Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Carol Countdown: 3 Days to Go!

Goodness, it's actually Christmas-like weather here. It's been cloudy and raining for a week. It's supposed to last through Friday and then be sunny on Christmas Day. Meanwhile I'm enjoying quilting and looking out my window at the rain.

I'm hoping you have all your Christmas shopping and mailing done and can sit back and enjoy the season. And if you have children at home, lucky you!

I'm making it another two-fer day!

The first is from the last Bing Crosby Christmas TV Special. It was done in the 1970's. One of Bing's guests was David Bowie. I remember it was really odd to have someone like David Bowie appear with Bing. Apparently Bowie accepted because he knew his mother liked Bing Crosby. He didn't, however, like the song choice: Little Drummer Boy. He asked if there was something else they could do and someone wrote a counterpoint to Little Drummer Boy. This song has become a classic of Christmas songs. Bing Crosby died a month after taping this show.

I heard the second carol when I bought a CD of The King's College Choir. About a decade ago, Wherehouse (video/CD store) also sold used CD's. They contributed greatly to my large CD collection. At Christmas, I would make sure to hit Wherehouse looking for used Christmas CDs, especially the ones that were two bucks. This is how I discovered the King's College Choir, a choir of men and young boys. They make beautiful music! Gabriel's Message is a song that I first on their CD. Later I also heard the version done by Sting. I like them both equally. I couldn't find a version of Sting performing it, so I chose to post the King's College Choir. If you haven't heard Sting's version, go to youtube and look it up.

Wishing you the best this Christmas season. God Bless.




Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Carol Countdown: 5 Days to Go!

Lots of things are happening very quickly. So quickly that I haven't even sat down to write here. First, I am now officially on holiday! I managed to ease into it last week by being out of work for two days: one day with a migraine and one day to nurse my back which I hurt on the weekend. It certainly made the last week before vacation go quickly!

As of Saturday all the packages are sent out east. Amazingly, also, they received them today, Monday! I'm impressed. I sent off my daughter's birthday presents today, she'll definitely get them before the 26th, her birthday.

Speaking of that particular daughter's birthday, it brings up the Carol for today. My daughter was not supposed to come around Christmas. She was supposed to come around Thanksgiving! If any of you've ever carried a baby past due date, you'll know what a stressful and disheartening time it is. As soon as my daughter could understand my sentiments, I told her, "Don't you ever whine to me about your birthday being the day after Christmas! I was ready to have you three-and-a-half weeks before then. You shouldn't have even been born in December!" Actually, she likes her birthday being the day after Christmas, which is good, very good.

Today's carol is sung by John Denver. He is my all-time favorite singer/songwriter. Just as I grew up listening to Johnny Mathis on my Mom's stereo, my kids grew up hearing John Denver. I played guitar and his songs were the backbone of my repetoire. His songs and music are woven through our family life. We had a canary named JD, short for John Denver. We had a password so that the children would know if I sent someone to pick them up, that the person was safe. The password was John Denver and Annie. (Annie was his wife). My husband says that whenever I got mad at him, I'd play John Denver on the stereo. Many of his songs have helped me through difficult times in my life. My sister and I sang his song, Perhaps Love, at our mother's funeral. My grandfather's favorite song for me to play on the guitar was Calypso, a song John Denver wrote about Jacques Cousteau.

A little side note...each of my children have a song. I didn't start out intending it to be that way, it just happened. My oldest daughter's song is a lullaby I sang to her hundreds of times. It is from a musical written by Carol Lynne Pearson called "My Turn On Earth." The lullaby, "Angel Song," became her song because it reminded me of the time when she was a newborn. After that, there was a song for each child that just came about that reminded me of them as a newborn.

John Denver wrote a song called, "A Baby Just Like You", about his son Zachary. It is a Christmas themed song and very sweet. Because of my daughter's birthday, "A Baby Just Like You," became her song; many of the sentiments in the song express how I felt about her. One line in the song has the words: "Merry Christmas, little Zachary," which I changed when I sang it to: "Merry Christmas, little Andrea." It is another song from the first John Denver Christmas special with the Muppets.

It's two-fer Monday. (I just made that up!) I want to do two carols today, because I've missed some days and if I don't double up, I won't get in all the songs I have chosen!

I was on YouTube again today. Watch out! This may be habit forming! I like to go through the "Mormon Messages," that are there. I also spent quite a while watching live performances of Neil Diamond. Eclectic, to say the least!

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings "What Shall We Give to the Babe in the Manger?" It's a beautiful and thought provoking song. We are reminded that the greatest gift we can give the Savior is to love him and serve others. This version of that carol reminds us of what Christmas is about.

God Bless.



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