5 Fun Christmas Songs

Hello there! Rounding out the three days of Christmas music I’m sharing with you 5 of the songs that really make me sing along and smile. They’re songs you may not know since they’re not very often played on the radio. I hope you’re enjoying this season and I hope you’re enjoying this music collection.

First, I’d be remiss to not include a Charlie Brown Christmas song. Although Christmastime Is Here is not necessarily a song to get you moving it definitely brings back warm memories of my childhood and I pray it does the same for you. If you haven’t taken time to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas, you should take time to do so. You won’t be disappointed.

Next up, Round and Round the Christmas Tree by the wonderful Bing Crosby. “Wishing, hoping, boxes to open but we agree it’s right to wait. Turkey and dressing, after the blessing and there’s just a night to wait. ‘Round and ’round the Christmas tree opening presents with the family. One for you and two for me oh, what a Christmas Day.”

My third choice to share is a lovely tune by June Christy, The Merriest. Sometimes they play the Frank Sinatra version on the radio but I prefer hers. “Friends for the loners. A song for the singers. Grins for the groaners. Make the day the nothing can compariest. Have the most, the merriest!”

Fourth, Button Up Your Overcoat by Dick Haymes. I can almost guarantee you haven’t heard this one. Originally recorded by Ruth Etting in 1929 and made popular by Helen Kane (inspiration for the voice of cartoon character Betty Boop), this song was re-recorded by Dick Haymes during a 1940s radio telecast. I love the improv in this song and although it’s not technically very Christmas-y, it’s still one of my favorites.

Finally, one of my favorite Christmas tunes of all times, Jingle Bell Cha Cha by Pearl Bailey. I’ve probably shared this song before but I just can’t help it. I seriously feel compelled to dance whenever I hear this tune! I love how she sounds happy-drunk and just having the time of her life. Pearl Bailey is fantastic.

Bonus: I’m including another Pearl Bailey song, Five Pound Box Of Money. This song cracks me up. I just love her and this is hilariously fun! “Now there’s a little gift that’s loaded with lots of sentiment. See, when I get blue, Santa I’m gonna think of you but at the same time have a little change to pay my rent.”

5 Favorite Christmas Songs by Christian Artists

 

I hope today is joyous and you are surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones. Today I wanted to share with you 5 of my favorite Christmas songs by Christian artists. These songs have really stood out to me this year and are ones I find myself playing over and over.

First up, Baby Boy by for King & Country. If you haven’t heard of this band you must look them up and listen to their music. Shoulders is perhaps one of my favorites they sing but they’re all pretty awesome. “See, the King is coming down And He’s here without a crown. The Baby Boy without a bed Giving life back to the dead. And hear the angels shout it out As the people come and bow. Unexpected majesty Alleluia, what a King.”

Next, I’m really digging Selah (featuring Plumb) singing Mary Sweet Mary. This is such a sweet song. “Mary, sweet Mary, so strong, yet so frail… carried a baby sent to save the world. Wise men will seek Him and find in Him peace. Mary, sweet Mary, tonight your King is born.”

Then, I just have to share with you Only at Christmastime by Sufjan Stevens. Although he does not identify as a Christian artist, Sufjan’s music tends to have a religious theme and he has identified himself as a Christian. It can be a tough world out there for musicians and no one wants to be pigeon-holed. “Only to bring you peace… Only the King of Kings.”

The fourth song I’m sharing is I Need A Silent Night by Amy Grant. “December comes then disappears faster and faster every year.” I’ve been a fan of Amy Grant for a long time. I especially love her Home For Christmas CD. This song is off her album, The Christmas Collection but it’s a song that I just adore. This season can be so busy and we can get so distracted from the true meaning of the season. This song is a reminder to slow down.

Finally, I really enjoy listening to The Heart Of Christmas by Matthew West. This is one of those songs that really makes you think about your priorities this season. “Wherever you are, no matter how far come back to the heart, the heart of Christmas. Live while you can, cherish the moment. The ones that you love, make sure they know it. Don’t miss it, the heart of Christmas.”

I pray that each and every one of you experiences the joy of our Saviors birth. God bless you and yours.

Top 5 Christmas Songs You May Not Know

Hey y’all! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope you have a spectacular day tomorrow. For fun I thought I’d share with you my top 5 favorite Christmas songs you may have never heard.

First up, Sara Bareilles (who, if you don’t know you really need to) sings the most amazing Christmas song called Love is Christmas. She has the best voice and this song has such a great message. “Love is not a toy, and no paper will conceal it. Love is simply joy that I’m home.”

Next we have Mindy Smith singing It Really Is (A Wonderful Life). “Oh, but this year is different for you and for me… our own little miracle, on our own little street. Never before have I loved ‘Silent Night’ so but now that you’re here by my side… baby, it is, baby, it is, it really is a wonderful life.”

The third song I want to introduce you to is Under That Christmas Spell by Tim Halperin. You may remember him from American Idol. Also, y’all KNOW how I feel about some Charlie Brown. “We could take a walk outside tonight and look at all the Christmas lights… Or we could just sit back on the couch watching Frosty and Charlie Brown.”

Fourth is Rosie Thomas singing Why Can’t It Be Christmastime All Year. I really like the tune. It’s quite catchy. “Later we’ll make New Years Resolutions we’ll forget…”

Finally I want to share Spotlight on Christmas by Rufus Wainwright. “People love the working man who does the best that he can. But don’t forget all the horses and toys never could fix the poor, little, rich boys.”

Christmas has, in my opinion, become over-commercialized. We’ve strayed from the original meaning and purpose. The spotlight is certainly shining on us. Let us love one another as He commanded and let the peace of Christmas dwell in our hearts.

10 Awesome Christmas Albums

Hey y’all… just thought I’d take a quick minute to stop in and say hello. The choice to take on major home renovations immediately upon moving in is not such a wise decision and I’m in a bit over my head. I truly hope things start to settle down after the holidays and I can get back to regular programming.

In the meantime I wanted to share with you some of the albums I’m currently jamming to in preparation of the Christmas holiday. I will link to the album on Amazon when you click the title. Feel free to comment with some of your own favorites.

First, as always, my favorite of all time…

John Denver And The Muppets: A Christmas Together

This album always gets top billing because it brings with it such fond childhood memories. Highlights include: Miss Piggy singing “Five GOLD Rings, ba dum bump”, The Muppets singing “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” and Miss Piggy hearing “piggy pudding” and then being corrected with “figgy pudding, it’s made with figs” only to have someone in the background whisper “and bacon” (I always laugh out loud), and the late great John Denver singing so melodically. God bless him. May he rest in peace.

Next up…

Dean Martin: Christmas With Dino

Highlights include rare Christmas gems such as “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm” (his version is my favorite), “A Winter Romance” (also my favorite version), and “The Christmas Blues”. Excellent.

Also a classic…

Merry Christmas: Johnny Mathis

It’s gotta be the album with Johnny skiing or nothing else. This album is a must have for Christmas as I believe everyone’s parents played this non-stop as they were growing up. My mom always busted out this album to kick off the Christmas season and to this day it remains a favorite. Highlights include: “What Child Is This” as Johnny loves to add extra letters to his words, “The babe, the so-un, of Me-hery”.

One that’s not hear often but is quite enjoyable…

Christmas With The Beach Boys

This album is perfect when you’re wishing you were someplace warm without getting too Jimmy Buffetty on ya. Highlights include: “Little Saint Nick” and “The Man With All The Toys”.

Another goodie from way back when…

Stevie Wonder: Someday At Christmas

This Motown classic is something I can listen to non-stop. Highlights include: “What Christmas Means To Me”, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Me”, and “One Little Christmas Tree”. Hands-down this album should be ranked in the top 10 Christmas albums of all-time. Seriously. Love it.

To bring this a little more current…

James Taylor: At Christmas

I know a lot of people dislike James Taylor but I’m telling you folks this album is where it’s at (except for “Baby It’s Cold Outside” because I just do not care for that version). Highlights include: “Some Children See Him” (which is just no where else to be found and is one of my favorites ever) and “River” (which he does best of all).

Next, another rather current one…

Josh Groban: Noel

I’m sorry y’all but this album brings tears to my eyes. Very good tears. Some folks don’t dig his style but I love me some Josh Groban. The man can sing. Highlights include: “Little Drummer Boy” (which features all the soldiers sending holiday wishes back home), “Thankful” (which gives me goose bumps), “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” (with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir), and his version of “Ave Maria” which is superb.

Here we have a compilation but all the CD’s are worth it…

Pottery Barn: Classic Christmas Volume I *Volume II* and Volume III

I’ve linked to the other two compilations as well as the one disc I truly find myself listening to over and over, Volume II. In fact, Volume II is in the car right now. I re-play Kay Starr’s version of “Man With The Bag” and sing along at the top of my lungs (only when no one is in the vehicle with me, of course). This trilogy is actually the second Pottery Barn Christmas set I own. They are both fantastic.

A Christmas album with a solidly Christian theme…

City On A Hill: It’s Christmas Time

This is probably my favorite “Christian” Christmas album. However, skip over “Away In A Manger”. That version makes me want to rip my ears off my head. UGH. The rest of the album is awesome. Highlights include: “Holy Emmanuel” which makes me bop my head and I love it, “Babe In The Straw”, and “Manger Throne”. Really though, all the songs are great.

Finally, a wonderfully classic album that transitions as one long piece…

Carpenters: Christmas Portrait

Rest in peace, Karen Carpenter. This album is one of my favorites because I love how the songs transition into one another and you don’t know where one stops and the other starts. The medleys are fantastic and I love that there are instrumental pieces thrown in for good measure. Highlights include: The ever famous “Merry Christmas Darling”, “It’s Christmas Time”, “Christmas Waltz”, and “Little Altar Boy”. Of course, we can’t forget Karen singing “Christ Is Born” (which is much better than her “Ave Maria”).

Okay, thoughts? Is there an album I didn’t mention that you can’t live without? I always get excited when Mariah Carey sings “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and I really love “Wonderful Christmastime” by Wings and “Step Into Christmas” by Elton John. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with family and friends.

God bless y’all!

Out With The Old…

In With The New…

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Hope y’all had an enjoyable holiday! Craig and I enjoyed celebrating Christmas with our four families although we can honestly say we do not want to attempt it again next year. Have you ever seen Four Christmases? Basically the couple that normally vacations on Christmas is stuck spending time with all four parents (seeing as both parents are divorced). They have to tackle this in four parts of one day but with us we had to tackle it in four parts over a seven day span. Not quite as bad except for the fact that my father’s family lives five hours south west of here and Craig’s father’s family lives two and a half hours north of here. I’d almost rather have traveled to all in one day if they were within an hour of here. Almost.

We left Friday after work and headed down to stay with my grandparents on my father’s side. We made it down there around 9 pm seeing as we were both able to get off work a bit early that day. The traffic was horrendous because I’m an idiot and decided to travel along I-4. We spent all day on Saturday hanging at the house looking at wedding photos and talking about our plans for the new year. It was the highlight of the extend travel and I do wish we had more time with them. I don’t know exactly how much longer they will be here on earth and we both desire spending as much time as we can while we can. My father and his wife joined us that evening for Christmas dinner and then the following day, Sunday, we all joined once again for breakfast before Craig and I hit the road.

Our next stop was about an hour south of here at my mother’s. We spent the afternoon chatting before Craig and I headed to SW Grill in Daytona for Christmas dinner shared with my mother and step-father and my sister, Lauren, and her husband. We had a lovely Christmas dinner with them and spent time driving around Ormond Beach looking at Christmas lights before heading to their house for the night. We woke up Christmas Eve morning and headed back to our home just in time for a load of laundry, Christmas Eve service at Beach, and a quick dinner at a local sushi house. It was one of the best decisions we made this holiday. I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it was to wake up Christmas morning with my love in our very own home as a newly married couple.

Christmas morning after a quick breakfast and sharing of our gifts we headed out once again for the journey northward. Craig’s father and brother and his family live in Savannah so we spent the day there with them and enjoyed watching his niece and nephew open the gifts we purchased. Craig’s brother and his wife fixed a nice spread and we brought along Craig’s mom to enjoy the family time together. Late that afternoon we, along with his mom, traveled south a bit to her house to spend the night and enjoy some quality time before heading back south.

I tell ya… on the way home, driving in the pouring rain for two hours, Craig said, “next year we’re going on vacation,” and I could not have agreed more. Don’t get me wrong. It was wonderful to spend time with family and we’re blessed to have them all in our lives. However, it is draining to be driving all over God’s green earth to fit it all into a matter of days. Craig and I spent a lovely New Years Eve at home together where he made delicious porterhouse steaks, scalloped potatoes au gratin, and roasted asparagus. We stayed up to watch the ball drop (barely) and hit the hay shortly thereafter. It was wonderful to spend some quality time just the two of us and not have to worry about driving anywhere. Best New Years Ever!

Craig mentioned to me that he believes it’s important to learn something new every year. I hadn’t really thought about the importance of dedicating time to this pursuit with intention as I always try and learn something new as often as possible but I must say I love the idea of focusing attention on one important goal for the year that is not just breaking bad habits but building new ones. This year we’ve decided to really become fluent in a new language. We both studied Spanish in high school but other than ordering a beer, “Quiero comprar una cerveza fria, por favor,” we really can’t get along well in the language. After much research we’ve decided to pursue the Fluenz study for 2013 with the goal of taking a trip that allows us to fully engage our new found skills.

For those of you that are not familiar with the language learning system, do not worry, for I intend to cover our progress extensively on this site. Along with our financial progress as we attempt to purchase a home together, I will take you along on our journey through the development of a potential mastery of travel Spanish. Craig and I both understand that we won’t ever become entirely fluent unless we are able to truly utilize the language in our daily lives but we both hope that it will help us in our careers and to expand our brain power. We would ultimately like to pursue language learning every other year or so and add to our abilities. We both enjoy travel and hope to get the most out of our experiences. Please follow along.

I hope that y’all had a wonderful celebration this holiday and that you have great plans for the new year! I’d love to hear your stories if you care to share. In addition, I’d love to hear all about your plans for the new year. Do you make resolutions? Is your number one goal to lose weight? Evidently that tops the list for a majority of folks and admittedly Craig is planning on trimming down a bit and I plan on toning a bit so we’re jumping on the bandwagon, so to speak. Today we enjoyed some Hoppin John and tomorrow we’re back to work. Another year ends and a new one begins and I’m looking forward to all the adventure to come.

Here’s to a fabulous 2013!

XOXO