Christmas Tunes

This story in the Trib just came out: Uvalde shooting victims’ care was delayed by medical response | The Texas Tribune.

It is shocking. Makes you angry. Thanks to arsehole Gov. Greg Abbott, these folks will get off the hook. There will be no accountability.


What’s the deal?  Here is a headline from a front-page story in today’s hard copy of the Chron:

Widening of I-45 back on as deal is reached

Here is how the story starts:

The bottleneck of design differences that has divided officials about remaking Interstate 45 north of downtown Houston is easing, officials said Monday, clearing the way for construction on the $10 billion project, perhaps in less than two years.

“There is no perfect design,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “On balance, with the improvements … I think you have an excellent project that will move forward and move the greater good.”

The agreement outlines plans for widening the freeway by adding two managed lanes in each direction from downtown Houston north to Beltway 8, along with various frontage road and interchange alterations.

And this:

“Not all the things we wanted materialized, but that is compromise,” said Harris County Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia.

Here is the entire Chron read: Houston I-45 expansion project back on with new construction timeline (

Charles Kuffner who lives closer to I-45 than Commentary remains skeptical. See Charles’s take here: Agreement reached on I-45 expansion plans – Off the Kuff.

Commissioner Garcia lives close to I-45, so he has skin in the game.

I don’t trust TxDOT at all. They are one of the lousiest state agencies ever. Congestion on freeways across Texas are the result of poor planning by TxDOT.

I want to know what the Stop TxDOT I-45 folks have to say moving forward. I also endorse what Charles Kuffner has to say on this deal.


If you like Christmas tunes and have the SiriusXM app, you can listen to Billboard’s Top 112 Christmas tunes. You will likely disagree with the rankings. They have Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” at number 1. Ok.

It is a very popular tune. It came out in 1994. I am certainly not going to get into a debate on the best Christmas tunes of all time. Commentary used to have a CD I made of my favorites, and it had some from the Billboard Top 10 including “White Christmas,” “The Christmas Song,” and “Feliz Navidad.” I also had Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” Stevie Nicks’s “Silent Night,” “Somewhere in My Memory” from the “Home Alone” flick, Paul McCartney’s “A Wonderful Christmastime,” John and Yoko/The Plastic Ono Band’s “Happy Christmas (War is Over),” Whitney Houston’s “Do You Hear What I Hear,” “Gloria Estefan’s “Silver Bells,” ‘”The Twelve Days of Christmas” by John Denver and the Muppets,” Ella Fitzgerald’s “The First Noel,” and “Christmas Canon” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

My favorite Christmas CDs include “Christmas Portrait” by the Carpenters, Eydie Gorme Y Los Panchos “Blanca Navidad,” “Christmas with the Lennon Sisters,” Anne Murray’s “What a Wonderful Christmas,” and a few Mannheim Steamroller discs.

I absolutely love Jennifer Nettles’s “O Holy Night.” Same for Judy Garland’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Same for just about everything Christmas from Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Johnny Mathis, and Andy Williams.

Faith Hill’s “Where Are You Christmas” from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” that came out in 2000 is a great tune. It was co-written by Mariah Carey, but she could not record it because of issues related to her divorce at the time.

Growing up in my house, we had a Spanish-language Christmas album of a choir that had traditional Christmas carols and even some tunes that you sing for Las Posadas. I can’t find that album online these days.

Don’t forget “Merry Christmas from the Family” by Robert Earl Keen.

I am sure I am leaving off some of your favorites. Everyone has favorites. Some like hippos for Christmas. Some get turned on by mommy kissing Santa Claus. Some want to spend Christmas on Christmas Island.

Actress Jessalyn Gilsig who starred in the “Glee” and “Viking” TV series was in a Hallmark flick called “Angels and Ornaments,” in 2014 and she sings a tune called “’Twas the Night,” that I thought would get covered a lot and take-off. It hasn’t. It is a very good tune.

“Christmas Is All Around” from “Love Actually” was originally “Love Is All Around” by the Troggs that came out in 1967. The lyrics were edited for the flick.

When I was in high school, I was in the choir select group and we would perform at gatherings like Lions Club lunches, bank lobbies, you get the picture. On our set list for our Christmas shows was “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” There is a version where you sing the entire poem. You can find a few college choirs performing it on YouTube. It is the coolest.

There are a few notable lines from Christmas tunes like

“I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.”

“And so, I’m offering this simple phrase to kids from one to 92. Although it’s been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you.”

My Dad is 99, so he is now off the list.

“He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good, for goodness sake!”

 “Joy to the world, the Lord is come, let earth receive her King.”

“Sleep in heavenly peace.”

“Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Let your heart be light. From now on, our troubles will be out of sight.”

“Merry Christmas, darling. We’re apart, that’s true, but I can dream and in my dreams, I’m Christmasing with you.”

“The stars are brightly shining.”

“It’s Christmastime in the city.”

“Stink, stank, stunk.”

“In his name all oppression shall cease.” Nope.

On Christmas Day at my Dad’s house, we have the Christmas tunes on CD, vinyl and Alexa, our DJ.

Right now, in my ride, it is SiriusXM with 8 Christmas tunes channels.

I still wonder about “My Favorite Things” from “The Sound of Music” being a Christmas tune. Oh, well.

I really didn’t intend this to be a Commentary Christmas tune take, but I guess it is.


Over at NRG Stadium, they have a retractable roof. Most folks don’t know it because it is never open. They apparently tried to open the roof before the Texans game this past Sunday and it didn’t work. Of course, it doesn’t work. You have to open it from time to time to make sure it works, like they do at The Yard.

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