‘Kisses 4 Christmas’: What Christmas Means To Mama & Me

Whenever I’m asked which song is my favorite of those I’ve written, my usual response is “that’s like asking a parent which of their kids is their favorite” or something to that affect. (Parents do sometimes have favorites btw, but that’s a whole other post.) That said, one of my songs does come to mind when I think of those that are nearest & dearest to me: ‘Kisses 4 Christmas,’ a Christmas soul ballad that I wrote inspired by Mama.

Years ago, I was invited by Millennium Music, a local (Charleston, SC) music retailer, to contribute a song to their annual Christmas compilation album. I was excited & honored to do it, but at the time I didn’t have a Christmas song. (Because I didn’t/don’t exactly celebrate Christmas; yet another “whole other post.”) I could’ve easily cranked out a formulaic ditty right quick & submitted it just for the satisfaction of having a song on the compilation, but artistic integrity wouldn’t allow it.

Then, in search of inspiration, I had a conversation with Mama about what Christmas meant to her… her words flowed through me. I wrote the lyrics in one session. She grew up on a sandy road in a rural Gullah village, a child well-loved but of modest means. As a wife of a hard-working but low-earning brick mason, she was never afforded many of the ‘finer’ (material) things &, though she & Daddy did the best they could to provide, she reminded me that the greatest gift she could ever receive was the one I cherished most from her: Love. That’s what Christmas meant to her & what ‘Kisses 4 Christmas’ means to me: Love.

I hear it in the vocal harmonies, lyrics, soulful rhythm & solo guitar my friend, @leebarbour, laid down… I felt it in my then sweaty palms & racing heartbeat as I sat, shoulders slumped, eyes to the floor, nervously playing it for the first time for Mama, hoping she’d like it. She loved it. I still feel that confirmation tugging at the corners of my mouth, forming a smile right now as I type these words.

I don’t have a favorite song of those that I’ve written, but I do have songs that remind me of some of my favorite moments. ‘Kisses 4 Christmas’ is one such ‘moment’ for me… Selah. Merry Christmas, Mama! ♡ #weoutchea

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