Christmas is my favorite time of year. Autumn is my favorite season and color, but there’s just nothing like Christmas. The warmth of the season is more than enough to thaw you through the long, cold winter nights.
When I heard that my favorite band, Hanson, was doing a Christmas concert in Europe I had to get tickets. My two favorite things in the world smooshed together? Yes, please! At the time my whole world was crazy, I thought my husband would be gone and that I’d have to take the daughters with me, which would have been fine. It’s never too early to introduce the offspring to Hanson. I didn’t know how I’d get to England or who would go with me or anything else, I just knew I had to get there. So, I bought a handful of tickets just to be prepared and I tried my best to figure out a plan.
I decided that Lo was going to come to Europe and we would go to this concert together. We’d waited 20 years for this. But her plans and my plans didn’t mesh well, so I was back to square one. My husband ended up not having to leave for work, so that meant I would let me guard down and finally show him how far my crazy went after 12 years of marriage. He would be coming to Manchester with me. I booked our plane tickets, I booked our room, and I told him where to be and when.
We got to Manchester a day before the concert. After checking in to our room, we decided to grab some dinner from the mall, Manchester Arndale. This mall was insane. I’m fairly certain it was bigger than Mall of America and I definitely got lost there. I was tempted to visit Santa, but I was already making the husband see Hanson, so I didn’t push my luck. While there we did get to hear a brass band playing traditional Christmas carols and we may have bumped into Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, and Darth Nihilus. So we got our nerd on and enjoyed watching them scare little kids.
After we got our fill of sushi, we headed to the Manchester Christmas market. This was the largest Christmas market I’d ever seen and we didn’t even hit half of it. I made the husband get some gluwein (like he would have protested 🙄) so that I could get the mug for this year. They’re so gosh darn cute, I can’t stand it. We spent the evening strolling through the market and admiring the lights.
I love the cold and dreary weather. I’m part ice queen or snow miser, I swear. But after about 5 hours in the cold, I even started to feel it. I have to give the husband mad props for not deciding to divorce me. He was a dang trooper. He even joked around with the other fangirls I made friends with and donned a Santa hat. How in the world I found the one guy willing to put up with my amount of ridiculousness is beyond me, but he does and I love him more than that.
Finally the doors opened and we rushed in to fight for the best spots. My group saved a spot for me since I had to pick up my tickets. We were about 4 rows from the stage. It couldn’t have gotten much better than that.
The husband had to check our bags and coats, so he didn’t walk in with me. By the time he came to find me, I had a swarm of crazy fans surrounding me. There was no way the husband would get passed those women without being castrated. So he gave up trying to get to me and stood at the balcony to watch the concert and get pictures for me. Seriously, awesome husband.
The guys finally came out and opened with “Finally it’s Christmas”. They were on fire that night. About half way through, they did a couple songs a cappella (without instruments). Holy mother of all that is good in this world, there is nothing like hearing Hanson sing a cappella together. Their voices mesh perfectly.
I’m a Christian woman and I grew up in the church. I’d always obsessed over their religious views, searching for any sign of faith. Not because it was necessary to enjoy their music, I’d love them forever, regardless. They didn’t sit and preach or share some lengthy sermon, but they shared their faith before singing “Joy to the Mountain”. My heart was so full.
Getting to go to Manchester to see Hanson and experience their Christmas market was one heck of an awesome way to start the Christmas season!
Hanson concert set list:
Finally It’s Christmas
What Christmas Means To Me
Little Saint Nick
Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
Run Rudolph Run
Please Come Home For Christmas
Someday At Christmas
White Christmas (a cappella)
Joy To The Mountain (a cappella)
Peace On Earth
Merry Christmas Baby
Wonderful Christmas Time / Come On It’s Christmas
All I Want For Christmas Is You
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
‘Til New Years Night
Everybody Knows The Claus
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Praying for a happy Holiday season for everyone!