You know how music can often bring you back to a place instantly?
Christmas songs are like that for me. There are certain songs that in a moment, transplant me back to 1987 in our Christmas decked family room; my sisters and I in matching pajamas, my Mom laughing at our antics while my Dad made biscuits and gravy.
A few years ago, I made a CD for my family as a Christmas gift so that they could relive those special moments through song. To this day, these songs are so special to me, and my heart wants to BURST when my own kids are singing along to these songs which I hold dear.
And so I present to you...
Almost all of these songs were critical in our celebration of Christmas in the Olson household growing up. (Except for a few... there are a couple of more recent songs on the CD that I added just because I liked them.)
Some of these songs are not popular, but they are gems. I'll highlight a few (with my most favorite saved for last):
Born to Die sung by Barbara Mandrell: BEAUTIFUL.
Shepherds gaze in wonderWhile angel voices singThis night of nights has comeAnd brought the world the long-awaited King
The earth is filled with gladnessAnd yet the heavens weepFor heaven's eyes can seeHe was born to die for me
JesusBaby JesusIs that a tear in your eye?JesusBaby JesusYou must know you were born to die
It must have broken God's heartFor the future He could seeYet He formed His hands and feetKnowing one day they'd be nailed to a tree
So all the world could know itA gift came from aboveFor God so loved the worldThat He gave His only Son
JesusBaby JesusWith a tear of love in your eyeJesusBaby JesusYou knew You were born to die
Jingle Bells sung by Barbra Steisand (1967): So fun!
I was recently thrilled to learn of a friend who shares the same love and enthusiasm for this version of the Christmas classic! Her tradition is the same as mine - my sisters and I would race through this song as fast as we could, making sure to get every word and rhythm perfectly right. I'm happy to report that my girls are VERY good at singing this song and I couldn't be happier. "Upsot?"
And finally... the song I wait to crank up every Christmas season...
Jesus Is Born Today (It Is His Birthday) sung by The Oak Ridge Boys (1982): Christmas!
And now, I just love the sweet voices in my backseat singing along to one of my favorites. And just like my sisters and I, they erupt in giggles when the guy with the super low voice sings, "...birth-day!!!" The excitement in the first few notes of the song really rev us up. It's impossible not to feel the joy of Christmas morning with this song in the background. Christmas is a celebration!!!
Okay, whew. I'm getting a little worked up over this song. I'm a little disappointed though - I went to make sure it's on iTunes (because I know everyone will want it after this review), and although it is, it's NOT the same version I grew up with. It's a little different, slightly more cheesy... but it's still great. Maybe they re-released it - I'm not sure why it's not the one I have. I also found this hilarious video of them singing live. And it's not exactly like the version I love either. But, oh my... don't judge. The '80s were not kind on facial hair or fashion.
I was going to end with that song, but I have to include one more. "O Holy Night" is my most favorite Christmas song that exists. It chokes me up every time. The Oak Ridge Boys' version of "O Holy Night" is my favorite. (And again! I couldn't find it on iTunes!)
What Christmas songs are must-haves to make your celebration complete?