My first concept of god came from It’s a Wonderful Life. I was four or maybe five years old, and I remember sitting on an orange-rust shag carpet with my parents’ knees behind me, all of us watching the pulsing globs of light that functioned as angels. Even today, it’s an unnerving sequence for me, far too existential for a Capra film. But I’m grateful that my first image of the supernatural was so abstract, rather than someone’s punishing god. Perhaps it’s fitting that it came from television.

This year’s holiday soundtrack is a collection of hymns and carols from the Welsh mines recorded in the village of Rhosllannerchrugog in 1959. These slightly haunted voices sound like my smudgy childhood memories of old black-and-white specials.

It’s snowing tonight.

Rhos Male Voice Choir – Holy Night

Music from the Welsh Mines & Songs of Goodwill | 1957 | Bandcamp