Nutcracker Chapter: Christmas Eve
Song: Celestial Chimes
Phonograph: Edison London Upright
It's December 1! For as long as I can remember I have celebrated the Christmas season throughout December with an advent calendar. For those who might not be aware, an Advent Calendar is a calendar (perhaps obviously) which counts down the days until Christmas. There is no reason that an advent calendar needs to begin on December 1 and, indeed, some religious practices begin advent at different times. I have always started on December 1, as most calendars I have seen begin on that date.
When I was young the advent calendars I enjoyed most were those that had chocolate candy inside. Each day was a new sweet treat! Indeed, these are the favourite of my children, too. As I've grown, however, I've found pleasure in non-candy advent calendars. One of my favourites is a Nutcracker Storybook advent which tells the story of the Nutcracker over 24 days. For advent this year I'd like to share this story with you, day by day, and couple it with a vintage Christmas song from my collection of phonograph records.
Our song today is Celestial Chimes. Celestial Chimes was recorded in 1919 by Robert Gaylor, and this version comes to us on an Edison Diamond Disc. The Edison phonograph was one of the original acoustic wind up phonographs and was a direct competitor to the more commonly known Victrola's. It arguably had the best sound of phonographs of the day but lost in popularity to the others for a variety of reasons, one of which was it's lack of compatibility with other phonographs. I'm lucky enough to have one of these old Edison phonographs which works, and a few Christmas songs for it to share.