Christmas Tree Love & My Current Top 10 Fave Christmas Tunes

The Christmas tree at my house is a thing of beauty.  Maybe it’s the luminous lights, or the elegance of it’s decoration, but everytime I look at it, I can’t help but smile and feel warm inside.

In the evening, my favorite thing to do is turn off all of the lights except the ones on the tree, and bask in it’s glow.  In it’s own simple little way, this beautiful tree has helped me begin to find my festive holiday spirit, that’s been lacking in me since my Mom died.

The other thing that does this for me is music. More to the point, Christmas music.

I like to write lists–especially when it comes to music. I also like to read other people’s lists of music, as I’m always on the hunt for new musical gems.

I have been trying to make my blog more Christmas Friendly this year–filling my little piece of blog real estate full of festive good cheer.

There’s a specific reason for the intentional joy.   With the exception of last Christmas–which was absolutely fantastic and almost feels like a sweet little dream I had–the last few years have been a bit hard as far as the holidays go. Losing a loved one who is central to your family life (in my case, my mother) tends to make for a difficult holiday season. While a good amount of time has passed, and the rawness of the wound in my heart has healed–it’s been a hard season for me to navigate.  I don’t think you ever stop missing your Mom, but you do move out of the deepest places of grief.

I absolutely love the Spirit of Christmas.   I truly treasure the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord & Saviour with loved ones.   But honestly, without a husband, and family scattered round the country, it makes for some real challenges.

All that long-windedness to say, I’m making a very conscious effort this year to revel in the joy of the season.  I am grateful for what God has given me, and I am excited to be involved in looking for opportunities this year to help others in need–at the holidays and beyond.

I’ve really been enjoying my favorite Christmas tunes this year.  (See, I really did bring my rambelings around to my original reason for this post.) I’ve left obvious classics off of this list in favor of some favorite eclectic tunes–not necessarily because I don’t love them, but because this is the list of tuneage I’m groovin’ to this particular moment in this particular season! I’d love to hear about some of your own favorites. Enjoy these selections, and don’t forgot to  bust out your own fave Christmas jingles.

These tunes aren’t in any particular order…some are new to me, some are tried and true classics–give them a whirl in your musical world!

1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman–Sarah McLachlan & Barenaked Ladies Because really, how can you not listen to this version and not smile and tap your toes?

2. Silent Night–Priscilla Ahn A glorious new version I recently heard–the acappella vocals and harmonies are fantabulous.

3. Winter Song by Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson Soothing.  Gentle. Reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan’s Song For A Winter’s Night.

4.It’s Beginning To Look Alot Like Christmas–Harry Connick Jr.  I love his old school Christmas album, and his song What Are You Doing New Years always feels like Christmas to me too.

5. A Baby Changes Everything–Faith Hill.   This song seems like it was written to tug at the heart strings, and I’ll admit, for this sappy romantic, it sure has.  Faith’s pop vocal is pretty fantastic as well.

6. How Many Kings–Downhere  I just discovered this one on iTunes.  I like new takes lyrically on the real meaning of Christmas.

7. Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song)–Sara Groves   I love Sara’s remake of Amy Grant’s classic. This also brings me back to memories of performing the show,  The Miracle of Christmas at Sight & Sound Theatres in Pennsylvania.  I love my memories of my sweet friends playing Mary and riding Willie-the-coolest-donkey-alive down the theatre aisle of that gargantuan theatre–one of the last Christmas’ that I was with my Mom.

8. Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth–Bing Crosby & David Bowie   Because Bing Crosby’s the master, and David Bowie’s creamy croon is as warm as hot cocoa.  Oh, and fun holiday memories come to mind when I hear this one too.

9. This Christmas–Donny Hathaway  This song is Old School Goodness–and hearing it always gives me hope that this Christmas might truly feel as good as this song sounds.

10. Eek! I can’t choose just one! I think this year its a toss-up between O Holy Night by Martina McBride (Ms. Martina can sang,and I just love this carol), Bluegrass,White Snow by Patty Loveless & Dolly Pardon (so fun!) and Christmas Day by Dido.

I’d love for you to make your own list!  Share it with me in the comments!

God Bless Us, Every One!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you and yours!

2 comments on “Christmas Tree Love & My Current Top 10 Fave Christmas Tunes

  1. I have read of many churches celebrating Christmas with Pageants that include an actual baby portraying the role of ‘baby Jesus’. Our first child Ruth, was born December 12th, 1981 and was chosen to be ‘baby Jesus’ for our church’s (Reba Place Fellowship) Christmas Eve service. Last year, our grandson, Charlie, born on Oct. 19th 2008, was chosen, also at Reba Place Fellowship. But in prison no such ritual exists.

    I wasn’t even thinking about babies being in Christmas plays back in 1972. This was yet another year in prison, the difference being this was my first Christmas as a Christian. The Christmas service held new meaning for me as we sang the traditional Christmas Carols bringing with it a hope for a new life with a redeemed future. Christian volunteers were a part of our service at the U. S. Medical Center for Prisoners in Springfield, Mo.

    As our service wound to completion a cry was heard. The faint
    whimpering of a baby. My first thought was that I wasn’t hearing what I thought I had heard. I had been in prison for many years and had never even seen a baby inside of a prison (not counting my infrequent times in the visiting room.) But there it was again, a baby crying. Someone, a volunteer, had brought their baby into the service wrapped in a blanket unnoticed by the guards. I then thought, there was our ‘baby
    Jesus’. The parents of the yet unknown child were the children of an older couple (Lloyd and Nita Colbaugh) who had only a few years previously began their ministry to the prison. Even the great-grandmother, (Mom Carter) was a volunteer and had played a significant role in my own conversion, telling me that God had a plan for my life.

    Life would go on and the incident of ‘baby Jesus’ coming to prison would fade to a memory, until the baby grew up and now is known throughout many countries far and wide as acclaimed Christian
    singer/songwriter Sara Groves. I hope this story adds to your appreciation of the life of Sara and her family.
    John C Thomson

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