Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Christmas

I think one of my favorite Christmas traditions is A Charlie Brown Christmas, solely for the scene where Linus stands in the stage spotlight with his little blue blanket, and says,

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

(You can listen to Linus saying it here.)

And then he turns, so somberly, to his sad friend and says simply, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

Man, I love that.

Continuing in the holiday spirit, I here offer you my favorite Christmas songs this year. (My mood’s different enough this year that previous years’ preferences mean nothing.)

Lara’s Top Ten Christmas Songs of 2006:

10. “O Holy Night” by Celine Dion, Martina McBride, or Testimony A Cappella

Celine Dion’s version I love for the harmony in the middle of the song. Martina McBride’s version I love for the power and clarity of her voice. And Testimony’s version I love because, well, I’m narcissistic.

9. “Carol of the Bells” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra

This song is just so dramatic and intense. It feels like it should be in a movie trailer, with scenes of thrilling chases and stuff. I always get the chills when I listen to the end of this song.

8. “O Come All Ye Faithful” by Testimony A Cappella

I love Testimony’s arrangement of this song, especially the end when the girls have their “soul solo.” I’m just bummed I never got to sing it when I was in the group.

7. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by the cast of It’s a Wonderful Life

The ending of this movie makes me cry every time I watch it. When the townspeople start showing up, giving George their money, my eyes get misty. When they all start singing this song, I cry. But when Harry shows up, and makes his toast – “To my big brother George, the richest man in town.” – I bawl. So beautiful.

6. “Please Come Home for Christmas” by the Eagles

I just like the melancholy, sultry sound of this song. It’s very bluesy and rich, as are many of the Eagles’ best songs. It fairly makes my heart ache, but this year, that feels completely appropriate.

5. “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” by Gayla Peevey

This song cracks me up every time I hear it. First of all, her voice is hilarious. Second, it’s a song about a hippo. A HIPPO. More Christmas songs need to be about “hippopotamuseses.”

4. “Same Auld Lang Syne” by Dan Fogelberg

Ah, I’ve always liked this song, but this year it seems especially fitting. The poignancy of the situation just gets to me. “Just for a moment I was back at school, and felt that old familiar pain. And as I turned to make my way back home, the snow turned into rain.” Sigh. So tragic.

3. “What Christmas Means to Me” by Stevie Wonder

Even in my low moments this Christmas, this song is so bouncy and fun that it just perks me up. The first few notes are enough to make my head snap up and my eyes light up. And then, of course, I start dancing like an idiot.

2. “Wintersong” by Sarah Maclachlan

This song makes me think of so many people. People I’ve loved and lost, people with whom I’ve lost touch, people I just don’t see as often as I’d like. “And this is how I see you: In the snow on Christmas morning, love and happiness surround you as you throw your arms up to the sky. I keep this moment by and by.”

1. “River” by Sarah Maclachlan

I think we all already knew this song would top the list, but in case you missed it, you can see why I relate to it here. “I wish I had a river I could skate away on…”


Day 25 of LaBloShoeMo: The Tan Character Shoes

These are the dance shoes I wear for Ragtime, 1920’s and 1930’s performances. The tan color makes the leg appear longer – which, of course, I totally need, right? Two years ago for Christmas, my mom bought me my Ragtime gown, which you can see here:

I designed it, but I can’t sew worth a damn, so I had it made by an excellent seamstress in the area. I had general colors in mind, but the deep purple overlay with gold flecks? That was just spare fabric she happened to have lying around, and I lucked out and got to have it in my dress. I love this dress, and the shoes that go with it.


Anonymous said...

River... orginally Joni Mitchell, right? I've never heard the Sarah Maclachlan version, but the Indigo Girls do a beautiful version too. Such a great song... I love it.

This sounds like a good list - I don't actually know all of them (being mostly Christmas deprived) so I should check them out. =)

Teacher Anonymous said...

I've never actually seen "It's a Wonderful Life." For a while there, my best bud was threatening to duct tape me to a chair and force me to watch it, but I think she's given up.

11111111 said...

“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”

That's my daughter's favourite Christmas song. It sure cracks her up!

Amanda said...

Songs 2 and 4 kill me. Brilliant. Thanks for being such a dear and checking in on my blog. I am wishing you the happiest, safest and sweetest transitions from this year into the next. Take care.

Lara said...

tali - yep, originally joni mitchell, but i like sarah maclachlan's better. haven't heard the indigo girls. i can play some of these for you at some point, although "o holy" you probably heard live during your freshman year.

teacher anonymous - that makes me sad. it makes me very, very sad. you must watch it. even if it takes duct tape.

denguy - welcome! yeah, that song is so funny - cracks me up every time. :)

amanda - yeah, song 2 is so amazingly poignant, it just breaks my heart. and no need to thank me - i greatly enjoy reading your blog. so thank you. :)

Still Jill B said...

A little behind, but...

I was so excited to hear you write the Hippo Song!! My mom brought it up out of the clear blue sky (okay, it was in snowy Illinois, so it was likely cloudy) last year at Christmas and we thought she'd lost her mind. I immediately found it online for her, and it will now live in our family Christmas infamy.