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Favorite Christmas music----and , if you wish---WHY?


Sepiatone

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This site's going to be rife with folks listing their favorite "holiday" or Christmas movies.  And we'll probably all be in agreement with most of the picks.

 

But, what about Christmas MUSIC?

 

We all have our favorites, based mostly on sentiment.  Others may not see the sentiment behind our choices, or have their own favorites chosen for whatever reason.

 

MY favorite Christmas music collection is an old LP titled "Now Is The Caroling Season" by Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians.

 

When I was a kid, it was, for the LONGEST time, the ONLY Christmas album we had in the house.  It's held up the bar for me in the cases of judging other Christmas albums.

 

The title song appears in short increments thoughout the LP, and I thought it an inspired concept.  There are songs on there that became some of my favorite Christmas songs that I haven't found on any other LPs.

 

"Bring A Torch Jennette Isabella" is one.  "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" is another.( I heard the music for that one on a recording of "Three Portraits by Botticelli"  by Respighi.)

 

There's also the usual Christmas fare, like "Sleigh Ride", "12 Days"  "White Christmas", but another rare one that Is a Christmas Favorite, "The Wassail Song".  One year, when I was playing the Santa Claus at Detroit's Trapper's Alley shopping mall( now the Greektown Casino), one of tose OLDE ENGLISH wandering quartets asked me if I wanted to hear any special Christmas song.  When I requested "The Wassail Song", they sang it to the tune of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen".  I was dissapointed to say the least!

 

At this point in my life, I now own about 60 different Christmas CDs----some Johnny Mathis, Nat "King" Cole, of course, and many other artists---from (what I facetiously call) MANHOLE STEAM BLOWER to ROB McCONNELL'S BOSS BRASS to compilations of '50's R&B artists doing Christmas tunes, and the "Charlie Brown Christmas" soundtrack.

 

But in spite of how VERY good many of these are, "Caroling Season" STILL remains my favorite.

 

An interesting aside:

 

A couple of years ago, the classical college station I listen to was playing one day, a piece by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir called "A Musicalogical Journey Through the 12 Days Of Christmas".  If you're not familiar with it, let me explain----each "day" in the song is done in progressive musical styles.

 

the first "day" is sung in a style like "Gregorian Chant".  Each subsequent "day" is done in chronologically changing styles thoughout time.  the last "day" is done ala John Philip Sousa.

 

They never said from which CD they got this from.  a quick iNet search found out for me that it was on a CD called "This Is Christmas".  So I went to AMAZON to try and BUY a copy.  It was there I discovered the CD was long out of print.  AND there wasn't one available on Ebay!

 

So, about eight months or so after THAT Christmas, I was with my wife in her favorite thrift store, and I noticed they had old CDs for sale on a counter top.  I've often found old LPs there that I've long lost over the years and was able to replace them then.  but, CDs were NEW to the fare offered by this store. So, I went looking through them just to see what they might possibly have.

 

There were a lot of CDs by artists I'd never heard of, many CD-Rom games, and a few classical CDs as well.  And, as you might have already guessed, all of a sudden my JAW DROPPED!

 

THERE I WAS----holding a copy of the CD I was LOOKING FOR----"This Is Christmas" by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir!  Complete with the "12 Days" song I'd been searching for!

 

AND for only EIGHTY CENTS!!!

 

 

Merry Christmas, INDEED!

 

 

Sepiatone

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I am still partial to Bingle’s White Christmas album. I also like Pavarotti’s O Holy Night. There are a few cuts from The Roaches’ We Three Kings, I like, too. Beyond that, it is pick and choose from all of the other Christmas music, such as Brother Nat’s The Christmas Song, and James Taylor’s In The Bleak Midwinter, to name a few.

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I am still partial to Bingle’s White Christmas album. I also like Pavarotti’s O Holy Night. There are a few cuts from The Roaches’ We Three Kings, I like, too. Beyond that, it is pick and choose from all of the other Christmas music, such as Brother Nat’s The Christmas Song, and James Taylor’s In The Bleak Midwinter, to name a few.

My favorite Christmas song which was sung in a film is Judy Garland's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", from MMISTL.

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This site's going to be rife with folks listing their favorite "holiday" or Christmas movies.  And we'll probably all be in agreement with most of the picks.

 

But, what about Christmas MUSIC?

 

We all have our favorites, based mostly on sentiment.  Others may not see the sentiment behind our choices, or have their own favorites chosen for whatever reason.

 

MY favorite Christmas music collection is an old LP titled "Now Is The Caroling Season" by Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians.

 

When I was a kid, it was, for the LONGEST time, the ONLY Christmas album we had in the house.  It's held up the bar for me in the cases of judging other Christmas albums.

 

The title song appears in short increments thoughout the LP, and I thought it an inspired concept.  There are songs on there that became some of my favorite Christmas songs that I haven't found on any other LPs.

 

"Bring A Torch Jennette Isabella" is one.  "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" is another.( I heard the music for that one on a recording of "Three Portraits by Botticelli"  by Respighi.)

 

There's also the usual Christmas fare, like "Sleigh Ride", "12 Days"  "White Christmas", but another rare one that Is a Christmas Favorite, "The Wassail Song".  One year, when I was playing the Santa Claus at Detroit's Trapper's Alley shopping mall( now the Greektown Casino), one of tose OLDE ENGLISH wandering quartets asked me if I wanted to hear any special Christmas song.  When I requested "The Wassail Song", they sang it to the tune of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen".  I was dissapointed to say the least!

 

At this point in my life, I now own about 60 different Christmas CDs----some Johnny Mathis, Nat "King" Cole, of course, and many other artists---from (what I facetiously call) MANHOLE STEAM BLOWER to ROB McCONNELL'S BOSS BRASS to compilations of '50's R&B artists doing Christmas tunes, and the "Charlie Brown Christmas" soundtrack.

 

But in spite of how VERY good many of these are, "Caroling Season" STILL remains my favorite.

 

An interesting aside:

 

A couple of years ago, the classical college station I listen to was playing one day, a piece by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir called "A Musicalogical Journey Through the 12 Days Of Christmas".  If you're not familiar with it, let me explain----each "day" in the song is done in progressive musical styles.

 

the first "day" is sung in a style like "Gregorian Chant".  Each subsequent "day" is done in chronologically changing styles thoughout time.  the last "day" is done ala John Philip Sousa.

 

They never said from which CD they got this from.  a quick iNet search found out for me that it was on a CD called "This Is Christmas".  So I went to AMAZON to try and BUY a copy.  It was there I discovered the CD was long out of print.  AND there wasn't one available on Ebay!

 

So, about eight months or so after THAT Christmas, I was with my wife in her favorite thrift store, and I noticed they had old CDs for sale on a counter top.  I've often found old LPs there that I've long lost over the years and was able to replace them then.  but, CDs were NEW to the fare offered by this store. So, I went looking through them just to see what they might possibly have.

 

There were a lot of CDs by artists I'd never heard of, many CD-Rom games, and a few classical CDs as well.  And, as you might have already guessed, all of a sudden my JAW DROPPED!

 

THERE I WAS----holding a copy of the CD I was LOOKING FOR----"This Is Christmas" by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir!  Complete with the "12 Days" song I'd been searching for!

 

AND for only EIGHTY CENTS!!!

 

 

Merry Christmas, INDEED!

 

 

Sepiatone

 

I like the traditional music by "The Living Voices".

 

 

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My favorite Christmas song is "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch."  I know, not a traditional choice, but I love that song.  Thurl Ravenscroft's voice and the horns are what really make the song.  I love the lyrics and only Dr. Seuss could make such a great song with made up words.

 

My favorite part: Your soul is an appalling dump heap, Overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable manged up in tangled up knots! 

 

I also love the part about the three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce. 

 

Other Christmas songs I have to listen to each year:

 

White Christmas, Bing Crosby

The Christmas Song, Nat King Cole

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Judy Garland, but I also like Karen Carpenter and Frank Sinatra's versions

All I Want for Christmas is You, Mariah Carey

Christmas, (Baby Please Come Home), Darlene Love

12 Days of Christmas, The Muppets

Baby It's Cold Outside, Dean Martin

Frosty the Snowman, Jimmy Durante

Merry Christmas Darling, The Carpenters

Marshmallow World, Dean Martin

What Christmas Means to Me, Stevie Wonder

Mele Kalikimaka, Bing Crosby

Charlie Brown Christmas jazz album, Vince Gualardi.  Aside from the classic "Linus and Lucy," there are so many great tracks.

 

I love the songs that are performed by people with great voices (Excluding the Muppets, I just like their version the best).  I'm not a fan of the songs with choral parts or the overly religious Christmas songs.  Though I do like Sinatra's "Silent Night." I also like some of the kooky Christmas songs or the romantic ones.  I love "Baby It's Cold Outside" even though Dino sounds like a creeper trying to ply this poor woman with booze and cigarettes to try and keep her in his house. 

 

I need to make myself a Christmas playlist on my iPod.  The radio plays some good Christmas songs, but they're usually interspersed with some horrendous Christmas songs.  I can't stand most of the newer versions of Christmas songs performed by the likes of Jessica Simpson (Last Christmas), Michael Buble (he's done way too many), Josh Groban, Taylor Swift, LeAnn Rimes and whomever else thought they needed to do a Christmas song.  I can't stand "Santa Baby."  It is just an annoying song.  Though I find Madonna's version a little more annoying than Eartha Kitt's.  I think it's because Madonna interjects baby talk into her version which is obnoxious.  I also don't like the kiddie Christmas songs like: "All I Want For Christmas Are My Two Front Teeth," "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer," "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," "Up on the Housetop," and whatever other ones there are.  I also find Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" incredibly irritating.

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My favorite Christmas song is "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch."  I know, not a traditional choice, but I love that song.  Thurl Ravenscroft's voice and the horns are what really make the song.  I love the lyrics and only Dr. Seuss could make such a great song with made up words.

 

My favorite part: Your soul is an appalling dump heap, Overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable manged up in tangled up knots! 

 

I also love the part about the three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce. 

...

 

That's another excellent song that I forgot about!

 

I was going to add my favorite line from the song, but after thinking about it, there are so many great lines that I couldn't choose one over another.

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Although I, too, like that Grinch song, I don't find it particularily "Yuletide inspiring".

 

I've always contended that, as I told my wife, "I don't CARE what the retailers do----for ME, Christmas season officially starts when I hear one of the three radio stations around our area that start playing Christmas music 24/7 by THANKSGIVING play Nat "King" Cole's "The Christmas Song" .

 

And, like Jay Leno, ALSO feels, it DOESN'T count if I play MY recording of it.  I have to hear it on the RADIO before I consider the Christmas season officially started!

 

But, as I've had this discussion before among friends and family and on other online forums over the years, I've noted that most people decide a "favorite" Christmas song, or collection of songs is tied closely with memories of childhood Christmases---for example---

 

I brought up the old Fred Waring LP as a favorite, ....due largely from it being the only Christmas LP we had for many years, and hearing it harks me back to those simpler, carefree childhood Christmas seasons.  For one guy I know, it's JOHNNY MATHIS.  For another, it ANDY WILLIAMS. and yet one guy, it's DENNIS DAY!

 

But, with all THOSE possibilities----the GRINCH?  Leaves me the impression that your childhoods were deprived of spiritually meaningful Christmases, and it makes me a bit SAD.  ;)

 

On a personal note:

 

I'm in agreement on the Paul McCartney Christmas song.  Annoys me no end.

 

JOHN LENNON'S isn't much better.  In fact, each time it comes on the radio, I sing along with it.  However---I sing the lyrics to Peter,paul and Mary's "Stewball".  Listen to it and you'll recognize the similarity.  :lol:

 

Also, MADONNA'S version of "Santa Baby"-----At first, I thought it was some old recording of RUTH BUZZI doing it in her "old lady" character from "Laugh-In"

 

Well, for NOW, I'm off to give a quick listen to that Mormon Tabernacle recording I told you all about!

 

 

 

Sepiatone

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I'm not religious, so I'm not particularly drawn to the spiritual songs.

 

"The Grinch" is part of my Christmas celebration tradition. Christmas isn't done until I've seen the Grinch's heart grow three sizes and him finding the strength of 1000 Grinches plus two. Christmas can start (or end depending when I watch) when The Grinch carves the roast beast.

 

Aside from that cartoon, the other annual Christmas cartoons like Charlie Brown and Frosty are special because when I was little, I looked forward those every year (before DVD ). These cartoons are nostalgia for me of holiday tradition. I also love the other music from my other favorite Christmas cartoons.

 

I'll admit I'm not a fan of the claymation Rudolph. I like the Abominable Snowman and the Misfit toys. That's about it.

 

The Grinch is just nostalgia for me. It makes me think of Christmases as a kid. Now I dread Christmas for the most part. I hate the whole gift giving drama and frankly how some people act in public during the holidays. It brings out the worst in people. I like the pretty lights, the music, egg nog and the festiveness, I just don't like the whole gift aspect. I like to give and receive gifts , I just don't like the pressure.

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I suppose after so many years of excellent Christmastime songs, it's hard to come up with new ones that find ready acceptance.

 

For me, it's certainly NOT that country tearjerker about the kid wanting to buy his dying mother a pair of SHOES.

 

That one that has Santa reciting about some MARINE somewhere talking about a Chritmas wish is just plain ridiculous to me.

 

Now, my Mom died 15 years ago Nov. 22, and before she died( a year or so before) we had a conversation about this sort of thing.  I mentioned how STUPID I thought the song "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" was, and not really a fitting song for the holidays.  SHE said, "Y'know, over the years, MANY songs we now accept as "Christmas classics"  weren't readily accepted at the time."

 

I asked her which ones, and SHE said, "Well, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW" was thought to have been juast a run-of-the-mill LOVE SONG at first.  And not many people at first thought "The Little Drummer Boy" made much sense."  I replied that the Drummer Boy first came out when I was an early teen, and I DID recall many religious leaders decrying it as "Secular nonsense", since a boy playing drums the way the song indicates wasn't historically possible,."

 

"Many people....", she went on, "felt that ANY Christmas song WITHOUT a religious theme to it was unacceptable.  Like Bing Crosby's WHITE CHRISTMAS and NO PLACE LIKE HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.  I mean, a lot of people liked them right off, but there WERE some who griped at the absence of Jesus in the songs."   I then said, "Well, I imagine songs like ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY TWO FRONT TEETH, I WANT A HIPPOPOTAMUS FOR CHRISTMAS and SANTA BABY had a hard hill to climb!"  She agreed.

 

 

In addition, I'd like to point out that there are some long accepted Christmas "classics" that I never really "cottoned" to.  

 

CAROL OF THE BELLS is on the top of that list.

 

PAT-A-PAN

 

GOOD KING WENCESLAS

 

MY FAVORITE THINGS ( I'm not really sure it was INTENDED to be a Christmas song....)

 

And how about some of the parodies?

 

I'm probably talking about how some of us kids in MY neck of the woods would skewer some of these heartfelt classics.

 

Like:   "Jingle Bells;

Batman Smells;

Robin laid an EGG!"

 

Or-----"Chestnuts groping through an open fire;

Jack Frost nipping at your b a l l s;"

 

"I---Feel queasy---PAR-R-R-R-RUMPH! a FUM FUM!;

Had too much Chili, OH!  PAR-R-R-R-R-UMPH a FUM FUM!"

 

"We three Kings of Orient are;

Trying to smoke a loaded cigar---;

It was loaded, It explo-o-ded!

 

Ahem!---We Two Kings of Orient are---Trying to smoke a loaded cigar;

It was loaded, it explo-o-ded!;

 

Me, one King of Orient are----trying to smoke that loaded cigar---;

It was loaded, it explo-o-ded!;

 

Si-i-lent night!"

 

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christ-mas!;

 

E-e-e-vry God-Damned day!-----"

 

 

Sepiatone

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Back in the 70's I bought a vinyl lp called 'Roger Williams' Christmas Album'.

 

I love it. It has no singing on it - just Williams' terrific piano accompanied by lush orchestration - the pieces are all classics, with several medleys, of both carols and modern Christmas hits.

 

It's all I really need. I'm not a big fan of voices singing the words - but I love the melodies, especially when they're this well done.

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Of course, it's apparent that anyone's favorite Christmas music, as well as how we each, as individuals celebrate the holiday is strictly based in sentimentality.  We all, I believe, base many of our Christmas "traditions" on those Christmas "traditions" we grew up with.  At least, as much as possible.

 

For instance, if I could make them halfways decently, or if they were EASIER for me to make, I'd have what was, in the house I GREW UP in, a platter full of KIFLI always on the ready.

 

In another thread, somebody joked about being able to buy trees already decorated.

 

but, don't most of us decorate our trees with ornaments we've had for AGES?  Even some HANDED DOWN from Mom that we either made in GRADE SCHOOL years ago? or some favorite ornament from when we were KIDS?

 

AND didn't many of us START "traditions" that we STILL adhere to?  Like, WE have an ornament, a little white w/holly border decorated heart shaped PILLOW type ornament that had the words "Our First Christmas" already printed on it.  In LAUNDRY MARKER, we filled in the year 1986---which IS the year my wife and I celebrated OUR first Christmas together.  And, it's STILL the first ornament to go on the tree.

 

Then there's the "cross-eyed" Santa decoration---a six inch tall hand painted in China wooden stand-up santa with crossed eyes we bought LONG ago at a BIG LOTS.  It's my FAVORITE Santa among the DOZENS we have.

 

I have a bird ornament, made from white and pink construction paper----a 1st grade project of mine.  And several ornaments from a huge "ornament making" get together my Mom had in the early '80's.  

 

My sister still has the nativity figurines my Mom would set up since BEFORE I was born( Mom said she bought them for my BROTHER'S first Christmas---which would have been 1947!)  Sis now sets them up with her little two year old grandson!

 

I'm willing to bet most of YOU have this sort of stuff as "traditions" in YOUR homes each year.  Sadly, there's NO Christmas items from my wife's childhood in our house.  She said her Dad pitched all of it when her Mother died back in 1966.  Too bad.  Her sister tells me there was a LOT of nice stuff.

 

Sepiatone

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In no particular order, here are some of my Christmas faves:

 

"Mary's Boy Child" by Harry Belafonte

"Please Come Home for Christmas" by The Eagles

"Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me" by Elvis Presley

"I'll Be Home For Christmas" by Elvis Presley

"Blue Christmas" by Elvis Presley

"Santa Claus is Back in Town" by Elvis Presley

 

I am by no means a big Elvis fan, but I really enjoy some of his holiday fare.  It ranges from peppy to poignant.

 

"Song for a Winter's Night" by Gordon Lightfoot

 

While not really a Christmas song, it does put me in the mood for the holidays, especially with the sleigh bells that are used in it.

 

"White Christmas" by Bing Crosby

"Merry Christmas Darling" by The Carpenters

"All I Want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey

"Soul Cake" by Sting

"Christmastime is Here" from the Peanuts gang

"Silver and Gold" by Burl Ives

 

Actually, I pretty much like all the songs from 'Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer'.  If you get a chance, check out 'Raging Rudolph' on Youtube.  It was a spoof Mad-TV did many years ago.  It is pretty dark, but I laughed like crazy the first time I saw it, and it still brings a smile to my face.

 

"Angels We Have Heard on High"

"Go Tell It On the Mountain"

"The First Noel"

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OK,

 

I guess we can also list some of the ones( and some people already DID) that we just CAN'T STAND.

 

they might be somebody's FAVORITE, but that's the way it goes...

 

I'm STILL kind of disap[pointed as to the absence of the reason WHY some of the songs some of you listed as favorites ARE your favorites....Sentiment?   You feel it's (they) musically advanced?  It has interesting, or eccellent instrumentation?

 

WHAT?

 

Now, to a few, or couple or so, of the ones I JUST CAN'T STAND.

 

Paul McCarney's "Wonderful Christmas Time".   Mostly due to it containing the WORST electronic keyboard work ever heard.

 

WHAM'S "Last Christmas".  Just a PLAIN STUPID tune.  I know DGF probably LOVES it, since Wham was a BIG DEAL '80's group, and DGF just LOVES that tripe!

 

I'm not sure of the title, but it's that country tune about some kid wanting to buy his dying mother a pair of beautiful shoes for Christmas.  Just a sappy, syrupy country tune that blows all Christmas spirit out of anyone!

 

Sorry, Midwestan, but that Mariah Carey song gets put on this list.

 

There are many others that while I don't neccesarily LIKE them, I can still tolerate them somewhat.  So, they get left off the list. :)

 

 

Sepiatone

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OK,

 

I guess we can also list some of the ones( and some people already DID) that we just CAN'T STAND.

 

they might be somebody's FAVORITE, but that's the way it goes...

 

I'm STILL kind of disap[pointed as to the absence of the reason WHY some of the songs some of you listed as favorites ARE your favorites....Sentiment?   You feel it's (they) musically advanced?  It has interesting, or eccellent instrumentation?

 

WHAT?

 

Now, to a few, or couple or so, of the ones I JUST CAN'T STAND.

 

Paul McCarney's "Wonderful Christmas Time".   Mostly due to it containing the WORST electronic keyboard work ever heard.

 

WHAM'S "Last Christmas".  Just a PLAIN STUPID tune.  I know DGF probably LOVES it, since Wham was a BIG DEAL '80's group, and DGF just LOVES that tripe!

 

I'm not sure of the title, but it's that country tune about some kid wanting to buy his dying mother a pair of beautiful shoes for Christmas.  Just a sappy, syrupy country tune that blows all Christmas spirit out of anyone!

 

Sorry, Midwestan, but that Mariah Carey song gets put on this list.

 

There are many others that while I don't neccesarily LIKE them, I can still tolerate them somewhat.  So, they get left off the list. :)

 

 

Sepiatone

I do NOT love '80s pop. I like a lot of '80s classic alternative (New Wave)

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Of course, it's apparent that anyone's favorite Christmas music, as well as how we each, as individuals celebrate the holiday is strictly based in sentimentality.  We all, I believe, base many of our Christmas "traditions" on those Christmas "traditions" we grew up with.  At least, as much as possible.

 

For instance, if I could make them halfways decently, or if they were EASIER for me to make, I'd have what was, in the house I GREW UP in, a platter full of KIFLI always on the ready.

 

In another thread, somebody joked about being able to buy trees already decorated.

 

but, don't most of us decorate our trees with ornaments we've had for AGES?  Even some HANDED DOWN from Mom that we either made in GRADE SCHOOL years ago? or some favorite ornament from when we were KIDS?

 

AND didn't many of us START "traditions" that we STILL adhere to?  Like, WE have an ornament, a little white w/holly border decorated heart shaped PILLOW type ornament that had the words "Our First Christmas" already printed on it.  In LAUNDRY MARKER, we filled in the year 1986---which IS the year my wife and I celebrated OUR first Christmas together.  And, it's STILL the first ornament to go on the tree.

 

Then there's the "cross-eyed" Santa decoration---a six inch tall hand painted in China wooden stand-up santa with crossed eyes we bought LONG ago at a BIG LOTS.  It's my FAVORITE Santa among the DOZENS we have.

 

I have a bird ornament, made from white and pink construction paper----a 1st grade project of mine.  And several ornaments from a huge "ornament making" get together my Mom had in the early '80's.  

 

My sister still has the nativity figurines my Mom would set up since BEFORE I was born( Mom said she bought them for my BROTHER'S first Christmas---which would have been 1947!)  Sis now sets them up with her little two year old grandson!

 

I'm willing to bet most of YOU have this sort of stuff as "traditions" in YOUR homes each year.  Sadly, there's NO Christmas items from my wife's childhood in our house.  She said her Dad pitched all of it when her Mother died back in 1966.  Too bad.  Her sister tells me there was a LOT of nice stuff.

 

Sepiatone

I agree with you about traditional Christmas ornaments.  I have a little train from my first Christmas-- 1984, that always goes on the tree.  We have an ornament with a picture of our dog that we bought for his first Christmas--1998.  He passed away right after Thanksgiving in 2012, so of course having his picture on our tree is even more sentimental.  We also have ornaments that represent different phases we were in (or in some cases, still are in) during our childhood that go up on the tree.  My dad has quite a few old Christmas ornaments that went on his family's tree when he was growing up as well as some ornaments from his grandparents' tree.  He also has two ornaments he made in elementary school during the 60s that go on the tree as well.  My mom thinks they're ugly and always puts them in the back, but at this point, after 30 some Christmases together, those ornaments, ugly or not, have to be on the tree.

 

My husband and I have a tree and I've collected some ornaments for it.  While we typically spend Christmas with my family, none of my sentimental ornaments go on mine and my husband's tree, but we have picked out some ornaments representative of ourselves to go on it. 

 

When we decorate the tree, we typically drink spiked egg nogs and watch the Christmas cartoons like 'Grinch'  and 'Charlie Brown.'  That's part of our tradition. 

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My picks

 

The Coventry Carol

I used to hear the melody every Christmas when the place where I worked had the old Muzak piped in.  I'd never heard it before that but loved it so much I kept trying to find out what it was.  I finally did and got to sing it once at Church.  Sometimes that "elevator music" punched out some pretty good arrangements of tunes.

 

White Christmas by The Drifters.  It's just so upbeat and bouncy and you can't beat those do-wap harmonies. 

 

Handel's Messiah.  How I loved singing this when I had a voice.  I still try when I put it on my CD player.

 

Novelty songs:  Frontier Christmas - you have to hear this at least once but have a hanky close by- and The Twelve Pains of Christmas  which shouldn't make me laugh but does (one of the voices sounds like Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker).  Yes, I'm aware that FC has some NA and Mexican stereotypes but there's some good in it as well.  You can hear both on YouTube.   

 

I cannot stand Have Yourselves a Merry Little Christmas no matter who does it.  I've no specific reason why; it's just blackboard chalk to me.  On the other hand I love Wonderful Christmas Time, which so many people hate, because of what it says about not needing fancy stuff to have a great time just the people you care about around you.  That's what I hope for all of you whether it's a real or cultural Christmas.     

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