Winter flurries drifting outside my windows as “Sleigh Ride,” by the Carpenters accompanies each snowflake.
Icy walks with my family through my neighborhood to see the array of Christmas lights on houses.
Nights spent curled up by a fire with hot cocoa while Johnny Mathis tells me it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Snowy mountain tops peeking over the horizon of my backyard.
As Nitty Gritty Dirt Band so eloquently put it in 1997:
But all along the Rockies you can feel it in the air
From Telluride to Boulder down below
The closest thing to heaven on this planet anywhere
Is a quiet Christmas morning in the Colorado snow
After growing up for 16 years in Colorado, I can attest that the amount of Christmas mornings I spent with snow outside were not as frequent as one would hope. However, on the rare occasion I jumped out of bed on December 25th and all I could see was white outside, it was a most magical experience.
As a child, Christmas season started for me when the Denver radio station, KOSI 101, began playing Christmas music. A lite rock station from January to the middle of November, KOSI begins playing continuous Christmas music through the end of November and into December. I waited with anticipation all year for that continuous Christmas joy to flow from stores, our family car speakers and household radios.
I can recall days decorating my home with my mom as “A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives played in the background. Many cookies were made while singing along with the Carpenters or Brenda Lee. KOSI is responsible for teaching me nearly every Christmas song I know. I can’t remember a holiday season without that glorious station.
There were nights where I laid in my bed and fell asleep listening to old Christmas music. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by the Jackson 5, “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole, “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” by Frank Sinatra and Cyndi Lauper, and “Celebrate Me Home” by Kenny Loggins, define my Christmas past.
Four months before I celebrated my 17th birthday, my family and I moved to Midland, Texas. I suspected even before we moved that my chances of a white Christmas were extraordinarily slim. After I arrived in Midland, I was certain of it.
That first Texas Christmas was quite different. There was snow one time, and it only lasted about 10 minutes in the air and three minutes on the ground. Not as many people decorated their houses outside, and the wind was a poor substitute for chilly December air. There were no snowy mountains to see, just flat Texas dirt.
Despite the changes in my environment, I was determined not to allow outside circumstances to damper my Christmas season. I happily discovered that KOSI 101 (a thousand blessings upon them) streams live online. There was no sacrifice of continuous Christmas music for me. Instead, I was able to bring a little bit of Colorado into my new home.
As I pursue a college education even deeper into the heart of Texas than Midland, and consequently further away from Colorado, I still listen to KOSI when mid-November rolls around. Some days I miss my family, my friends and everything to do with being a Coloradan. Those days tend to occur when the weather stays above 60 degrees in November and December (in contrast to the low 20 degrees of Colorado metro areas). When nostalgia kicks in, I just tune into KOSI 101 and find comfort in my past Colorado Christmas,’ because they really are, the closest things to heaven.