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

Vancouver Island universities raking in the cash from foreign students

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Algae bloom kills over 200,000 farmed fish near Tofino

Month-long die-off appears to over, DFO and Cermaq confirm

Sidney has highest walk-in clinic wait times in the country: report

Several Vancouver Island facilities wait times notably poor

No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night

‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash

Area where the plane went down is primarily a residential neighbourhood, RCMP say

B.C. cities top the list for most generous in Canada on GoFundMe

Chilliwack took the number-two spot while Kamloops was at the top of the list

Victoria Police Department taking too long to respond to emergency calls

A new report says VicPD is not meeting its 911 response targets

Police impound 19 vehicles for excessive speed on Malahat

Excessive speed is classified as going more than 40 km/h over the limit in that stretch

Penticton RCMP warn of new ‘porting’ scam that puts internet banking, online accounts at risk

Two-factor verification has been the go-to way to keep online accounts secure

Man armed with bear spray robs Campbell River liquor store

Crime Stoppers has released a photo of one of the suspects

Internationally acclaimed designer back in class at North Island College

Courtenay’s Prpich is sharing her knowledge and talent with the next generation of graphic designers

City of Victoria selects new Indigenous Artist in Residence

Salish artist Dylan Thomas takes on the role for two years

Victoria shuttle service aims to use cruise ship waste as fuel

Pacific Northwest Transportation Services wants to have a zero emission fleet by 2026

Most Read