What makes the music last long after you're grown is something you sensed when you were a kid, a wistful tone that almost makes you sad to say goodbye to the Christmas not yet come. As an adult, you hear the sadness between the notes, the sense of loss for the Christmases of childhood. But the notes themselves are cheerful and offhandedly wise. As a kid you leaned forward into that mood; as an adult you look back to find it. And you meet right there, in the opening notes of each song.
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