“Merry Christmas”, Mariah Carey’s Christmas album, was first released on November 1st, 1994. It is 39 minutes and 31 seconds of pure “contemporary holiday” music featuring “authentic, gospel flavoured background vocals”, if you wanted to know.  Carey sings traditional holiday songs, religious songs and even a few original Christmas tunes of her own, like “All I Want for Christmas Is You”, which is apparently the 11th best selling single of all time. Yes, out of all the songs in the world, ever. The album itself was sold over 15 million copies word wide and is the best selling Christmas album ever.

I know, I know. I am just as shocked as you. My money was on the 1981 spectacular ‘A Chipmunk Christmas’ that I had on cassette as a child. The dulcet tones of Alvin, Simon and Theodore screeched Christmas at me in a way no other ever has.

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Have you ever started a book that you know is going to be hard on you? One that you know you’ll identify with but you know is going to make old hurts into fresh wounds again? That’s how I felt about Without My Mother. I also knew I very much wanted to read it because knowing I would identify with it seemed more important than how much it might hurt.  I was also lucky enough to catch up with the author, Leigh Van Der Horst, who told me a bit about her process in writing this book.

 

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