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Christmas Duet #4 in my fantasy album featured my brother. For #5, my final offering this year, it’s time to sing with my sisters.

“But, Kimberly,” I can hear people saying, “you have two brothers. You don’t have any sisters.” This is true. I have an awesome sister-in-law (you are the best, Karen) but no blood-relation sisters. I do, however, have many female friends who have touched my heart over the years, and they fill the void. Some I text every day, some I connect with more infrequently, but all have made an imprint on my life that no one else can duplicate.

I lost one of those sisters this year, and no one will replace her. But I am learning – slowly – to find peace with that. Kimberly’s impact on my life will last forever. Even though she isn’t here in person anymore, I still hear her voice in my head. (Particularly when I’m drinking too much soda or dressing too conservatively). When I need confidence, I can close my eyes and see her smiling at me, beaming her faith in my talents at me without having to say a word.

For my fifth selection, I’ve chosen Santa Claus is Coming to Town by the Crystals. When it comes to music that cheers me, nothing works as well as an uptempo number from a Motown girl group. The song originally dates back to 1934, a simpler time when no one found fault with the idea of a strange man stalking them throughout the year and making notes about their behavior. We talk a lot about how fast Santa would have to travel in order to deliver presents to everyone on Christmas Eve, but I don’t know if we’ve discussed how he manages to get intel on the choices we all make during the rest of the year. It must have taken a lot of staff hours in 1934. I’m pretty sure now Santa goes the easy route and bribes someone at Interpol.

Whether you regard Santa as a jolly old elf or a judgmental voyeur, you can still enjoy the Crystals’ merry tune. I’d like to share this carol with some friends I made in high school – Jynae, Frances, Kristiana, Julie, Nina, and Carrie. Okay, I know this makes not a duet, but I want to surround myself with people who knew Kimberly, who can trade stories about her with me and won’t mind if I shed a few tears in between takes.

Plus, calling the rest of the series Christmas Duets and this one Christmas Chorale #1 just sounded weird, so let’s go with it.

Kimberly was terrified of Santa as a child, and she still maintains that was just good sense. People who offer you candy if you sit on their lap are not to be trusted.

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