Fiddlers Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy (her husband) arrived at SUNY AT BUFFALO’s Center for the Arts and delivered a rollicking Christmas concert. In addition to MacMaster and Leahy–two world-class fiddlers–there were bag-pipers and drummers and step-dancing! Something for everyone. Diane and I have seen Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy numerous times over the years. Their music always lifts us up and energizes the audience. We drove to the concert with snow falling so this concert had a real holiday feel to it. MacMaster and Leahy have six children (a seventh is on the way!) and five of them played songs with their parents on fiddles, accordions, and piano. If “A Celtic Family Christmas Concert” comes to your neighborhood, it’s worth a listen! GRADE: A
Angels We Have Heard On High
White Christmas
The Christmas Medley
Up On The House Top
Hark The Herald Angels Sing
Twelve Days Of Christmas
Little Drummer Boy
What Child Is This
Ding Dong Merrily On High
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Silent Night


  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    With the exception of The Pogues Fairytale of New York and The Pretenders 2000 Miles I don’t care if I ever here another Christmas song again. I worked retail for many years and heard them piped in for 6 weeks every year. I especially find 12 days of Christmas and Little Drummer Boy particularly odious. Glad you enjoyed it though.

    1. wolf

      we like concerts – but the continuous barrage of Xmas songs everywhere now in Europe too (Germany, Austria and Hungary – it doesn’t make a difference nowadays …) gets on our nerves too!
      I still remember being shocked, visiting the USA in late November more than 30 years ago and finding Xmas everywhere …
      But now it’s the same over here – just too much!
      And it’s all about selling and buying somehow!

      PS and even more OT:
      And especially in a poor country where many people make around 600$ a month and then you see packages of chocolate or sweets for 15 or 20$ – how can they afford this …

      1. george Post author

        Wolf, some of our radio stations started playing 24-hour Christmas music in early November! I think Christmas music is overdone in stores and malls. The marketing element of the Holidays only grows with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

    2. george Post author

      Steve, I also shun Christmas music piped in by stores. But, over the decades, we’ve refined our Christmas playlist. Some Christmas music is very beautiful and inspiring. But, as you point out, a lot of Christmas music is dreck.

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    Lite FM has been all Christmas music/all the time since after Halloween! My problem is, there seems to be a finite number of Christmas songs, and more and more remakes of the same few things. There are songs I’ve always disliked – Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas is one, and Wonderful Christmastime, and with the remakes we have even more versions for me to hate. Eartha Kitt’s Santa Baby is a classic that shouldn’t have been remade, and I don’t like the newer versions.

    Give me The Christmas Song by Nat (King) Cole. Or I’ll Be Home for Christmas (various acceptable versions). Or, especially, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by the incomparable Darlene Love.

    Also, I hate Bing Crosby.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, Diane’s Go-To Christmas CD is by Johnny Mathis. We never get tired of that. Diane also has a group of favorite Christmas CDs that she shuffles/plays on our stereo each December. But playing Christmas music on the radio since Halloween is just plain Wrong!

  3. Rick Robinson

    I can take a little, the classics, but mostly I listen to classical Christmas CDs, which of course are not on the radio. But then, we rarely listen to the radio, only in the car, then usually NPR.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, I listen to a little local sports talk on the radio while I’m driving around. We have Sirius/XM radio on our vehicles, too. I like WATERCOLORS (a smooth jazz station) and Diane likes THE BRIDGE and THE BLEND.


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