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

The total earnings of Town of Qualicum Beach council and mayor amounted to $186,649 in 2020, including expenses. (Town of Qualicum Beach photo)
Nine Qualicum Beach town employees earned more than $100K in 2020

Mayor and council received earnings totalling $186,649

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)
Expert says 2 sets of parents producing rare white ravens in mid-Island area

One of the iconic birds is currently recovering at wildlife centre after being rescued

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read