365 Days of Christmas is keeping the spirit alive
all year to enliven your world.




Monday, March 31, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Crafts - Day 4 - Christmas Wreaths

0 merry thoughts
Wreaths are common Christmas decorations so why not make one or two to hang either on the wall or as ornaments on a tree. They also make nice gifts for someone in a nursing home or hospital.

Candy Wreath
http://familycrafts.about.com/library/projects/blwreathcandy.htm

Pinecone Wreath
http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/pineconecrafts/l/blpinecwreath.htm

Pretzel Wreath
http://familycrafts.about.com/library/projects/blwreathpretz.htm

Variety of Christmas Wreath Crafts
http://www.childfun.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=217

Hand Cut-out Wreath
http://crafts.kaboose.com/hands-cut-out-wreath.html

Plastic Bag Wreath
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/97588/free_christmas_craft_dry_cleaner_bag.html

Cardboard Tube Christmas Wreath
http://www.make-stuff.com/hollidays/tube_wreath.html

Paper Plate Wreath
http://www.dltk-holidays.com/xmas/mplatewreath.html

Variety of Christmas Wreath Crafts
http://www.christmascrafts.com/wreath-crafts.htm

Advent Wreath
http://www.first-school.ws/activities/bible/advent1.htm

CD Wreath
http://www.make-stuff.com/recycling/cd_wreath.html

PVC Wreath
http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/cr_holidays/article/0,2025,DIY_13761_5115971,00.html


Shopping for Wreaths:

Variety of Wreath Craft Kits
http://www.orientaltrading.com/application?namespace=search&origin=searchMain.jsp&event=button.search&Ntt=wreaths&Ntk=all&Ntx=mode%2Bmatchallpartial&N=0

Variety of Evergreen Wreaths
http://www.balsamhill.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=wreath&Search.x=12&Search.y=2

Variety of Evergreen Wreaths
http://www.gardenwinds.com/index.php?cPath=27_33&OVRAW=christmas%20wreath%20craft&OVKEY=christmas%20wreath&OVMTC=advanced&OVADID=4069448011&OVKWID=10095618011

Variety of Evergreen Wreaths
http://www.alpinewreaths.com/

Variety of Evergreen Wreaths
http://www.holidaydecorationsdirect.com/View-All-Wreaths-C64333.html?refid=G9466.christmas+wreath&gclid=CMigsIiGnI8CFSXlgAoduUtGIw

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 24 - Blue Christmas

0 merry thoughts
B.Hayes, J.Johnson (c) 1948

I'll have a blue Christmas without you;
I'll be so blue thinking about you.
Decorations of red
on a green Christmas tree
Won't mean a thing if
you're not here with me.

I'll have a blue Christmas, that's certain;
And when that blue heartache starts hurting,
You'll be doing all right
with your Christmas of white,
But I'll have a blue, blue Christmas.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Crafts - Day 3 - Christmas Tree Ornaments

0 merry thoughts
Decorate your Christmas tree with home-made ornaments! Not only can you make spectacular ornaments using traditional craft supplies, you can make them using items you already have laying around your house such as light bulbs, cardboard bathroom, tissue rolls, and CDs.

CD Photo Ornament
http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/treeornaments/l/blorncdphoto.htm

Candy Cane Bead Ornament
http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/treeornaments/l/blorncdphoto.htm

Terracotta Bell Ornament
http://crafts.kaboose.com/bell-ornament.html

Rudolph Ornament
http://crafts.kaboose.com/rudolph_orn.html

Wooden Snowman Ornament
http://crafts.kaboose.com/stick_orn.html

Acorn Ornament
http://familycrafts.about.com/library/projects/blacornorn.htm

Balloon Ornament
http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/treeornaments/a/blxmastreeba.htm

Glass Ball Ornaments
http://crafts.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Christmas_Ornament_Crafts

Victorian Fan Ornament
http://www.dotcomwomen.com/crafts/victorian_fan_ornament.shtml

Lace Angel Ornament
http://www.dotcomwomen.com/crafts/lace_angel_ornament.shtml

Wooden Star Ornament
http://www.daniellesplace.com/HTML/christmas.html

Christmas Craft Ornaments
Kids will have a jolly good time making Christmas ornaments that will adorn the tree for years to come.
http://www.schoolsurf.org/nph-page.pl/000000A/http/familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts/season/specialfeature/christmas-ornaments-ms/

Children's Christmas Ornament Crafts
http://dltk-holidays.com/xmas/ornaments.html

Christmas Craft Ornaments
http://www.make-stuff.com/hollidays/christmas.html

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 23 - Deck the Halls

0 merry thoughts
The melody to this popular Christmas carol belongs to Welsh folk song heritage, and may date back as far as the sixteenth century. The lyrics to Deck the Halls first appeared, without music, in a New York newspaper, in 1881. By the turn of the century, the melody and lyrics of Deck the Halls were wed, and the carol as we know it was already part of the American carol tradition.

Deck the Halls

Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.
Tis the season to by jolly,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.

Don we now our gay apparel,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
Troll the ancient Yuletide carol,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.

See the blazing Yule before us,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.
Strike the harp and join the chorus.
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.

Follow me in merry measure,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
While I tell of Yuletide treasure,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.

Fast away the old year passes,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.
Hail the new, ye lads and lasses,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.

Sing we joyous, all together,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.
Heedless of the wind and weather,
Fa la la la la la, la la la la.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Crafts - Day 2 - Angels

0 merry thoughts
Use many creative techniques and supplies to make a variety of angel crafts. They make wonderful Christmas tree decorations or gifts.

Recycled Angel

Supplies Needed:
Construction paper (any color)
Ribbon
Foil
Cereal box
Cotton balls
Glitter
Sequins
Empty paper towel roll
Hot glue gun and sticks
Scissors
Markers

Cut out a circle from construction paper. Using a marker draw the face. Once done start gluing cotton balls on to paper towel roll as many as needed. Take cereal box and draw the wings. Keep both wings as one piece. When wings are cut out wrap foil around the wings. Glue wings to the back of the paper towel roll. Once wings are glued glue the head on front of the paper towel roll. Cut pieces of ribbon for the hair. Using scissors to curl the ribbon. Glue the ribbon on the head. Once head is glued use cotton balls to go down the wings for the arms. Once done decorate your angel with glitter and sequins.

Pasta Angel

Supplies Needed:
Elbow macaroni
Bowtie pasta
Ziti noodles
Gold pipe cleaners
White and gold paint
Medium sized clear faceted balls or round wooden balls with a face
Glue gun and sticks
Paintbrush
Glitter, optional
Ribbon

Step one: Paint the elbows and ziti white. We use Apple Barrel brand paint, easy clean up. Paint bowties gold or glittery silver. We paint them gold.

Step two: Cut each gold pipe cleaner into four equal parts. Make loop and twist ends together, this should look like a halo. stick twisted ends into the hole at the top of the ball, this should look like the halo over a head.

Step three: Take a length of ribbon and make a loop big enough to fit over the tree branch or the place where it will hang. Glue it to the bowtie, then glue the wings on the ziti in the small arch. Glue two elbows to sides but letting them touch in the front of angel.

Step four: Put glue on upper mouth of ziti (the one closest to the wings) and attach the head. Let dry.

CD Angel

Supplies Needed:
CD
3 inch Styrofoam Ball
Glue
Yarn
Felt

Make the styro foam ball into an angel's face. Add yarn for hair, wiggle eyes or closed eyes cut from felt (half circles with fringed eyelashes), a pink mouth, etc. Make your angel look however you like! Glue the CD to the top of the head to make the angel's halo.

More Angels:
http://craftycollege.com/webofangels/
http://www.craftown.com/angels/angels1.htm
http://www.craftbits.com/viewProject.do?projectID=1624
http://www.rainbowinternetservices.com/angels/angel.html
http://www.craftbits.com/viewProject.do?projectID=124
http://www.make-stuff.com/projects/bead_angels.html
http://crafts.kaboose.com/fabric-angels.html
http://www.make-stuff.com/projects/shell_angels.html
http://www.craftdesigns4you.com/angelsofmonth.htm

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 22 - Frosty the Snowman

0 merry thoughts
Frosty the Snowman was written in 1950, for Gene Autry, as a result of the astounding success of Autry's Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer, recording the previous year.

Frosty The Snowman

Frosty the Snowman
Was a jolly happy soul
With a corncob pipe and a button nose
And two eyes made out of coal

(chorus)

Frosty the Snowman
Is a fairytale they say
He was made of snow
But the children know
How he came to life one day

There must have been some magic
In that old silk hat they found
For when they placed it on his head
He began to dance around

Frosty the Snowman
Was alive as he could be
And the children say
He could laugh and play
Just the same as you and me

Frosty the Snowman
Knew the sun was hot that day
So he said let's run
And we'll have some fun
Now before I melt away

Down to the village
With a broomstick in his hand
Running here and there all around the square
Saying catch me if you can

He led them down the streets of town
Right to the traffic cop
And he only paused a moment when
He heard him holler stop

Frosty the Snowman
Had to hurry on his way
But he waved goodbye
Saying don't you cry
I'll be back again some day

Thumpety thump thump
Thumpety thump thump
Look at Frosty go
Thumpety thump thump
Thumpety thump thump
Over the hills of snow

Friday, March 28, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Crafts - Day 1 - Countdown to Christmas

0 merry thoughts
Waiting for Christmas Day to arrive can be tough. The anticipation of Santa's visit, family gatherings, and special gifts can make each day seem like an eternity. With an advent calendar, you countdown each day until Christmas in a special way.

A fun way to count down the days until Christmas. Make an advent collage with these printable templates and magazine pictures.

Supplies Needed:
Paper
Markers or Crayons
Magazines/Catalogs/Newspapers
Glue

Simply print out either the Christmas stocking or gift picture from the templates below and color it. Go through magazines, catalogs, and newspaper ads, find small pictures of items you want for Christmas, and cut them out. Starting on December 1st, glue one of your pictures onto the stocking or gift. Glue on one a day until Christmas eve; leave your stocking or gift advent picture out for Santa to see when he comes!

Stocking Template
http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/christmasprints/l/blcolorstocking.htm

Gift Template
http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/christmasprints/l/blchgiftcolor.htm

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 21 - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

0 merry thoughts
The lyrics of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen date back to 15th century England, when town watchmen would sing the song to the upper class, to earn additional money during the Christmas season.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

God rest ye merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas day,
To save us all from Satan's pow'r
When we were gone astray;

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

From God our heavenly Father
A blessed angel came.
And unto certain shepherds
Brought tidings of the same,
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by name:

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

"Fear not," then said the angel,
"Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Savior,
Of virtue, power, and might;
So frequently to vanquish all
The friends of Satan quite";

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding,
In tempest, storm, and wind,
And went to Bethlehem straightway
This blessed babe to find:

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

But when to Bethlehem they came,
Whereat this infant lay
They found him in a manger
Where oxen feed on hay;
His mother Mary kneeling,
Unto the Lord did pray:

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All others doth deface:

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 20 - Jingle Bells

0 merry thoughts
James Pierpont wrote the classic Jingle Bells in 1857 for the Sunday school class of a church in Boston. The song was originally titled "The One-Horse Open Sleigh", and was a Thanksgiving song. The children's performance was so well-received that they were asked to repeat it at Christmas. It soon thereafter became known as a Christmas song.

Jingle Bells
James Pierpont. publ.1857

Dashing through the snow
On a one-horse open sleigh,
Over the fields we go,
Laughing all the way;
Bells on bob-tail ring,
making spirits bright,
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight.

Chorus:
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
jingle all the way!
O what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

A day or two ago,
I thought I'd take a ride,
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side;
The horse was lean and lank;
Misfortune seemed his lot;
He got into a drifted bank,
And we, we got upsot.

Chorus

A day or two ago,
the story I must tell
I went out on the snow
And on my back I fell;
A gent was riding by
In a one-horse open sleigh,
He laughed as there
I sprawling lie,
But quickly drove away.

Chorus

Now the ground is white
Go it while you're young,
Take the girls tonight
And sing this sleighing song;
Just get a bob-tailed bay
two-forty as his speed
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack! you'll take the lead.

Chorus

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 19 - Here Comes Santa Claus

0 merry thoughts
Gene Autry wrote this Christmas carol in 1947, after overhearing some children at a Christmas parade repeating, "Here comes Santa Claus! Here comes Santa Claus!" In 1998, Here Comes Santa Claus was chosen one of the top holiday songs of the twentieth century by ASCAP.

Here Comes Santa Claus
(Gene Autry, Oakley Haldeman)

Here comes Santa Claus!
Here comes Santa Claus!
Right down Santa Claus Lane!
Vixen and Blitzen and all his reindeer
are pulling on the reins.
Bells are ringing, children singing;
All is merry and bright.
Hang your stockings and say your prayers,
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.

Here comes Santa Claus!
Here comes Santa Claus!
Right down Santa Claus Lane!
He's got a bag that is filled with toys
for the boys and girls again.
Hear those sleigh bells jingle jangle,
What a beautiful sight.
Jump in bed, cover up your head,
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 18 - The Christmas Song

0 merry thoughts
Jazz singer Mel Torme (aka "The Velvet Fog") and lyricist Robert Wells wrote this beautiful Christmas song in July of 1945. Apparently, the two were so hot, they were inspired to write of snow, and Christmas to help cool them down. Nat King Cole went into the studio one year later to record the carol, and The Christmas song has since become one of the most popular Christmas carols ever.

The Christmas Song
(Torme-Wells)

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos

Everybody knows some tofu and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight

They know that Santa's on his way
He's loaded lots of toys
And goodies on his sleigh
And every mother's child is gonna spy
To see if reindeer really know how to fly

And so, I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although its been said
Many times, many ways
Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas to... You!

Monday, March 24, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 17 - White Christmas

0 merry thoughts
Written by Irving Berlin in 1942 for use in the movie Holiday Inn, White Christmas became popular with American WWII soldiers and their families. Originally recorded by Bing Crosby, the song became so popular it spawned a movie of the same name, also starring Crosby.

White Christmas
Irving Berlin 1942

verse (intro):
The sun is shining, the grass is green
The orange and palm trees sway
There's never been such a day
In Beverley Hills, L. A.
.. But it's De-cember the twen-ty-fourth
.. And I am longing to be up north

main song:
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten
and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white.

May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 16 - Let It Snow

0 merry thoughts
Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne (c) 1945

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

It doesn't show signs of stopping,
And I brought some corn for popping;
The lights are turned way down low,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

When we finally say good night,
How I'll hate going out in the storm;
But if you really hold me tight,
All the way home I'll be warm.

The fire is slowly dying,
And, my dear, we're still good-bye-ing,
But as long as you love me so.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 15 - O Christmas Tree

0 merry thoughts
This holiday carol has German origins - it was originally titled "O Tannenbaum". When, and who wrote the English lyrics is unknown. It is interesting to note that the melody of "O Tannenbaum" is used by four states - Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, and New Jersey - as their state song.

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
How are thy leaves so verdant!
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How are thy leaves so verdant!

Not only in the summertime,
But even in winter is thy prime.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How are thy leaves so verdant!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure doth thou bring me!
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure doth thou bring me!

For every year the Christmas tree,
Brings to us all both joy and glee.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure doth thou bring me!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!

Each bough doth hold its tiny light,
That makes each toy to sparkle bright.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!

Friday, March 21, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 14 - Silent Night

0 merry thoughts
The lyrics to this famous Christmas carol were written by Father Joseph Mohr in 1816. Two years later, in 1818, Franz Xaver Gruber composed the music, and Silent Night as we know it was born, albeit a German version of the song. Silent Night has since been translated into more languages than any other Christmas song.

Silent Night

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born.

Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love's pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 13 - Walking in a Winter Wonderland

0 merry thoughts
Winter Wonderland was written in 1934 by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith. The carol has been recorded by everyone from Perry Como and the Andrews Sisters to the Eurythmics.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Sleigh bells ring
are you listening
in the lane
snow is glistening
A beautiful sight
we're happy tonight
walking in a winter wonderland

Gone away is the bluebird
here to stay is a new bird
He sings a love song
as we go along
walking in a winter wonderland

In the meadow we can build a snowman
Then pretend that he is Parson Brown
He'll say: Are you married?
we'll say: No man
But you can do the job
when you're in town

Later on
we'll conspire
as we dream by the fire
To face unafraid
the plans that we've made
walking in a winter wonderland

In the meadow we can build a snowman
and pretend that he's a circus clown
We'll have lots of fun with mister snowman
until the alligators knock him down

When it snows
ain't it thrilling
Though your nose gets a chilling
We'll frolic and play
the Eskimo way
walking in a winter wonderland

Walking in a winter wonderland
walking in a winter wonderland

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 12 - It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

0 merry thoughts
Written by Massachusetts minister Edmund Hamilton Sears in 1849, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear was originally a poem. The music for the carol was written ten years later, by Richard Storrs Willis.

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold!
"Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From heaven's all gracious King!
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled
And still their heavenly music floats
O'er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing.
And ever o'er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world hath suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love song which they bring:
O hush the noise, ye men of strife And hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold,
When, with the ever-circling years,
Shall come the Age of Gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And all the world give back the song
Which now the angels sing.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 11 - Joy to the World

0 merry thoughts
The words to Joy to the World were "written" by Isaac Watts in 1719, although the song is a word-for-word translation of Psalm 98. The music to the carol was composed by George Frederick Handel (1685-1759).

Joy to the World

Joy to the world! The Lord has come:
Let earth receive her King.
Let ev'ry heart prepare Him room,
Let heaven and nature sing,
Let heaven and nature sing,
Let heaven and heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the world the Savior reigns
Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods
Rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat repeat the sounding joy


He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, and wonders of His love.

Joy to the world! The Lord has come:
Let earth receive her King.
Let ev'ry heart prepare Him room,
Let heaven and nature sing,
Let heaven and nature sing,
Let heaven and heaven and nature sing.

Monday, March 17, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 10 - The First Noel

0 merry thoughts
Although no one is sure of it's origins, The First Noel is thought to date back to sixteenth century England. The carol was first published in 1833 when it appeared in "Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern," a collection of seasonal songs.

The First Noel

The first Noel, the angel did say,
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East, beyond them far;
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

And by the light of that same star,
Three wise men came from country far;
To seek for a King was their intent,
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

This star drew night to the northwest,
O'er Bethlehem it took its rest;
And there it did both stop and stay,
Right over the place where Jesus lay.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

Then entered in those wise men three,
Full reverently upon their knee;
And offered there in his presence,
Their gold, and myrrh, and frankincense
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 9 - Silver Bells

0 merry thoughts
This Christmas carol (originally titled "Twinkle Bells") was penned by composers Jay Livingston and his longtime collaborator, Ray Evans. The two worked together often, scoring more than 80 films, and writing such notable songs as "Que Sera Sera," "Buttons and Bows," and "Mona Lisa."

Silver Bells
(J.Livingston, Ray Evans)

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air
There's a feeling
of Christmas
Children laughing
People passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on ev'ry street corner you'll hear

Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them sing
Soon it will be Christmas day

Strings of street lights
Even stop lights
Blink a bright red and green
As the shoppers rush
home with their treasures

Hear the snow crunch
See the kids bunch
This is Santa's big scene
And above all this bustle
You'll hear
Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them sing
Soon it will be Christmas day

Saturday, March 15, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 8 - Santa Claus is Coming to Town

0 merry thoughts
This 1932 composition by Haven Gillespie and John Frederick Coots was ignored for two years, until it was recorded in 1934 by Eddie Cantor. It was a hit, and has since become an extremely popular Christmas carol.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town
J. Fred Coots, Henry Gillespie (c) 1934

Oh! You better watch out,
You better not cry,
You better not pout,
I'm telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town!

He's making a list,
Checking it twice,
Gonna find out who's naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town!

He sees you when you're sleeping,
He knows when you're awake.
He knows if you've been bad or good,
So be good for goodness sake!

Oh! You better watch out,
You better not cry,
You better not pout,
I'm telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town!

Friday, March 14, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 7 - Jingle Bell Rock

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Generally considered to be the first mainstream Rock 'n' Roll Christmas song, "Jingle Bell Rock" was penned in 1957 by Bobby Helms. Helms was a new country artist, who had two previous number one hits that year.

Jingle Bell Rock
(Bobby Helms)

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock
Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring
Snowing and blowing up bushels of fun
Now the jingle hop has begun.

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock
Jingle bells chime in jingle bell time
Dancing and prancing in Jingle Bell Square
In the frosty air.

What a bright time, it's the right time
To rock the night away
Jingle bell time is a swell time
To go gliding in a one-horse sleigh
Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet
Jingle around the clock
Mix and a-mingle in the jingling feet
That's the jingle bell,
That's the jingle bell,
That's the jingle bell rock

Thursday, March 13, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 6 - O Holy Night

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Minuit, Chr├ętiens ("Midnight, Christians") or Cantique de Noel

Words: Placide Cappeau (1808-1877), 1847;
translated from French to English by John Sullivan Dwight (1813-1893).
Clappeau, a wine merchant of Roquemaure, France, who wrote poems for his own enjoyment. Dwight was editor of Dwight's Journal of Music.

Music: Adolphe-Charles Adam (1803-1856).
Adam, born in Paris, France, is best known for his ballet Giselle (1841) and his many other operatic and theatrical works.

Sheet Music from Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), Carol #742
Page1 Page2 Page3 Page4

1. O holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth;
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;

Chorus
Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night, when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine.

2. Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the wise men from Orient land
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend.

Chorus
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger;
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!

3. Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother,
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.

Chorus
Christ is the Lord, O praise His name forever!
His pow'r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow'r and glory evermore proclaim!


This carol has been heralded as among the most beautiful of all Christmas carols, with excellent lyrics and a superb melody.

The author of the lyrics was Placide Cappeau (1808-1877), a resident of Roquemaure, located a few miles north of the historic city of Avignon. He was a commissionaire of wines, and an occasional writer of poetry. It is said that Cappeau was about to embark upon a business trip to Paris when the local parish priest asked Cappeau to write a Christmas poem. On December 3, 1847, about halfway to Paris, Cappeau received the inspiration for the poem, "Minuit, Chretiens."

When he arrived in Paris, he took the poem to the composer Adolphe Adam, an acquaintance of M. and Madam Laurey who were friends of Cappeau. Adam was at the peak of his career, having written his masterpiece, Giselle, only a few years before, in 1841. He was also the composer of over 80 stage works. Adam wrote the tune in a few days, and the song received its premier at the midnight mass on Christmas Eve 1847 in Roquemaure.

Notwithstanding its intrinsic beauty and initial success, the song was later attacked by churchmen in Cappeau's native France. The reason was not because of the nature or subject of the song. Rather, the attacks were based on the reputations of the lyricist and composer. Late in his life, Cappeau was described as a social radical, a freethinker, a socialist, and a non-Christian. Indeed, he adopted some of the more extreme political and social views of his era, such as opposition to inequality, slavery, injustice, and other kinds of oppression.

And the composer, Adolphe Adam, was Jewish. That, plus his reputation as a composer of light operatic works and ballets, was deemed incompatible by those churchmen with the composition of a Christian religious song. One French bishop denounced the song for its "lack of musical taste and total absence of the spirit of religion."

Fortunately, more rational perspectives have prevailed. By 1855, the carol had been published in London, and has been translated into many languages. The best known English translation is " O Holy Night" authored by John Sullivan Dwight (1813-1893), a Unitarian minister, an American music critic and journalist who made his home at the Transcendentalist community of Brook Farm, MA. It was first published 1855 in his Journal of Music, and was reprinted in songbooks of the period. His strongly abolitionist views were said to have influenced aspects of his free translation, including

Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother,
And in His name all oppression shall cease.

How interesting that Dwight, like Cappeau, held strong anti-slavery views. By coincidence, Christmas became a legal holiday in Massachusetts the same year as Dwight published his translation.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 5 - Happy Xmas

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This John Lennon penned song has become a new Christmas classic. You'll need to know a Bminor chord to play this one.

Happy Xmas XMAS (War Is Over)
(Lennon/Ono)

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

Chorus:
A very Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong
And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight

Chorus

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
A new one just begun
And so happy Christmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

Chorus

War is over, if you want it
War is over now

Happy Christmas

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 4 - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

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This holiday carol was originally somewhat ominous - lyrics included phrases like "Have yourself a merry little Christmas, may your heart be light. In a year our troubles will be out of sight." At Judy Garland's request, the lyrics were changed to reflect a somewhat sunnier outlook.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
(Martin, Blane)
from the film Meet Me In St. Louis

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.

Here were are as in olden days,
happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
gather near to us once more.

Through the years we all will be together
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

Monday, March 10, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 3 - Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

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This Christmas carol was written in 1964 by Johnny Marks, one of the most prolific holiday songwriters ever (Marks' other credits include "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer", "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day", "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and many others).

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas
Johnny Marks (c) 1472

Have a holly, jolly Christmas;
It's the best time of the year
I don't know if there'll be snow,
but have a cup of cheer.
Have a holly, jolly Christmas;
And when you walk down the street
Say Hello to friends you know
and everyone you meet.

Oh, ho, the mistletoe
hung where you can see;
Somebody waits for you;
Kiss her once for me.
Have a holly jolly Christmas,
and in case you didn't hear,
Oh by golly, have a holly,
jolly Christmas this year.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 2 - Good King Wenceslas

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Written in 1853 by John Mason Neale, Good King Wenceslas was written as a children's song, although it has become a Christmas favorite. Did you know that the "Feast of Stephen" took place on St. Stephen's Day, which is actually on Boxing Day?

Good King Wenceslas

Good King Wenceslas looked out,
On the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about,
Deep and crisp and even;
Brightly shone the moon that night,
Tho' the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight,
Gath'ring winter fuel.

"Hither, page, and stand by me,
If thou know'st it, telling,
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence,
Underneath the mountain;
Right against the forest fence,
By Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me flesh, and bring me wine,
Bring me pine logs hither:
Thou and I will see him dine,
When we bear them thither."
Page and monarch, forth they went,
Forth they went together;
Thro' the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather.

"Sire, the night is darker now,
And the wind blows stronger;
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer."
Mark my footsteps, good my page;
Tread thou in them boldly:
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."

In his master's steps he trod,
Where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod
Which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure,
Wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor,
Shall yourselves find blessing.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 1 - Little Drummer Boy

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The words and music to the Christmas song Little Drummer Boy was composed by Katherine K. Davis, Henry Onorati and Harry Simeone in 1958. The lyrics of Little Drummer Boy consist of no less than 21 rum pum pum pum' - a major part of the song and therefore presenting an apparently easy task for the lyricist! However, Little Drummer Boy has been a huge hit for several artists. The most notable rendition was created by the most unlikely combination of Bing Crosby and David Bowie. This version of Little Drummer Boy was a massive hot for the artists and was in fact Bing Crosby's most successful recording since the legendary White Christmas.

Little Drummer Boy

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sharing Christmas

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I'll be sharing web sites, stories, recipes, crafts, gift ideas, photographs, songs & lyrics, poetry, decorating ideas & themes, and anything else Christmas-y I can think of.

I hope you love Christmas as much as I do.