WATCH: Soaring Rendition of Christmas Classic

There’s only one voice that does my #1 favorite Christmas carol justice: Andrea Bocelli. Aka: La Voce. Why? Cuz there’s nothing like hearing a world-class Italian tenor render O Holy Night like a world-class tenor. In the original French.

But, alas. Andrea has been dethroned by the Home Free vocal band. Watch their stunning a capella version of O Holy Night:

Now. Can someone please tell Mr. Black Hat to kindly lose his Stetson while inside a church?

Find out more about the country a capella quintet Home Free here.

What’s your favorite Christmas carol? Let us know with a comment.

Advertisements

‘For Tonight, Darkness Fell…’

An amazing version of this powerful Michael W. Smith tune.

Merry CHRISTmas!

P.S.: I have a special post going up tomorrow. After that, I’ll be taking a break from blogging until the New Year to focus on family and friends.  Best wishes for a joyous and blessed Christmas!

Remember This?

Okay, okay. White Christmas is a bit thin on plot and somewhat sappy in places, but it just isn’t Christmas without Bob Wallace, Phil Davis, and Betty and Judy Haynes in a snowless Vermont.  Besides, nobody sings the title tune like ‘ole Bing.  Remember this?

What are you ‘dreaming of’ this Christmas?

Have We Forgotten?

The other day a young Facebook friend posted this question: What’s your all-time favorite Christmas movie?

Friends, Romans and fellow countrymen weighed in. Responses included Ernest Saves Christmas, Elf, Christmas with the Cranks, Home Alone,  National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and It’s a Wonderful Life.

Not to sound like a wet blanket or anything, but with the possible exception of George Bailey, none of the responses have much  – if anything – to do with the true meaning of Christmas.

Have we forgotten?

Continue reading

Writing it Real in the ‘Weird Season’

Xmas window treatmentsWe’ve just hit what I call the Weird Season.  You know, the “dip days” after December 25 and before January 1, when some of the patina of Christmas  fades in the rear view mirror and New Year’s is  down the road aways.

Does it feel… weird?  Like all the hope and hype of Christmas has dulled and you’re either basking in the afterglow of a warm and wonderful December 25, or you’re relieved at surviving another dreary disappointment, glad it’s gone and history?

How ’bout you?

Was your Christmas festive and fun, full of frolic and holly-decked halls? Did you enjoy a great office party?  Snowball fights with the fam?  Caroling, wassail-ing, mistletoe-ing and piles of gift-wrap?

Maybe your Christmas was lonely, meager and thoroughly forgettable? Did you logged off Facebook because you couldn’t stand scrolling through one more friend’s idyllic family gathering, all cozy and comfy around a kitchen table heaped with Christmas cheer? Maybe Christmas was replete with dashed hopes and unmet expectations?

Whatever the case, can I make a suggestion on how to deal with the Weird Season that hits between December 26 and January 1?

Write it out.

Whether you journal, blog, knock out a short story, write a letter or  jot notes on the back of a cereal box or a paper napkin, write it out.  Was your Christmas:

  • Disappointing? Write it out.
  • Filled with wonder and awe and memorable moments? Write it out.
  • Joyful and triumphant? Write it out.
  • A time of angst and stress and forced family ‘togetherness’? Write it out.
  • Did you make mistakes in 2012 that you want to avoid in 2013?  What lessons did you learn, what bridges did you build or discover in 2012 that you’re taking into the New Year?  Remind yourself. Write it out.

House with wreath, snowBe honest.  Process your disappointment, anger, frustration or “love and joy come to you, and a merry Christmas too!” or “I wish it could last forever” post-Christmas let-down by writing it out.  Writing it real can not only help you get a handle on your Weird Season emotions, it’s also healthy.  A release.  A good way to gain some perspective.

‘Weird Season Therapy’

As you write, you may find fresh insight or understanding nosing around that wreath-wrapped window, curled up under that light-lit lintel.  You may also discover some unopened Weird Season “packages” like increased sensitivity toward those who may struggle to be “all in” at Christmas.  More empathy for the less fortunate.  A bigger heart for the lost.

Think of  writing it out as Weird Season Therapy.  If you’ve read this far, you know what I mean.  It’s okay.  You’re a writer.  If this holiday season lost some of its luster, was less than you hoped for, or you’re not quite ready to let go of the goodness, do what you do best: write about it.

There.  I feel better already.

How do you cope with the ‘Weird Season’?

‘Sweet Hymns of Joy…’

My favorite Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli sings my favorite Christmas carol:

Sweet hymns of joy in
Grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us
Praise His holy name!
Christ is the Lord,
Oh praise His name forever,
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim
His pow’r and glory
Evermore proclaim.

You can find the rest of the  lyrics in English and a brief bit of historical background here.

What’s your favorite Christmas carol? Share by leaving a reply in the space provided.  And Merry Christmas!