NEVER fails to make me tear up!

  2. So sweet! This is our fifth anniversary as a married couple and we always set an extremely low budget for birthdays and Christmas (like $10 to fill the entire stocking) and I never have anything too exciting to tell people David got me (why do people always ask that, by the way?). But he always uses what little money we have to buy me something very useful. It's never anything romantic (one year it was a coupon organizer!) but it's always so, so thoughtful. I know he's taken a lot of time to think of something I will use and that will make my life easier in some little way and I love that.

  3. Love this story. The Christmas Song will never be the same. :)

  4. Love it!!! And I love Nat King Cole too. :)

    Have you heard his "Cradle in Bethlehem"? I really like that one too.

  5. Love Cradle in Bethlehem, Alicia. And thanks, guys, for sharing in the sentimental memory with me. :)

  6. A really beautiful memory, Karen! Thank you for sharing part of your love story.

  7. That is just beautiful Karen. Thanks for sharing.

  8. He's a keeper, definitely! Give him a friendly hug for me, and have him give you a great big squeeze (also from me) in return.

    (That'll have to do 'til I see you!)