Parksville-raised singer/songwriter Beth Marie Anderson has just released her first Christmas album, titled Christmas With You. — Submitted by Beth Marie Anderson

Parksville-raised singer/songwriter Beth Marie Anderson has just released her first Christmas album, titled Christmas With You. — Submitted by Beth Marie Anderson

Christmas album years in the making for Parksville-grown singer

New album Christmas With You features many original songs

While it’s always a special time of year for country artist Beth Marie Anderson when Christmas rolls around, this year Anderson’s beloved holiday is even a little bit more special.

That’s because she’s just released her fourth album, through which her love of Christmas can take flight.

Called Christmas With You and released in late November, it’s been a long-term project for Anderson.

“I’m so excited,” she said of the new album. “I’ve actually been writing for it for… well, since about 2011.”

Anderson said she wrote about half the album with B.C. songwriters, and the other half with Nashville writers, where the Parksville-raised singer/songwriter has spent much of her time since about 2009.

The record includes some brand-new songs, including Tropical Christmas and Reindeer Reunion; some previously released singles; and just two covers: The First Noël in a bluegrass style, and O Holy Night featuring acoustic string instruments including guitar, violin, cello and viola.

Different from other Christmas albums that provide only a few original songs, Anderson said she had to whittle down her count of about 15 original Christmas tunes to eight for the album.

“I had to make some hard choices,” she said.

Asked how her Christmas inspiration became so strong, she said positive experiences throughout her childhood have a lot to do with it.

“Oh my gosh, I love Christmas,” said Anderson. So much so, that her sister is enforcing a new rule: “I’m not allowed to sing Christmas songs or play Christmas songs in the house until after Halloween,” she said with a giggle.

“When I was growing up, I always had such positive Christmas experiences,” said Anderson. “We were a part of the Parksville Baptist Church so we did the Bethlehem Walk every year… it’s amazing. They recreate the village of Bethlehem and they have the little baby Jesus and Mary and Joseph and there is choir singing and hot chocolate and cookies.

“For me, everything about Christmas is amazing, from the food to the lights, family, the songs, just everything about it.”

So, for some of her original songs, Anderson drew directly from her experiences as a child. A Kid on Christmas Day, for example, is about keeping the wonder and excitement for Christmas that one experiences as a child alive as one grows up.

For other songs, Anderson tried to look at Christmas, or Christmas themes, in different ways.

Sitting down with different songwriters, Anderson said, the act of just talking about Christmas would lead to ideas such as Tropical Christmas.

Asking themselves why people get so stressed about Christmas, Anderson took a tropical/island look at the situation, applying what she’s experienced of the laid-back atmosphere both in Hawaii and growing up on Vancouver Island.

Soon, lines like “leave the worries and the flurries, the bustle and the hurry behind,” and they soon had a tropical track.

The Reindeer Reunion song came about through a discussion on what the reindeer might do all the other days of the year.

“That’s definitely a song that wrote itself,” said Anderson.

Though her first full Christmas album has just come out, and she’s finished an Island tour performing it, Anderson said she’s already thinking about her next holly and tinsel-covered album.

One song she hopes to include on that next record is Gingerbread Town, she said, which she wrote as a co-writer discussed her own mom’s tradition of building an entire gingerbread community every Christmas.

“I was asking her, ‘Well, do you mean a couple houses?’ and they were explaining that, no, it takes over her entire dining room table, and has a ski hill. They actually hand-string up lights between the different little houses,” Anderson said.

“I can’t wait to record my next Christmas album,” she said with another giggle.

For more info on Anderson and her Christmas album, including how to buy it, go to bethmarieanderson.com/news.

Send news tips to:

adam.kveton@pqbnews.com

Just Posted

Gracie couldn’t stop nursing from her previous owner’s goats which was problematic given the goats were trying to be dried out to breed. Gracie now lives at A Home for Hooves. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Cowichan animal sanctuary gets international accreditation

A Home for Hooves farm sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

Nurse Doreen Littlejohn takes a longterm approach in her outreach work with homelessness in Parksville Qualicum Beach, but says more needs to be done now. (Auren Ruvinsky photo)
‘Women face a much different experience on the street’

Vancouver Island nurse says community needs to be part of solution to homelessness

The Sepura is a garbage disposal system that separates solids from liquids and allows for stink and hassle-free composting. (Courtesy of Anvy Technologies)
Goodbye garburator, this Victoria company has a clean composting solution

Sepura has made Time Magazine’s ‘100 Best Inventions of 2020’ for its hassle-free functioning

Christmas lights are something that people can do to celebrate the season that are not impacted by COVID-19. (file photo)
Editorial: Give your loved ones some kindness and some space this year

Holiday season will be different this year and we’ll have to adjust our Christmas plans this year.

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

The property at 113 and 161 Island Highway is currently being dismantled as the developer attempts to salvage ‘usable’ lumber for their development application to the City of Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Development application delayed for high-profile Parksville property

Council refers application to staff for further improvements

Work is underway to bring a Nordic-themed Christmas display to Uptown Shopping Centre. (Black Press Media file photo)
Outdoor skating rink, road mural among holiday festivities at Saanich mall

Santa dons a clear mask for photos at Uptown this winter

Peninsula Panthers' owner and general manager Pete Zubersky questions the decision-making process leading to the suspension of play in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL). (Black Press Media File)
Peninsula Panthers’ owner questions process behind suspension of Junior B hockey action

Pete Zubersky does not understand actions of provincial body administering amateur sports

Dover Bay Secondary School student Victoria Hathfield’s poem <em>Dear Santa</em> appears in<em> Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas is in the Air</em>. (Photo courtesy Darren Lee)
Nanaimo high schooler has first poem published in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

Victoria Hathfield’s ‘Dear Santa’ appears in new Christmas-themed edition of anthology series

Qualicum Beach resident Harold MacDougall won $75,000 off a Casino Royale II Scratch & Win ticket, purchased the ticket at Qualicum Foods on Memorial Avenue. (BCLC photo)
Qualicum Beach man $75K richer thanks to scratch-and-win ticket windfall

Winner plans on trips to Cape Breton and Scotland

A spokesperson for the Peninsula Country Market is upset that their third and final Winter Market won’t happen this Saturday in Central Saanich’s Centennial Park following moves by the municipality. (Facebook/Peninsula Country Market)
Central Saanich postpones weekend Winter Market, organizers upset

Lorea Tomsin said municipality’s move runs counter to provincial direction

Brenda’s Brats have cancelled their Christmas variety shows due to COVID-19, but they are hoping you will still donate to the CMS Food Bank. (Submitted)
Cancellations dot the Cowichan event calendar

Christmas train and Run For The Claus among the events that won’t happen

Most Read