For those that don’t know. The highlight of our Christmas gifts to one another each year, are recordings. This has now been going on for 12 years (last year I said 10, but I looked it up, and this is the 12th album, so last year’s 10th anniversary album, was poorly named!). We are still using the same free Garageband software we used 12 years ago, though in a slightly updated version, and Jerry and I still use the same $60 microphone, though the girls now each own one as well. Jerry has been faithfully working on his gifts to me for weeks. But thanks to college and med school finals, and general procrastination, the rest of the recordings were largely done on Christmas Eve and one in the early hours of Christmas morning.
The photo above, has also been taken every year since we started this. Just for fun, here’s the original photo in 2006.
We know there are many of you that enjoy following our crazy tradition of ours, and so this website is hacked together just to share them. Some day, I’ll polish it and get all the oldest recordings up for your listening pleasure. A few of the older ones are up: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, & 2010. Somehow last year we never got around to getting 2016 up.
Be forewarned that the free audio player I’m using, usually restarts the song when you get to the end. So you might need to stop it and move on to the next. If you notice any glitches let us know. It’s not on a very speedy server, so we’ve noticed periodic playback problems. We plan to move this site to a faster server, just haven’t gotten around to it.
Leah, Marta, & Winnie’s Gift to Jerry:
- Long Time Traveller (The Wailin Jennys) – Leah, Marta & Winnie singing. We were jointly sound technicians for this one.
Jerry & Winnie’s Gift to Leah & Marta
- The Healing Part (CeCe Winans) – We heard this sung at the MN State Fair this year, and it just felt like a song for the crazy times we are living in.
Leah and Marta’s Gift to Winnie & Jerry
- Oh Mom (Tom Chapin) – This one was a fun surprise. Jerry and I taught the girls to sing in harmony by teaching them rounds. This bedtime round was one of the more complicated ones, and it’s really hard to teach without having three people available. So we will all enjoy having a recording of it.
- Wise In the Ways of a Woman (don’t know composer to attribute) – This is a song that Marta and Leah know from community sings at Luther.
Jerry’s Gifts to Winnie:
- If I Could Tell Her (Dear Evan Hansen)- It comes as no surprise to anyone, that we are a little musical crazy around her. this beautiful song comes from Dear Evan Hansen, a musical we have not yet had the pleasure of seeing, but we are nuts about the music.
- You Matter to Me (Waitress) – This comes from another relatively new musical, Waitress. Jerry and Leah saw this on Broadway in May, and we all saw it together here in the Twin Cities in November for Leah’s birthday.
- Where’ve You Been (Vezner & Henry) – This one is as old as the others are new. No particular history with it, just a beautiful song.
About the Artists
Leah Williams graduated from Luther College in May and is now a first year medical student at the University of Minnesota. During her short summer break, she took two graduation trips: a trip to NYC with her dad, where they got to see John Bolton in Anastasia, and Sara Bereilles in Waitress, and a trip to Holden Village, via Amtrak, with her mom, where she introduced her mom to throwing clay.
Marta Williams is a junior Biology major at Luther College, singing in the Collegiate Choir and playing flute in the Concert Band. Marta spent the summer of 2017 working at the University of Minnesota Visible Heart Lab. She continues her neurology research at Luther, and has presented at a variety of conferences this year. When home and not in the lab, she explored all things basil, and made an amazing blueberry mint lemonade. Marta will be spending January of 2018 in Argentina.