Jim Brickman (“America’s romantic piano sensation” and Grammy Nominee) is a dedicated Whole Foods Market customer and shares his thoughts on setting the mood with music and food during the holiday season. Visit Jim’s website for free music downloads, and more – and while you’re there -- enter to win a $100.00 Whole Foods Market Gift Card. One card will be awarded weekly from November 3rd through January 4th. Here’s a bit from Jim about how he spends his holiday season. I’ve spent every holiday season for the past 15 years crisscrossing the country on my holiday tour, which always begins the day after Thanksgiving. A few years ago, the holiday tour was beginning on the West Coast, so I invited everyone to my home in Los Angeles. Before spending five weeks living out of a suitcase and sleeping on a tour bus, I wanted to celebrate with my Mom and Dad, my brother, sister-in-law and nephew. We all live in different states, so being together as a family is really what it’s all about. It had been quite a while since we were all together for Thanksgiving and I was looking forward to a great meal, lots of laughs, catching up on the past year, reminiscing, and looking ahead. I awoke Thanksgiving morning to the tantalizing aroma of turkey roasting in the oven – which always starts the day on the right note. We all had our tasks, from cooking to setting the table to washing the dishes. Mine was setting the mood. For me, it’s not the flowers, the candles or the beautiful china that enhances the meal. It’s the music. By popular request (my Mom’s), a collection of Jim Brickman CDs went into the player and kept everyone relaxed and mellow. My dad, who is an amazing cook, is happiest in the kitchen. He puts so much love into the food preparation that when we sit down at the table, it’s so much more than a dinner. Somehow, he makes the most traditional meal seem like a gourmet feast. And, he’s happy to describe how each dish is made. Roast turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh green beans, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, and stuffing with sausage and sage. (It’s not actually stuffed IN the turkey. He says it dries out the bread). Dessert is…pies from Whole Foods Market, of course. Then, first thing the next morning, I hit the road, leaving behind the leftovers for my dad to recreate into another fantastic meal for the family. I am now celebrating the 15th anniversary of my holiday tour. With the Christmas Celebration CD, and the fall release of HOME, I am really taking this year to reflect on the wonderful people in my life. I raise a toast to the people I grew up with, my friends and family, and the fantastic musical guests who tour with me. How do you set the mood with music and food during the holidays?