Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Time is Near

I have always loved this time of year. It feels trite to say that, so many people do, but it is the only time of year when I feel like mankind is just that... a little bit kinder. I feel closer to other people because many of us are celebrating something special together. I wish that the feeling could be held on to year round - but I know that's a big wish. At this time of year it's easier to give to others selflessly. I suppose most of us are thinking of our Heavenly Father's greatest gift, his son, and it makes holding on to our money seem a bit silly.

Music is always the easiest way for me to feel uplifted, to feel the spirit. It is very powerful. Perhaps for that reason, my favorite thing about Christmas is the carols. I love the music at this time of year. I used to think I'd want to listen to it year round, but now I know I don't. I enjoy having it set aside, for this special time of year. My friend Jenna recently blogged about her five least favorite and five favorite Christmas songs. It's funny because I was already composing a post in my mind about my favorite songs. So, in response to Jenna asking about other's favorite songs, I'm going to share mine.

1. "The Little Drummer Boy"

This is by far my favorite Christmas song. It just seems to convey the meaning of Christmas in one perfect little story. The song is humble and meek, but also giving and grateful. I admit, I also really like drums and rhythm, I always have. I've had this song memorized for as long as I can remember. When I got my first apartment in college my mother bought me a little drummer boy that moved and played the drum. I put him under my tree and took such good care of him. My mother's favorite arrangement of the song was by David Bowie and Bing Crosby. I always thought that was funny since she was not a big David Bowie fan. If you've never heard it you really must. Now, I do love the original, unadulterated song, but this reminds me of my mother and the message is beautiful.

2. Handel's Messiah:  "Hallelujah"

No other song makes my spirit sore like this one. It's power is indescribable. I am moved to tears by the music, the words, the voices... It is joyful. This has to be similar to what those of us up in heaven sang when Christ was born. It is celebratory, yet reverent and respectful. I really don't have much more to add. The song speaks for itself.

3. "Christmas Song"

I love the innocence of this song. As the youngest in my family I know there is a part of me that will never really grow up. Songs like this bring back childhood memories and notions. Children are so pure in their intentions and thoughts. They really know what Christmas is all about. They love Baby Jesus and love that they get to celebrate his birthday. They have a pure joy and excitement that is contagious. This song also makes me laugh since my sister always thought it said, "Sweatsocks roasting on an open fire." She was like, "Why would you put sweatsocks on the fire and sing about it?" Hilarious! My favorite version of the song is by Karen Carpenter. Her voice was amazing, so smooth and classic. It never goes out of style.

4. "We Three Kings"

I love the story of the three wise men. Their faith is beautiful to me. These men were kings. They could have sent anyone to deliver gifts to the new baby, but they wanted to see him and worship him. They traveled so far and for so long, I don't think the scriptures give a good idea of how long it took them to find Jesus. My mother was so funny setting up her nativity. She would never let us put the wise men with the stable. She made us move them far in the distance. She reminded us that they didn't set out to find him until the they saw the star in the sky, when he was born, and had so far to travel that he was not a newborn when they got to him. But they did find him and knew who he was. The beach boys recorded, by far, my favorite version of this song.

5.  "O Holy Night"

Another song that tells the story of Christ's birth. Another song that makes my heart sing. It makes me wish I could sing it as beautifully as I hear it in my head. It gives reverence to this special day, but it also reminds us about his life's mission. It brings peace to my heart. Aaron Neville has the most amazing voice and I love the bluesy sound of his version.

1 comment:

Jenna said...

All good ones, Heather! I do love "O Holy Night" but I'm not fond of every arrangement I hear. But when it's a good one, that song is a tear-jerker! We sang it for our concert earlier this month and it brought me to tears.


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