Thursday, December 25

The Best Christmas Gift Ever

Wednesday, December 17

Christmas Song Countdown

I don't know about you, but this time of year when I hear "The Christmas Song" or "Jingle Bells" or "Rudolph", I immediately change the station. There are some songs that I am just sick of after hearing them once and there's so many versions of each song but somehow they all sound the same. Don't get me wrong, I love "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", so don't go thinking I'm a scrooge but I'm definitely a fan of the more non-traditional Christmas songs. Here are my top 11. (yes, 11) You can click on the title of the songs to be transported to YouTube and listen to the Top 11:

11. Breath of Heaven, Amy Grant: A slow, beautiful, even haunting song from Mary's point of view. I don't think anyone really knows or can fathom what it would be like to carry God's son as a teenager and have the rest of the world think you're just knocked up. There would be a stigma about it today when lots of things are now permissible by most of the world's standards, so think about what it would be like 2000 years ago. Glad it wasn't me.
Favorite lyric: "In a world as cold as stone/Must I walk this path alone?/Be with me now."

10. Where Are You Christmas, Faith Hill: Another slow one from another female artist. It's the big musical number from the live-action flick, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, AKA, the dumb version - not the cartoon version you grew up on and love. I don't really know the words, but the chorus is great to sing out loud in my car when I'm all alone or riding with someone I don't particularly care for and therefore don't mind annoying them. I'm trying to think when that's ever happened though. . .
Favorite lyric: "I feel you Christmas/I know I've found you/You never fade away."

9. The Chimney Song, Bob Rivers: Years can go by and I don't even get to hear this song. And those my friend, are depressing years. Probably sung by the same kid that sings "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas." A very cute little ditty about an obese Santa stuck in one chimney for the entire year without the family figuring it out!
Favorite lyric: "I'll be waiting up for Santa like I did last year/But my brother says 'he's already here.'"

8. Linus & Lucy, Vince Guaraldi: theme song of the Peanuts gang featured in "A Charlie Brown Christmas." I love anything and everything about that movie. If it was made this year, I'm sure TV networks wouldn't have the cajones to air it. But they did back in the 60s and it's now an annual showing in my life. Who doesn't just melt listening to Linus' infamous speech beginning with the right mood: "Lights please. . ." He just rattles off scripture and simply states, "And that's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown." Tru dat Linus. Preach it brother!
Favorite lyric: the beginning because it's so recognizable. "don don don. don don don. daaaaaa don. daaaa. don don."

7. Christmas in the Northwest, Brenda White: I'm a Tigard native so I'm going to love any song proclaiming this is the best place for a kid to be at this time of the year. If it catches me in the right mood, I may even shed a tear during the playing of this one.
Favorite lyric: "Christmas in the northwest/Is a child's answered prayer."

6. When My Heart Finds Christmas, Harry Connick, Jr.: I'm not sure if HCJ can do any wrong in my book. (OK, co-starring in PS I Love You was a mistake.) But I'm especially fond of this song since it's on my favorite Christmas CD that I bought in Greece in December 2000. This one gets bonus points for the "sing out loud in your car" factor.
Favorite lyric: "My heart told me once before/to find my dream and serach no more."

5. Christmas Wrapping, The Waitresses: We now find ourselves in the 80s. Great decade. Great song. I basically don't know any of the words except the chorus but my body must move while it's playing and I like the trumpets in the background. When you find yourself stuck in a standstill in holiday traffic, there's no better song to pull you out of your funk and keep your mouth busy so you don't yell at other drivers who can't drive - which is everyone by the way.
Favorite lyric: "So deck those halls, trim those trees/Raise up cups of Christmas cheer."

4. Anything by Raffi: Let's stay in the 80s and get nostalgic for a sec, shall we? I grew up dancing and singing with my sister to Raffi after dinner for. . .oh, I don't even know how many years growing up. Years. . .so, of course, I'm going to love Raffi's Christmas album. I couldn't pick one of his songs so I threw the whole thing up here. These are timeless. Seriously, they're awesome.
Favorite lyric: "Snows are a-fallin' on Douglas Mountain/Puttin' all the bears to sleep."

3. We Need a Little Christmas, Johnny Mathis: This is about the peppiest song I know of (Christmas or otherwise). Again, major points for being fun to sing at the top of your lungs with. And it's short. And it has jingle bells. Plus it just picks your spirit up if you're feeling down so you say to yourself, "You right Johnny. I DO need a little Christmas right now!"
Favorite lyric: "and we need a little snappy happy ever after/we need a little Christmas now"

2. Same Old Lang Syne, Dan Folgelberg: Why do I feel like you may be groaning or totally disagreeing with me right now? So I like this slightly depressing, storytelling song. Sue me! I like that it is descriptive, tells a story about two people and their honesty of their lives that they're not too happy with. And in the end, even the snow turns into rain. Do you know what this means? Event the weather is depressing in this song! But like Forest Gump, hope is the theme when the main character is surrounded by heart break and loss. The poor guy can't catch a break and he just drank a six-pack with his ex in his car! Glad it's just a song. . .
Favorite lyric: "She went to hug me and she spilled her purse/And we laughed until we cried."

1. Celebrate Me Home, Kenny Loggins: The Christmas season does not start for me until I hear this song on the radio. I love Kenny Loggins (80s!) and I love this song. I love the theme of "home" in songs. I love that I first knew this song from Fred Meyer holiday ads back in the day. I love the repetitive, never-ending ending. I love the piano. I love how the song builds and gain momentum. Isn't this what everyone really wants to tell their family when they go back home: "hey, people! Celebrate the fact that I'm here! I'm here and want to play a little ditty for you to remember when we all leave." Great stuff!!!
Favorite lyric: "Please, celebrate me home/Gimme a number please/Celebrate me home."

Monday, December 15

Stockings at the Smalls

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.

Sunday, December 14

Happiness is. . .

the simple things like watching It's A Wonderful Life and waiting for snow.

Tuesday, December 9

The Best Clinical Group Ever Celebrates 213 Being Over!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Monday, December 8

What is love?

Because we all need a little reminder every now and again. Curious as to how you're doing? Just substitute your name at the beginning of each phrase.

Love is patient
Love is kind
It does not envy
It does not boast
It is not proud
It is not rude
It is not self-seeking
It is not easily angered
It keeps no record of wrongs
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.