Joy and Holiday Material

Lately, I have been revisiting Carole King's seasonal record, A Holiday Carole. I often turn to her music during the fall--perhaps because it is built with high doses of nostalgia--but I was surprised to find myself reaching for her Christmas release. This reaching, I realized, is in part because joy is so abundant in a lot of holiday art. Though King does pepper her record with hints of melancholy, the majority of the album is a celebration, from the wonderful covers like "Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday" and "My Favorite Things," to the new tunes, "Christmas in Paradise" and "Christmas in the Air" in particular. She seems more focused on celebrating happiness and gratitude. Seasonal art is ripe with joy because we forgive it this alleged weakness. However, I wonder why we don't let ourselves this celebration more often? Why is such happiness considered lesser? As much seasonal art can prove, including Robert Frost's lighter poems and King's album, such creative endeavors can be artful and speak to a variety of aesthetics, from the wistful to the boisterous and humorous. At the very least, it is wonderful that we remind ourselves about joy, happiness, and gratitude a few times throughout the year.

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