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Saturday, November 27, 2004

'Tis the Season!

The turkey is eaten; the football games...mostly over; and the late-November holiday break just about finished up. I have to go back to class on Monday. Joy.

This period of a few meager weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are always bittersweet for me. On the one hand, I have to prepare for and take final exams, write final papers, and complete final projects. That's no fun. On the other hand...'s officially kosher to play Christmas music!

I love Christmas music. Traditional, not-so-traditional, you name it. From the old Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby favorites to the far less traditional Manheim Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I love caroling with my friends on the Saturday before Christmas. I love singing Christmas hymns in church for the few weeks leading up to the holidays.

I just, quite simply, love Christmas music. And on the bi-weekly Wal-Mart trip tonight, I picked up a copy of the Frank Sinatra Christmas Collection, which now is blaring from my speakers as loud as I can get it since the other roommies aren't back in the dorms yet.

My other favorite Christmas albums to play include:

Roger Whittaker's Christmas Songs

I grew up to this one. We played it so many holiday seasons that I can hardly remember when we got it -- but when I think of Christmas music, Roger Whittaker's renditions of O Come All Ye Faithful, The Little Drummer Boy, and The Holly And The Ivy remain among my favorites.

The Chieftains' Bells of Dublin

Don't know when I got this one either -- middle school, perhaps? Or early high school. When I got into my Chieftains and other Celtic music kick. I still love it -- not the traditional music we hear in the States, but a mix of newer songs and really old traditional music from the British isles.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Eve and Other Stories

Senior year of high school, my best friends and I attended a TSO concert shortly before Christmas. We made a real night of it: dressed up in our formal attire, ate at a fancy restaurant, and parked 10 blocks from the theater so we girls ended up running in heels to make it to the place before the show started (the guys also ran; but they didn't have heels!). I have quite fond memories of that evening, and though TSO isn' any stretch (think Christmas music hard rock!), I enjoy it when I'm in my wilder moods.

There's another album that I remember from when I was younger. There wasn't anything particularly special about it -- I think it was just another collection of music. But on the tape (yes, it was a tape) was an instrumental version of Sleigh Ride to which my brother and I would pretend to play all the instruments we could hear -- the strings, the brass, the drums, the works. The rest of the album? Nothing particularly special to me. But I would love to hear that song again.

How about you all? Anyone have a favorite album? A favorite carol or song that evokes the Christmas season more than any other? Please -- share!

Arwyn 21:38
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Well, you asked for it. Not only asked but said please.

And since I am in a Christmas spirit...I'll share.

Let's start with what put me in the Christmas spirit just a week ago I saw "Polar Express". It is a great movie, and there is a very touching song with it. I have added it to some of my favorite Christmas songs and movie list. It's a beautiful song and scene in the movie.

Going back what seems like not so long ago, Faith Hill's "Where are you Christmas", also featured in the movie "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". I really love the song and my first birthday present this year is the movie. That song is one of the few Faith songs I truly enjoy hearing. The piano solo and undertones literally pluck at heartstrings for me. I also love the lyrics and feel of the song.

Going back a bit further, I enjoy listening to George Strait's two Christmas Albums. You might remember that I was fond of them. I've appreciate the old timers. Old Blue eyes ofcourse. I also enjoy listening to the Chieftain's Bells of Dublin.

Going back to my youth, I was awefully fond of Alabama's Christmas album. My mom's favorite band was Alabama and we would listen to it alot, even if it weren't the season. "Christmas in Dixie" was one of my favories. Also from my youth, I can't hear the Peanut's Christmas theme without feeling both very sad and very happy at the same time.

I remember a specific Christmas that I spent in North Carolina. I was introduced to Manheim Steamroller. Although it isn't truly my speed (and neither was Bob Rivers), hearing Christmas music from those two bring back certain memories.

Martina McBride's White Christmas is also very good. So too is the Mavericks Blue Christmas. I guess those albums are colorful additions to anyone's collection!

As for my favorite traditional songs, I truly like them all.

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