Site icon S L Hollister, author

Christmas Favorites Part 2

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Favorite Holiday Song

Okay, now we’re really getting into difficult territory because I love Christmas music both old and new stuff. I don’t know what it is about Christmas music, but it always touches my heart. I’ve even been known to sing it when it’s not even Christmas.

I have to break this down into categories because I truly love Christmas music

  1. Religious:

Oh Holy Night, I love to sing this song though sometimes I cannot get it just right. It was one played at church and is still one of my favorite songs. When a good soprano sings it, it can give me chills.

Go Tell it On the Mountain, another song I love to sing. I have great memories of doing this in church with the kids walking up the aisles of the church getting louder and faster as we neared the altar. It’s a joyous song to sing. I miss doing the Christmas programs. I started performing in the Christmas pageants when I was a little girl even before we moved to North Carolina, but afterwards I didn’t miss a one. As a young teenager I began writing or altering plays to fit our small church and later as an adult I wrote or assisted in the writing of the plays.

Mary Did You Know, when my oldest son and my niece sang this as a duet one Christmas it became my favorite. I wasn’t familiar with this song until I heard it at one of their band concerts, but it could not compare to this duet. His bass and her soprano were a beautiful blend. It’s a memory that plays on repeat in my heart.

What Child is This? I love to sing this song or hear it sung. I’d not heard it until I was a teenager, but it became one of my favorites.

Sweet Little Jesus Boy I remembered this one after I started this blog, I love to sing this song. I learned it for a program, it’s best done acapella.

Silent Night this is so pretty sung outside on a winter’s night under the stars with only a guitar accompanying. I loved going Christmas caroling and this was probably my favorite song to sing.

We Three Kings in a small church with very few boys or men to play all of the parts, one year I was a King. As a contraltro, I can sing in the lower register and sang with the guys on this song. My dad and I would often sing it together while my mom sang the higher parts.

Away in a Manger when my babies were little, I’d sing this as a lullaby not just at Christmas. This is one of the purest and sweetest songs. I can imagine Mary singing to Jesus and wondering what the future held.

Oh Little Town of Bethlehem we sang this often in church as a congregational song but I love to hear it sung with harmonies.

Beautiful Star of Bethlehem this is beautiful when done in the old bluegrass style. I love to hear my friend sing it with his bluegrass band, but I also enjoy singing it.

Oh Come Emmanuel the first time I remember singing this song, I was part of a choir in Goldsboro’s Adamsville Baptist Church. We did a human Christmas tree and I had to climb up several stories and stand on a small platform. At least I didn’t have time for stage fright being I was so scared of heights!

2. Broadway/Hollywood:

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen the first time I remember hearing this song a friend of mine was in a production of A Christmas Carol at the community theater. I wished I’d been able to be involved in theater, but we lived so far from the city.

All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey is younger than my youngest son but has already become a classic. It’s one of the most played Christmas songs on the radio and I think old and young, rockers and country lovers enjoy it. I know it’s one of my favorites and it lends itself well to the holiday romance genre.

Hard Candy Christmas I was surprised to learn it wasn’t written by Dolly Pardon but instead by Carol Hall. It’s from the musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Dolly played Miss Mona in the film version. My dad saw the movie before I did and embarrassed himself telling me about it. I’ll never forget his discomfort when he suddenly remembered I wasn’t his friend but his daughter.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas from Meet Me in Saint Louis, I loved it as a movie with Judy Garland I’ve never had the opportunity to see the play. I’m an old movie nut. My son and I love the history channel and the classic movie channel.  

We Need a Little Christmas the first time I remember hearing this was on The Facts of Life, I guess that dates me. I loved that show, and their holiday specials were always full of heart and music.

Baby It’s Cold Outside this song has been done and spoofed so many times it’s become a tradition in itself. I love to hear it and gladly listen to any of the new versions for a chuckle.

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Here in eastern North Carolina, it rarely snows until after the new year but every once in a while we have a white Christmas. One I remember with my daughter-in-law Chanthou that was really special. We all played in the snow and made snow cream. Even though it’s doubtful we’ll get snow for Christmas, I cannot resist singing this song.

White Christmas Irving Berlin was one of the greatest song writers of all time. I love to watch the old movies White Christmas and Holiday Inn, and when I was writing my story, Only in My Dreams, I thought about all the WW2 era movies I loved to watch such as these. The title for my holiday WW2 novella is from the song I’ll be Home for Christmas, which I cannot listen to without tearing up.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas I sing this in the stores when the Christmas decorations come out, but I truly feel it after our small-town Christmas parade.

Snoopy and Red Baron I had this on a forty-five and played it over and over again until there was a groove in the vinyl. That and Alvin and the Chipmunks singing Christmas Don’t Be Late.

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