Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Music

If you cannot tell yet, I love Christmas music. I remember the day Jerry came in from running errands to tell me to tune my radio to 103.7. This immediatley told me they were playing their Christmas music 24/7. Yay!

You'd think I'd have a plethora of Christmas CD's etc. But I don't. I like the surprise of what's going to play next on the radio. It's like little Christmas packages I get to open about every 3 minutes.

No I don't like ALL Christmas music. I do enjoy the fun and funny ones as much as the next guy...until about the thousand'th time they play them. Then...I become momentary channel surfer-girl. Oddly enough one of my least favorites is '12 Days of Christmas' (I know, I posted one- but it was too cute to pass up on, and I've only watched it a half dozen times- I'm okay with that). I applaude really creative versions and something about the Title 'The 12 PAINS of Christmas' really spoke to me. LOL!

My second least favorite is swiftly becoming 'Baby, It's Cold Outside', a darling song that has been played to DEATH this year. It's actually a sweet piece of music that won an award in 1949. And there are a few versions of it that are fun to watch like, Ray Charles & Dionne Warwick (Youtube). There are timeless versions like Bing Crosby and Doris Day, and soulfull ones by Lou Rawls and Dianne Reeves, and there is actually one done by Nureyev & Miss Piggy that is purely for comedic value (Miss Piggy sings the guy roll) and it's funny but if you are listening for music quality...look elsewhere. The versions that make my ears bleed are the ones by Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews, and the ALL-time WORST version is by the Glee folks. I just wanna shoot myself in the foot to put myself out of my mysery. There is one done by Nora Jones and Willie Nelson that just makes ya go...."Uummmm, EW!" Michael Buble did BICO with Anne Murray....really? Anne Murray....seriously? It is about as romatic as watching grass grow. If you put this on your play-list for your Christmas party this year...I'll be the one outside checking to make sure I locked my car.

Third LEAST favorite are any of the wonderful, beautiful, spirit filled Christmas Hymns and Carols that are butchered and over-sung by various celebrities. Remember the movie 'Superstar' with the Saturday Night Live gal in it? And she'd jump into the..."Super-Star" pose? Well...let's just make that the picture that comes into our heads when we hear celebs kill beautiful music. This would mean any Christmas Carol done by Christina Aguilera. I'm a fan of beautifully done grace notes, don't get me wrong.... But, I have never seen a person who tries to completely sing a song without hitting the original notes. I wonder sometimes if she's just hitting all the notes AROUND the note trying to HIT the note. LOL! Jk...Jk...Jk. I know what she is trying to do...I just feel the stress in my shoulders when she is finished with a song I love. Pass the Advil!

Music I DO love. I have posted a few of my top ten. I love when someone puts a beautiful version of a song with power point replete with beautiful artwork. That way- and see if you agree- you get to see, hear, and FEEL the breathtaking message in the song. Songs that are dripping with production tend to lose the meaning of the song altogether. Lately, I've seen some really poorly done ones including the Celtic Girls changing the lyrics of songs to suit their agenda...which is a little confused! Buyer beware, their voices are so beautifully harmonic and yet somewhere in their silky voices lies some seriously flawed doctrine. Recently I saw one song where they CUT out the eyes of ALL the pictures of Jesus... so there was little round eery circles where his eyes were supposed to be. Portraying what, exactly, that Christ is a spirit and not a man? Hmmm, really? A Christmas carol, celebrating the BIRTH of the Savior of the world into mortality, and His ministry, and atonement for mankind... and.. he is not really a man... WITH eyes? Hmmmm. Someone needs to do some reading. I can suggest a few books even. :)

Who needs a time machine when you have Christmas music? It can (and frequently does) transport me back to the early 1960's when all my parents could afford (while attending BYU with 2 little girls) was a little gray turn-table and a few LP records. Hey- we thought it was very cool because it could hold more than one record. See, there I am with Cindy and my folks listening to Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer, and Silent Night in our little house off Center Street in Provo, in the old Pioneer Ward. We lived by the Jacobson's, Patterson's, Lerwil's, Gleave's, and Mrs. Norman.

Christmas music can take me from 73 degree Texas to a place 1500 miles away where it's snowing outside, I'm 5, and we've just come home from picking a tree that my folks had 'flocked' white with fake snow. Dad had them cut a couple of inches off the bottom of the tree and when we got it hauled home on top of the car, we got to watch as Mom tried to hold it straight while Dad laid on his stomach on the floor and tightened the screws that held the tree in the stand. Then we'd get the boxes of decorations out of the garage. They were the old C9 strings of lights with little hooks on the sides to be hooked to branch's. There were no pre-lit trees. LOL! Our lights were all red and would make clicking noises as the bulbs would hit each other as we'd sit and untangle the lights and lay them out on the floor like one long snake. Mom would painstakingly clip the lights on the tree just right. Then she'd sit on the couch and unpack and hand the ornaments to Cindy and me and we got to decorate the tree. Mostly the bottom half of the tree. But somehow the next morning when we woke up the tree miraculously evened out and looked simply spectacular.

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas puts me in the kitchen watching my mother baking cinnamon rolls, or cookies, or popcorn balls. That song always takes me to a place where I am with my wonderful family, watching Christmas specials on TV, playing games, and visiting with extended family, and friends. Or driving around with the radio playing carols and looking at all the multi colored Christmas lights and laughing, and watching Mom and Dad hold hands.

Christmas music helps me get a glimpse of how the world should operate ALL year...when one can turn on the radio and freely hear the name of Christ spoken, sung about, celebrated, and enjoyed. Everytime I hear 'Oh Come All Ye Faithful' and hear His name...I feel a pang in my heart strings of gratitude.

My very favorite #1 pick which has been and always will be my favorite is 'I'll Be Home For Christmas'. Isn't it funny that we spend so much time as adolecents trying to get OUT of the house, and the rest of our lives trying to get back home. :)

I LOVE Christmas music.


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