As the cliché goes, every family that celebrates Christmas has its own diverse set of traditions. But I’m going to go way out on a limb and suggest that there’s at least one tradition of the season that we all share: waiting.
Here’s a look at some of those inevitable waiting periods before, during and after Christmas — and some “waiting” songs to help you pass the time while life is on hold after the big day.
The entire four-week Advent season is built around the theme of waiting — anticipation and hope — as Christians prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
The traditional hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” sung here by Enya, captures many of those emotions. And the contemporary hymn “Hosea (Come Back to Me),” sung here by its composer, Gregory Norbet, touches on other major themes of Advent: reconciliation and new beginnings.
In this seasonal classic — “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” — kids of all ages can relate to how hard it is for Alvin and his friends to contain themselves as they wait for the final countdown to the big day and gift-opening time:
We can hardly stand the wait
Please Christmas, don’t be late.
And in the days after, a few more lengthy waits likely await you, maybe at the airport or possibly stuck in traffic — or in store lines to exchange that “unique gift” from Uncle Fred or to redeem a gift card from Aunt Alice.
While you’re waiting, here are a few “waiting” songs you can check out on your mobile device to help pass the time.
Let’s begin with the biggest No. 2 song of the rock era, Foreigner’s 1981 “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” (4:34) which got stuck there for 10 weeks awaiting its turn at No. 1. Alas, its chance never came because of Olivia Newton-John’s mega-hit “Physical,” which sat at the top, too, for 10 weeks, followed by Hall and Oates’ “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do).”
Hope these “waiting” songs help because combined, the music and video clips should help you kill 24 minutes and 15 seconds:
• The Grass Roots’ “I’d Wait a Million Years” (2:44)
• “Just You Wait, Henry Higgins,” a hybrid that combines Broadway and film versions of “My Fair Lady” (2:53)
• The Kinks’ “Tired of Waiting for You” (2:09)
• The Playmates’ “Wait for Me” (2:57)
• Darlene Love’s “Wait Til’ My Bobby Gets Home” (2:31)
• Buck Owens’ “Waitin’ in Your Welfare Line” (2:05)
• The Rolling Stones’ “Waiting on a Friend” (4:22)