The Blessing of Christmas Music

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.  I don’t know about you, but I love Christmas music! I love the pop music on the radio as well as the carols and hymns that are sung at church.

For our advent services, we use a caroling songbook that was put together last year.  Part of the songs are sacred Christmas songs and others are Christmas fun.  On the sacred list are tunes like, “Silent Night,” “Still, Still, Still,” and “What Child is This?” On the fun list are “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “Silver Bells.”

This photo is of our tree with the musical ornaments and a Singing Santa in front.  He lights up, signs, and his hat flaps up and down.  Even in the silliest things, it is about the music.

I have some favorite songs that the local radio station plays throughout the Christmas season and some others as well.  I like these songs sung or performed by particular people.  They are:

  • “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” as sung by Andy Williams.  This is my all-time favorite and I crank it up every time and sing along with it.
  • “Happy Holidays” also sung by Andy Williams. I loved him as a child and still do.  His voice is Christmas to me.
  • “Do They Know It’s Christmas” By Band-Aid.  This was originally recorded and released in 1984.  Although a sad song, it reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas and that we are called to help one another.  This year, it was re-recorded to raise money for Ebola.  I just love that!
  • “Celebrate Me Home” by Kenny Loggins.  It is all about making it home for Christmas with your loved ones.
  • “A Baby Changes Everything” by Faith Hill.  A baby born on Christmas changed everything. Babies born every day also change everything.  Our baby certainly did for us.
  • “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Josh Groban.  This one gives me chills, especially the version that is interspersed with servicemen and women talking to their families.  Again, home is the place to be, at least in my opinion.
  • “O Holy Night” as sung by my mother at church.  She has a lovely voice and her rendition gives me chills every time. Looking forward to this year Mom!
  • “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” as sung by Ian.  He has learned about the Rudolph story this year and loves it. And he has made up his own version of a female purple-nosed reindeer.  Love his creativity.
  • “Tennessee Christmas” by Amy Grant.  Since I am from Tennessee, the words mean a lot.
  • “White Christmas” from the movie as sung by Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Vera Ellen.  I love this entire movie and all of the songs in it.  And, I sing with each and every one of them.
  • “My Grown-Up Christmas List” by Amy Grant.  The words are just right for my current wish list.  Gifts are more than material things.
  • “Santa Clause is Coming To Town” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.  This is a fun version recorded at a concert.
  • “Last Christmas” by Wham.  I really like George Michael’s voice on this song.
  • “Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney.  This is another fun song.
  • “The Hallelujah Chorus” as performed by a choir with a full orchestra.  I have performed this song twice and loved singing it both times.
  • “Winter Wonderland” by Eurythmics.  I like Annie Lennox’s voice on this version.
  • “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by U2.  This is one of my favorite groups and is a great version.

What are your favorite Christmas songs?  I would love to hear about them and what you like about them.

I wonder if I will be singing along with these songs?  Yes!  I most certainly will!

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The Blessing of Youth Groups

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday at church, the youth did the entire service and it was great.  Several of them prepared special music – a few songs on the piano, “Canon in D” played by a violin trio, a children’s choir, and a young man singing “Mary, Did You Know?”

They also read scripture, led us in a moving prayer, and videotaped the sermon message of a skit about who stole the church.  The skit was the Grinch story told if a church had been robbed.  It was really cute and meaningful.

This great service was followed by a lunch and a visit with Santa in the fellowship hall of the church.  A great time was had by all. This photo is from the tree in the fellowship hall.

This service made me appreciate the youth groups that I was involved in as a child.  I went to two different churches – one while in junior high, and then I switched to another while in high school.  I went on several great trips — to a youth gathering in San Antonio, Texas, that I will never forget, and to a youth camp.

Thanks to my parents for allowing me to have these adventures and be so active with these groups.  Some of the people I became friends with at church are still my dearest friends.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Children using their talents
  • A funny skit as the sermon
  • Eating lunch with friends from church
  • Ian being excited about meeting Santa
  • Enjoying lunch in the room where Kirk and I had our first dance as husband and wife
  • Santa’s gift being just right for Ian
  • Checking out Christmas books from the church library
  • An active youth program at our church
  • Memories of my youth group days
  • Pictures of youth then and now

I wonder what Ian will think of the youth group when he gets older?  I imagine he will like it as much as I do.  Hope you have a great week!

Tuesday Tunes: The Sing Off and Christmas Music

singingHi and Happy Tuesday.

Did you happen to watch The Sing-Off last night on NBC? I did and was so glad that I did.  It was a fun two hours with some very talented people and some kind judges who know how to give constructive criticism without being mean.

It is a show with all of the groups singing A Capella music.  The groups are very talented.  It is amazing what they can do with just their voices! There are 10 groups who are in the competition this season: acoUstiKats, Calle Sol, Element, The Filharmonic, Home Free, The Princeton Footnotes, Street Corner Renaissance, Ten, Vocal Rush, and VoicePlay.

Each of these groups brings something unique to the competition and has their own sound.  My favorites last night were Street Corner Renaissance, acoUstiKats, and The Filharmonic.  I missed a few of the performances and overall was pleased with everyone.  For Ten, last night was the first time they have ever performed together.  As Jewel said, I too was surprised by that fact.  Imagine once they start regularly practicing.

It will be interesting to see and hear what they do next.  I am looking forward to it.  Please share your thoughts on the competition and if you’ll be watching it.

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cropped-sany0111.jpgThis is also the time of year for wonderful Christmas music.  The radio station that I regularly listen too is interspersing Christmas songs with their usual lineup.  And, on the weekends, it’s all Christmas music.

A few of my favorites are:

  • “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band-Aid
  • “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams
  • “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” by the Eurythmics
  • “Believe” by Josh Groban
  • “Celebrate Me Home” by Kenny Loggins
  • “My Grown-Up Christmas List” by Amy Grant
  • “Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song)” by Amy Grant
  • “Last Christmas” by George Michael
  • “Santa Clause is Coming To Town” by Bruce Springsteen
  • “Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney

These are all I can think of now, but there will be more as I hear them again.

Hope you have a day full of music — no matter what kind you like the best!  Happy Tuesday Tunes!

Christmas Music

Christmas musicIt’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas!

I don’t know about you but I love Christmas music.  The radio station I normally listen to, B-97.5 in Knoxville, Tennessee, has been playing some of my favorites along with their regular lineup.

Hearing these songs puts me in the mood for Christmas and all of the wonderment of the Advent season and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as well.  And I must admit that I sing along with as many as possible!  Fun times for me, that’s for sure.

Here are some of my favorites that I hear on the radio with the artists that I like the best:

  • “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams — His version of this song always makes me smile.  I can sing each and every word and usually do at the top of my lungs!  When I hear this, I am ready for the Christmas season.  This year he will be celebrating in Heaven.
  • “Celebrate Me Home” by Kenny Loggins — I always sing along with this version.  It is so great being home for Christmas!
  • “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Bandaid — This was recorded in the mid-80s and remains one of the best.  It always makes me a little sad and mindful of so many who are suffering.
  • “A Baby Changes Everything” by Faith Hill — This song gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes.  Baby Jesus truly did change everything!  And, my baby changed my life so I think of him as well.
  • “Tennessee Christmas” by Amy Grant.  Since I live in Tennessee and grew up there, this song is quite special to me.  Her version is beautiful.
  • “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.  I love his talking at the beginning of the song, the song itself, and the band and crowd they recorded it before.  It is a fun song!
  • “Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney.  I like the musicality of this song and the words are great as well.
  • “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” by Josh Groban with the quotes from service men and women mixed in.  This always makes me tear up and hope and pray that people will be with their families at Christmas time.

Music has a great effect on me as I am sure it does on you as well.  Each time I hear these songs I am happy and thoughtful as well.  They are truly an important part of this season for me.

What are some of your favorites?  These are just from the radio.  I have many others that I will write about in another posting.

Merry Christmas and remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season!!!!