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For me, the best part about the holidays is the music! Starting the day after Thanksgiving, the radio in my car stays tuned to 101.9 in Baltimore, an easy listening station that features 24/7 carols, novelty songs, and popular favorites. I LOVE the tunes at this time of year!

One of the girls that I used to work with hated Christmas music – and once, for a joke, we switched the sound effects on her computer to play jingle bells every time she did anything – and I thought she was going to either blow a gasket or kill me quickly. How can anyone hate Christmas music, I ask you??

The wistful songs (like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”) bring a pang to even the most hardened of hearts. The songs in the Santa genre (“Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “I Saw Mommy,” etc.) and the generic holiday tunes (“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”) provide a non-religious, pop music option for the radio to play. The goofy songs are the funniest – the Hippopotamus song, “Crabs for Christmas,” “Grandma Got Run Over”, Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey, etc. – and are nicely secular and non-offensive. Adam Sandler’s “Chanukah” song is a nice ethnic touch for the non-Christian kids in the audience. But, by far, the best kinds of Christmas music are the familiar and comforting carols of our youths, the songs that you hear in kids’ pageants, movies, and church sanctuaries around the world!

I’d have to say that “Silent Night” is my favorite, followed closely by “O Holy Night” and “Adeste Fideles.” These are the songs that immediately transport me back to many Merry Christmases of my past. “Silent Night” especially touches me – this was always the last song sung on Christmas Eve in my church, with a candlelit circle around the sanctuary. Nancy, our wonderful  pastor, would have the Christmas Sprite (one of the young children from the congregation selected each year) bring the flame from the Christ candle in the advent wreath to start the passing of the flame around the circle while “Silent Night” was sung. What an amazing symbol of the light that God gave to our world in the form of the baby Jesus!

So, when the familiar strains of this carol start, be prepared that I may cry. Whether its Sinead O’Connor, the Muppets or Andrea Bocelli, this wonderful piece of holiday music will start the waterworks. You’ve been warned…

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