It’s official! I have the COOLEST kids on the planet.
Last Thursday they were watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade on television when, just at the end, a “grandpa” (their words) started singing “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. They’ve been hearing this song daily for almost a month, so of course they were excited. (Plus, it’s a really great song, especially when Andy Williams sings it. The man exudes Christmas. Seriously.) I explained who Andy Williams was, and how he used to have a variety show on television, and he gave the Osmonds their big break.
*blink, blink* (variety show)
*blink, blink* (Osmonds)
[Okay, I am 34, not 134, but I sure felt ancient when I tried to explain those concepts to my kids. Finally I had to resort to saying, “You know that stupid Cartoon Network Christmas DVD we have? You know the Johnny Bravo one, where he forgets to mail his letters to Santa, so they go to the North Pole and they meet that guy with the big teeth who won’t stop smiling and goes to help Santa every year and makes everyone sing instead of talk? THAT’S Donny Osmond. Only he was just a kid when Andy Williams had his show on.”)
To which they replied, “Ohhhhh, HIM! We thought he was a cartoon. He’s REAL? Is he really that way in real life?”
To which I replied, “Come here and let me hug you really, really tight, until your heads pop off.”]
So, back to Andy Williams. My kids started naming songs they knew he sang. (They have great musical tastes. They get their love of music from me, and from their grandparents, but Grandpa especially.) Over the weekend, it became a contest to see who could shout out “Andy Williams!” the fastest when one of his songs came on the radio. Anthony thought we were all nuts, but Hannah was old enough to distinguish his voice, and when someone else sang one of “Andy’s” songs, she was quick to point out that he wasn’t, in fact, singing.
Cool kids, right? Amazing ones.
Over the weekend, our PBS station featured a “Best of Andy Williams Christmas Shows” show, and I DVR-ed it for the kids, thinking they might enjoy it. (Okay, and I was also hoping it could clear up some of the confusion about variety shows and Osmonds. Call me selfish.)
We watched it last night while Kenny was at work, and from the very beginning, all four kids were sucked in. Andy Williams = pure magic, as far as I’m concerned. The man has a gorgeous, PERFECT voice, incredible stage presence, and his show was just so darn fun! (And who knew he had three brothers who sang just as beautifully? What an amazing family!) There was something really special about watching the show. He found the perfect balance for families, without ever tipping the scales too far in either direction. (To today’s television executives: TAKE NOTES!) Anthony, who is almost three, enjoyed the show as much as I did, and we’ve already established that I’m ancient. 😀
I don’t know how long the shows aired originally, or if I ever saw one when I was little. They sure seemed familiar, but that could be because I saw them in reruns. Or maybe I got caught up in the Andy Williams magic, and what was new now seemed known. Either way, last night the five of us had a wonderful experience bonding over a phenomenal singer and the hard work and dedication he put into his Christmas variety specials (with Osmonds!). For me, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without the greats: Burl Ives, Bing Crosby, Gene Autry, and of course, Andy Williams.
I’m very glad I got to introduce a legend to my kids. I’m even more glad they were excited to “meet” him.