Violinist Lindsey Stirling on the Nostalgic Power of Christmas Music
Violinist Lindsey Stirling loves holiday music so much that she recently recorded an album of it, Warmer in the Winter. Here, she reminisces about her earliest jingliest memories.
Some of my earliest memories are of twirling. I guess the proper term for it is pirouetting or spinning, but to this day I call it twirling. It just sounds more whimsical to me.
Anyhow, for as long as I can remember my dad had an old record player and a library of records ranging from the “Scheherazade Suite” to “The Phantom of the Opera.” All through my childhood our home was swimming with the stunning, scratchy sound of sweeping strings, and it was through these classical records that I fell in love with the violin.
Every year as the holiday season approached, I can remember waiting with almost unbearable anticipation for the day that the box of Christmas records would be pulled down from the attic and dusted off. The record sleeve with the giant green Christmas tree on it was my favorite. I can still remember the crackly sound that would resonate as the needle touched the spinning record. Then moments later, music would fill the air and it was as if the melodies were just begging for dancers to paint the room with their movements.
I loved putting on my yellow princess dress when I danced. Mom made it for my Halloween costume, and the light, flowing fabric complemented my ever-so-“delicate” movements just beautifully. My mom and dad made a lot of things for us. They wanted to give us everything the world had to offer and more, but instead of buying the newest and best toys, most Christmases, they surrounded the tree with the hand-crafted easels that my dad stayed up countless nights to finish and the puppets that my mom sewed by hand.
My parents sacrificed countless pleasures to give my sisters and me a magical childhood. However, I think the greatest gift they gave was their love for music and creativity. They built an environment where we were safe to express ourselves, to create, and to dance like no one’s watching.
It’s amazing how children dance isn’t it? They are so free and there is no fear to hold them back. My earliest memories of expression took place in our small living room, in that yellow dress, dancing to “Sleigh Ride.” My sisters and I would dance for what seemed like hours to those Christmas records, and my mom and dad would continuously step away from their tasks to film us and tell us how beautiful we looked.
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Who would have thought that those hours of twirling to violins would lead to my twirling on stage and on YouTube in front of a billion people, this time with a violin?