Happy Holidays! And for those of you who celebrate either one, Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas! Since it’s the season for winter music, I thought I’d share a beloved holiday tune of mine: “Favorite Time of Year” by India.Arie, Joe Sample and Tori Kelly. Though released just last year, I very nearly consider it to be a classic for the cozy, quaint pictures the lyrics paint amid a sprinkling of jingle bells and a cheery piano soundtrack.
India.Arie and Tori Kelly trade off verses before coming together to explain “why Christmas is [their] favorite time of year,” with India’s tones warm and dulcet like freshly made chocolate drops and Tori’s like a mix of sugar and sunshine. It’s impossible to feel cold listening to these ladies.
The artists are only one reason I cherish the song. Another? Because I can relate to a lot of the lyrics:
- “Kids are making angels in the snow” (of course most of us have done that!)
- “Magic tricks by Uncle Joe” (I have an Uncle Joe)
- “You can feel the loving in the air” (I feel like you really can feel the care in the air—the kindness and compassion and gratefulness)
- “Grandma sitting in her favorite chair/With a halo of silver hair (I have a grandma with silver hair)
- With a smile lighting up the room/So sad grandpa’s gone too soon (while I still have my lovely grandmother, my grandpa is deceased, having passed almost ten years ago)
- “Chocolate smells fill the room” (not just chocolate but those of cinnamon, turkey, ham and potatoes too!)
- “Santa’s ringing bells outside the door” (a little reminder to do your good deed for the year and drop some money in the Salvation Army bucket)
- “Ate so much I’m about to pop” (I always do this)
- “There’s no place I’d rather be/Than with you, my family (this is true for me)
- “Your loving is the sweetest thing I know” (because of my mother and grandmother I know what it is to be unconditionally loved and it is indeed the most incredible feeling)
- “This is why Christmas is my favorite time of year” (it’s mine too—it’s exciting and sweet, filled with laughs and togetherness)
My absolute favorite part of the song, though, is the line,
“Everybody smile, 1,2,3/Time for Tyler Perry’s new movie!”
It makes me grin if not downright chuckle. It’s a funny thing to say itself, but the really charming part is when India.Arie delivers the Tyler Perry line, she sounds like she’s giggling too! I love listening to such a genuine moment of joy captured on recording. And you know what follows? A subtle round of applause. Oh, lololol. It’s just awesome. And like the rest of us India must know the man releases a movie, like, every month. They just did a Madea Halloween—I’m sure there’s a Madea Christmas special in there somewhere.
So if you’re in the mood for a good Christmas song, this one immediately “takes you there.” The ladies are soothing, the music bounces beyond the lyrics, which fittingly support the song with reasons why holidays are our best times and why they are universal, using gentle reminders to be grateful for what and whom we have.
I’d post a link to the video but won’t since I don’t have YouTube’s permission to do so/am not comfortable doing so without permission. If you’d like to have a listen, make sure you click on the India.Arie version, not the Debby Ryan song of the same name (though hers is probably good too).
May you have warm, safe and happy holidays wherever you are.