Well peeps, it’s Friday and that means you have four shopping days left until Christmas. If you’re like me, those days don’t mean a whole lot because you’ve already spent multiple paychecks on Amazon shipping gifts all over the country.
Christmas isn’t relaxing, not always joyful, and has an overrated tone to it. Case in point, there was a shooting at a Reno hospital a few days ago. Merry Christmas indeed… For the record, I’m not all bah humbug about the holidays, they’re just taking a different spin this year.
On the bright side, Mannheim Steamroller is busting into town on the 29th. For those who don’t know, they are an electronic mix of classic Christmas songs with a dosage of fun and excitement. It’s gonna be a blast!
To avoid being totally negative about Christmas, I figured I would officially poll my readers as to their favorite Christmas songs. I assembled my top five below (in order)… who has an opinion on these?
- Hallelujah Chorus
- White Christmas
- I’ll Be Home For Christmas
- Let it Snow
- Mistress for Christmas (haha, had to get an AC/DC reference in there)
For me, Christmas is about the warmth and enjoyment of thinking of past Christmases and experiences with friends and family. How many of those songs talk about dreams, memories of the past, or sensory experiences that stick with us forever? I distinctly remember the Christmas where our power went out three different times, or the time we made homemade donuts. Hot chocolate always brings me back to the time when we could sled in our backyard for hours and hours only to come back inside to return back to the snowy weather 20 minutes later. Even Christmas in Vegas created many fond memories. Granted, it never snowed, but we always made the best of it. This year, who knows.
The songs I chose as my favorite still stir the memories of 27 years of Christmas. Each Christmas is unique, and yet each Christmas had its own traditions. Stockings begin promptly at 7 AM, Mom does NOT get to cook breakfast before presents, and the first Christmas song of the year must be “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” by Bing Crosby. This year, the traditions still stand but I’m starting my own. From here on out, I will be watching Die Hard (greatest Christmas movie) on Christmas Eve Eve. I reserve the 24th for family friendly movies, but this year I will indulge myself. It’s not always pleasant starting traditions on your own, when you’re flying solo, but I have high hopes :-)
As far as the Hallelujah Chorus, I dare someone to listen to that song and not feel the emotions that Handel embedded into that fine work. It’s truly incredible, and as far as I know, the only song that intrinsically demands the audience to rise upon listening to it. That history is rooted in the actions of King George II who rose upon hearing that song because of the awe that he was struck with, and it truly is one of the most beautiful and impactful songs (Christmas or not) ever. That, and it is one of the few Christmas songs that captures the true meaning of the season. Now THAT is a cause for rejoicing.
Sure, presents and sleigh rides and warm cocoa all make everyone feel good on the surface, but Christmas is about much more. 2013 has been one hell of a ride. I am putting the finishing touches on a “Christmas letter video” and couldn’t believe how many events I had to cram into it. This Christmas, I am thankful for my friends who are loyal and true, for my dog who is loyal and true to those who feed her and take her for hikes, for family both near and far, and for the great place I am in life, no matter how different it is from what I expect it to be. I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and remember the true reason for celebration this time of year. It’s far bigger than anything we mortals can attest to…
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end…