It’s the lights. It’s the music. It’s the coffee. It’s the season.

By Anita Garner

I’m not a good shopper nor an artistic gift-wrapper and am sometimes running late before reaching full immersion in the spirit of the holidays.  However, I do feel fairly confident a few December rituals will eventually turn things around.  Early in the morning, while it’s still dark, I plug in the office lights, turn on the Christmas music and coffee my way toward daylight.  While Willie sings “Pretty Paper,” I’d love to share another couple of favorite spirit boosters.

Visiting the lights in whatever place makes a heart feel at home.  That works for me.  Cities that twinkle all over, or a little tree and a country cabin, I’ll take either.  Before I had the opportunity to live in the Bay Area, I declared San Francisco my favorite city and visited often.  Then I moved across the Bay where it’s always a thrill to arrive at the Ferry Building.  By the end of November, the  Embarcadero Four buildings are stunning, outlined in lights. If a person has to shop, a person might as well do it then and there.

My agent’s office was in a beautiful old building on Geary, across the street from Neiman Marcus at Union Square.  I’d take the vintage elevator up to Joan’s office, then across the street for a bite inside the glorious rotunda.

Like many broadcasters, I have a substantial holiday music collection, going back to the days when record companies sent them to us. I treasure them.

My website partner, Dave Williams, and I were producing audio for another website a couple of years back and searching for music, I met Chris Whiteman and Colin Tribe on YouTube and have followed them ever since.  Their holiday songs are part of my tradition.

My office lights now stay up all year.  The old Christmas CDs still work in my computer and when they don’t any more, I’ll keep downloading and carry on.


Here’s Chris Whiteman, who lives in Virginia and plays and teaches everywhere.  Click the picture to visit his YouTube channel

Here’s Colin Tribe with grandson, Edward.  Colin lives in England where he composes, arranges, teaches and plays the you know what out of that ukulele. Click the picture for his YouTube channel.


Follow me here anytime.


2 thoughts on “It’s the lights. It’s the music. It’s the coffee. It’s the season.”

  1. I have always loved city lights after dark. If it is rainy, they are all the more beautiful.
    I have been in simmering Christmas mode for over a month. Why? Because for the first time in about 20 years my three children and four grandchildren and I will all be in the same place at the same time. The California contingent is traveling to New Orleans for the holiday.
    I have lists everywhere!
    Thank you for sharing your stories, Anita. They always touch my heart. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  2. Grace – what a thrill to have everyone in New Orleans together. You happen to live in one of the most magical cities in the world to share with people you love. Happy times for all of you. I’m glad you’re in my life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *