Sunday, December 12, 2010

Facts of Five...and Christmas Music~

Ahhh, we finally have our Christmas tree up; my son was convinced we were the last family on this planet to have adorned the house in its Christmas finest.  I certainly assured him we weren't~

So you see, being the Carolina Tar Heel fans we are, the tree is encased with yep, you got it; blue lights! More on that later, however it is time to share the next episode of Facts of Five!

If you are a new follower let me give details of Facts of Five. It was a model I used when I taught students with special needs in a self contained classroom. I presented a category such as ‘Five Cartoons’ or ‘Five flavors of Kool-aid’ and the students had to consider an idea that fit the group. It was fun and thought generating yet in the meantime, I was able to get to know what was important to my students.

So our category for today is ‘Five Favorite Christmas songs~ okay, I’ll begin…

1.) Silent Night- When I was young my three older brothers served in the military. While attending Christmas Eve. service it was customary to light candles at the end of the ceremony and sing this particular hymn. I was positioned next to my mom during this ritual and as I glanced at her face tears were streaming down her cheeks. I was moved to see my mother’s pain and worry that only a parent of children in war can feel. This song is sung by many, but I only see and think of my mom. The song sung by Andrea Bocelli is simply spine tingling but so is the one by Celtic Women... I’ll let you decide for yourself.

2.) Oh Holy Night- Any version will do but oh my gosh… that particular song sung by Johnny Mathis simply melts me into a puddle…have a listen by clicking on the title of the song. I remember my grandmother who always liked when I stood beside her in church because she told me what a great singing voice I had. She was probably just saying that to make me happy, but hey, it did! ...as well as any song sung by ol' Johnny! However, Celine Dion has a lovely rendition of this as well.

3.) Mary did you Know? - is another favorite. It centers on Mary giving birth to Jesus who releases us from all the inequities of the Earth and really isn’t that the essence of this Christmas season? As with all Christmas music, there are a dozen artists who sing a given song, but personally I enjoy Kenny Rogers’ performance which is a duet along with Wyonna Judd. His deep burly voice warms my insides…

4.) Joy to the World- Again, countless presentations but the single from Amy Grant just liberates my heart. Amy Grant is a favorite singer of mine anyway, but the orchestra is magnificent and her voice angelic. I enjoy all of her music as well. But then again, Mannheim Streamroller also conducts a nice version of this particular song...ummm~

5.) White Christmas- by Bing Crosby which may be last but certainly not least. When I hear that smooth voice, goodness gracious turns me into putty. The movie by the same title is also my husband and my favorite movie. We wait until our son is in bed; he goes to bed early Christmas Eve. so Santa won’t find him awake, then we cuddle with popcorn and watch the movie. This is one of our traditions of the holiday season.

While I had a very difficult time pinning down my top five, I’d have to say with confidence; well I think it’s with confidence. I do like Christmas Cannon by Trans Siberian Orchestra, and yeah, I like Jingle Bell Rock by Brenda Lee and oh, I can’t forget God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Bare Naked Ladies…Oh Shoot, I forgot I also like I'll be Home for Chirstmas by Karen Carpenter and Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano...wait a minute, perhaps one of my favorite is Michael W. Smith's What Child is This...

Goodness Gracious, perhaps I can’t decide…regardless, I love Christmas music!
So now, could YOU name your top 5?

33 comments:

Donna said...

Did you pick up the Glee Christmas Album? If not, you might need to add to your list...

:-)

Patty Ann said...

I love all of the ones you chose. But I would have to add a community singing "The Messiah". If you have never been to one of those, try and find one to participate in. It is a totally amazing experience. We also love to sing "The Star of Bethlehem". It is a Sally Deford arrangement. You can google to find Deford music and she has the music (MP3) for all her songs. It is all free and many of her carole arrangements are beautiful. I also love Christmas music!!

Arkansas Patti said...

Gosh, you just did. Thanks.

Linda Reeder said...

Nat King Cole singing "The Christmas Song", (chestnust roasting on an open fire), Steve Lawrence and Edie Gormet singing "Let It Snow", Manhein Steamroller version of "Silent Night", John Denver singing "Aspenglow", Brenda White's "Christmas In the Northwest" to name just a few, but FIVE! I love Christmas music too, but I seem to be stuck in the 20th century and not so much into the 21st.

Wanda's Wings said...

Beautiful tree and Christmas songs.

Nancy said...

Would be difficult to pick 5. I think you did an excellet job. Your tree is awesome. I'm sure you son loves it. :)

Dianne said...

please assure your son that you guys are ahead of a lot of us
our tree is not up and I just ran into my neighbor who was saying she can't find the lights ;)

I love all the songs you chose
I also like The Little Drummer Boy
and the Chipmunks

JennyD said...

I'm all the way with you on Johnny Mathis and Oh Holy Night. Absolutely meltable.
Tracy, your house looks gorgeous. Stunning. I love the blue against the white and I love the "snow" on the mantle. Really gives an "ahhhhhh" moment.
XOXOXO

Out on the prairie said...

I just got Johnny Mathis 50th Anniversery of Crhristmas songs and Manheims 25th.I am partial to Good King Wenselslaus, I am Czech and my last name derived from that.

The Words Crafter said...

The rebel in me has always been a Wolfpack fan, but I love, love, LOVE your blue tree! It's dreamy...

We don't have a tree up yet, either, so...

I love all your choices, but I'd add the Carpenter's version of The Christmas Song, and 2 songs from Messiah-the Hallelujah Chorus and A Son is Given (is that right?).

TSO, awesome. I'd add Carol of the Bells, by them and pretty much anyone else.

Brian said...

Your tree is beautiful and I really like the blue lights! I liked your top 5 songs too, we are big Christmas music fans here too!

Carol Riggs said...

We don't have a tree yet! So assure your son he wasn't the last. LOL

I really love O Holy Night, but frankly, something about White Christmas irks me--not sure why. Too syrupy? But it's not as bad as the Christmas Song ("chestnuts roasting o'er an open fire"--gag me). I tend to like the true meaning of Christmas type of songs, altho not totally.

June said...

Hi Tracy,
I was so happy to get over here and catch up on the posts that I have missed. I loved going through your five fave Christmas caroles. I think you and I could be twins with that list. I had to click on Bare Naked Ladies to hear their rendition...I loved it!
I also wanted to say that I hope things are getting better for you since your last post, and if not, that you are being comforted.
In the post before that, you asked how adversity might affect our lives and how we handle that adversity. For me, I have learned at this age of 55 that I am a resiliant person. Something I didn't know about the very young June. While I don't want adversity in my life, I know that when it comes, it will leave me with greater appreciation for the things in my life that brings me joy. Sometimes people let adversity bitter them and shrivel their souls, others let them enlarge their heart, and make them stronger to withstand all things that come to them. I guess for me...I choose the latter. Thank you for making me ponder this today. you have blessed me.
Thank you for your sweet message you left for me. You don't know how much I appreciate you. I am so thankful to know that there are people like you educating the population that I love so much.
hugs

Ami said...

I'd have an easier time choosing the songs I really do NOT enjoy listening to this time of year.

But I won't do that. I'm sure everyone hates those particular songs already. ;)

What gets me, though, is the fact that every pop tart (boy or girl) has to make a Christmas album.

And they always butcher my favorites. And I feel quite a lot like Scrooge when I have to listen to it.

Bah Humbug!!

Of course the other side of things (schizo much?) means I must mention that my all time favorite is listening to Karen Carpenter singing Ave Maria.

Old Kitty said...

Hello there!! I thought I'd pop over your lovely blog to say hello and to wish you a merry christmas!! I'm about to put up my christmas tree so I guess I'm even later than you!! LOL!!

Oooh these are brilliant christmas songs! I do like the Little Drummer Boy, Oh Holy Night too, We three Kings of orient are, Oh Little town of Bethlehem!!! That's only four!! But I love em!! Thanks for such a chrismassy post! Take care
x

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Please assure your son you are not the last. hahaha
Love your blue lights and happy you got them up and shining. Everyone is behind this year.
I love the 5 choices. Great post
Love
Maggie

kenju said...

You are most definitely not the last. Our tree is in my office, bare as God made it (or He would have if He made artificial trees).

You can't be any bigger fans of UNC than my family; three grads, one post-grad, all are fans - even the one who went to NCSU. But we don't have blue lights....LOL Yours look lovely!!

Kimmy said...

Tracy your tree is beautiful! I once had only blue lights on the tree too. Just about everything on the tree had something blue in it. Now that we've redone some things in the living room, I found myself putting alot of blue things back in the box. But now my tree isn't as full! lol
Christmas songs.. hmm.. it is hard to narrow done just a few but my all time fav would have to be JingleBell Rock (Brenda Lees version). It's one I've always loved since I was a child so hearing it today sort of takes me back to my childhood and the innocence of Christmas then.

Champs said...

I would have to say, since your talking music and well you know me and music from my blogs...

1.) This is Christmas, The Beatles
2.) Oh Holy Night
3.) The Christmas Song, Nat King Cole
4.) Any Christmas Song By Trans Siberian Orchestra
5.) Jingle Bell Rock

and last but not least..

Any Christmas song sung By Elvis!

Julie Musil said...

"Mary Did You Know" is one of my favorites. I swear, I cry every single time I heard it (and sing along).

I love how your blue lights match your blue walls (although I suppose that's not why you chose them!)

Tracy said...

Oh Donna, now you really made it difficult...I LOVE Glee and hadn't even considered any of those songs! ummm....

Patty Ann, I will have to search for Sally DeFord and I do love the Messiah~

Arkansas Patti, so glad I could accomodate you :) great minds think alike!

Linda, I must be stuck right there with you because most of mine are 'older' and yes, totally forgot about Nat King Cole...ugh!

Wanda's Wings, I hope you are feeling better. Thanks for stopping by and glad you liked the songs...take good care!

Nancy, it is difficult picking five, guess I didn't do a very good job of actually sticking to just five...

Dianne, actually I do love the Little Drummer boy; did you ever watch the special before they took it off the air for being 'UN-politically correct'? that was one of my favorites...

Thanks Jenny D- the mantle is my son's favorite thing to decorate :)yeah, Johnny Mathis is nice ANYTIME!!!

Out on the Prairie, that's cool your name derives from that...I never knew how to promounce Wense...you get the picture!

Word Crafter, you are tooo funny! Although I'm not a NC State fan, I adored Kay Yow! I'm a Karen Carpenter fan so ANYTHING by her is fantastic...she had such a gift!

Thanks Brian...enjoy all that beautiful music!

Carol, well, Christmas song is NOT one of my favorites either but it's okay...O Holy Night is wonderful.

June, Isn't the Bare Naked Ladies version fun? I listen to that all year round. Thank you for the support and encouragement. I don't tend to hang onto negativity very long; definitely not a 'wallower' so I do feel better and ready to tackle the week ahead.
Goodness, if I'd let adversity make me shrivel I'd be a raisin now...and a squished one at that. I like your thoughts. I really enjoyed hearing your perspective.
And thank you for your appreciation. I love what I do and adore my kids so why do the 'higher-ups' have ruin that by pressuring teachers? I know, that's a rhetoric question...thanks for stopping by...

Ami, I am totally with you on that fact about every pop singer 'trying' to make a Christmas song...that just doesn't 'cut it' for sure! And you are absolutely right about Ava Maria...I'd forgotten...

Old Kitty, As always thank you for stopping by. You add a smile to my face! cripes, I forgot O Little Town of Bethlehem...Amy Grant sings a nice version of that too!

Grandma, glad you liked the songs...you know, perhaps you are right about everyone being a tad late; why is that?

Kenju, I knew there was a reason I was attracted to your post; Carolina connections :)...even our outside lights are blue this year as well as the ones draping from the stair railings...pretty funny!

Thanks Kimmy! Ohhh, I'm sure we would have loved your blue tree. Jingle Bell Rock is so light hearted and sassy...I hope you enjoyed your trip back to your childhood today!

Tracy said...

Connie, I'd agree with your top five but NO ELVIS!!!! sorry, loveyou anyway....

Julie, I totally agree...Mary, Did You Know is so special! I ahve it on my MP3 player and when I walk I listen to it over and over...
your comment made me chuckle about the blue lights...but you're right and never even noted that! take good care!

Canyon Girl said...

I don't know one of the songs and I don't like White Christmas or Bing Crosby. I loved the rest and what you wrote about your mom was touching.--Inger

Debra W said...

Tracy, your tree is just lovely! I think it was worth the wait:) Since we are Jewish, we just finished Chanukah this year. It came very early(too early for me) and my girls were all still in school and busy with work so we didn't really get a chance to celebrate formally yet. But now I get to sit back and enjoy the Christmas season without any stress. I still have to send out my cards and exchange gifts with my Christian friends, but that is all fun stuff!

I love all of the songs that you chose. Silent Night has always been my favorite. It's so calming and beautiful.

Thank you so much for your very kind words on my blog. I am doing much better now(what a difference a day makes), but your words will ring true in my mind.

I hope that things have calmed down a bit, and that you are now past most of the craziness with school!

Big hugs,
Deb

Ginny said...

Love this post, and your georgous room is not making me the least bit blue!! Four of my favorites are "Mary did You Know", I have that one by Clay Aiken. " O Holy Night", Handel's Messiah, Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel,

Tracy said...

Canyon Girl,
I'm glad I could touch your heart...so what are your favorite Christmas songs?

Deb,So when will you celebrate with Chanukah with your family? I certainly hope you enjoyed your holiday~ I AM glad you are feeling better...we all have days like that! and just need to take a step back and care for ourselves. My goal personally is to get through this week :) I can do it...said the Little Engine :)

Ginny, Amy Grant sings a lovely Oh Come Emmanuel; have you heard it? I'll have to listen to Clay Aiken's version of Mary did you Know!

Have a good evening and a great Monday!

Daisy said...

I'm not sure I could narrow it down to five either. I'd think "Oh Holy Night," "Joy To the World," "The First Noel," and most any song done by Trans Siberian Orchestra would be on the list. There are so many good ones to choose from. :)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

HI Tracy, Love your tree/fireplace... We used blue lights back in 1963 when we had one of our first Christmas trees --after getting married.

Looks like your family and mine will be on different sides when the Tarheels meet my Tennessee Vols in the Music City Bowl this year. My family (including me) are HUGE Vol Fans.

It's hard to pick 5 Christmas favorites. I like so many of the same ones you do... I guess my very favorite is the Messiah by Handel--especially the Hallelujah Chorus....

Hugs,
Betsy

Catherine said...

I love Christmas music too Tracy! My favorite Christmas CD is Sarah McLachlin Wintersong and Celine Dion These Are Special Times with my top favorites from that CD being, "Another Year Has Gone By", "Don't Save It All For Christmas Day", "The Prayer". There's so many beautiful Christmas songs ~ that's why I start playing them mid-November! :)

Happy Monday Tracy!
xo Catherine

Bossy Betty said...

Love these songs as well and your tree is just wonderful!

Jennifer said...

I especially love hearing Christmas music in church and with the choirs. Living in MD you we are able to experience the Naval Academy in Annapalolis sing the Messiah and it is awesome. As for the ice skate - mine are far gone too and I'm in search of an inxexpensive pair. This Etsy seller has them for a reasonable price I have to say $36. and $6. shipping. Jennifer

Dawn said...

Oh I know!!! I so love the Christmas songs....and almost wish I wouldn't seem strange playing them all beginning in September!
I like how you run through your top favorites:)

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