This one's not a song, but I liked it nonetheless. While Christmas is a time that amplifies joy, it can also amplify sorrow. People who feel alone, friendless, or unloved can have those feelings exacerbated by a season that emphasizes togetherness with loved family and friends. That's why I think an important part of Christmas is making "room in your inn" for whoever is struggling or feels alone. It's important to let them know that they are not alone, that they are loved and cared for. As a wise man once said "it is usually through another person that God answers our prayers." I believe that. I also believe, as the movie "Love Actually" states, that "Love Really is...All Around." We just have to look for it.
As this is Christmas Eve Eve (or, as my brother might say, the penultimate day before Christmas), you get two videos. One is a Mormon Message about feeling God's love on Christmas, and another is a Christmas song by Michael McLean, "Homeless."
"For in His love there is a home" - for everyone who feels alone, forgotten, or friendless at a joyous time. I believe Christ truly is there for us, and we owe to him to be there for others. Merry Christmas!
When people are super excited about something we say that they want to "shout it from the rooftops." This song reminds me of that expression. I so grateful for the gift of Jesus. I know I so often need His grace and His understanding. Sometimes I feel like Going to Tell It on the Mountain!
I noticed while singing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" today that it has a lot of exclamation marks. Too many exclamation marks is one of my many grammar sins. I love that it is a joyous EXCLAMATION of the angels singing to celebrate Jesus' birth.
Here's a version sung in St. Paul's Cathedral in London:
A quote from West Wing has been running through my head yesterday and today. Josh Lyman, a member of fake-President Bartlet's staff, is trying to negotiate with protesters who are trying to get the government to stop doing ammunition drills in an area of Puerto Rico. He is arguing with another member of the President's staff who wants the protesters to suspend their protest temporarily. In essence, this staffer's argument is: "Now is not the time" for protest.
Josh replies: "When is the time to be protesting? Tell me. I’ll tell them. They’ll do it."
The senseless horror of Sandy Hook, Connecticut is still on everyone's minds. Some say that it's "not the time" to be talking about gun control. If now is not the time, then tell me when is, and I'll do it. We need to talk about a culture of violence in this country and see if there is anything we can do to prevent tragedies like this. I urge you to sign the petition to President Obama to immediately consider gun control legislation. The U.S. has some of the loosest laws in the world on possessing firearms, and it's time to reconsider that policy.
I hope you like this song - it's not one that I had ever heard before I stole Kathy Mattea's Christmas album from my dad. I like its upbeat tone and joyous message. I couldn't find it on YouTube, so here's just the song from Grooveshark.
Words can't describe it. The events today in Connecticut are inexpressible horror. Children who just yesterday were writing letters to Santa, playing with dolls, or riding their bike down the street are now dead in a senseless act of violence. There is nothing I can say or do to ease the heartache of 28 families in a small town. It's times like this when I need the "peace that passeth understanding" of the gospel that comes from Christ, who was able to say to the wind and the waves: "Peace, Be Still." He cannot bring back those innocent Angels who perished today, but He is able to give us peace when we are surrounded by a world that is frightening in its horribleness, as it was today. Take time to be "still, still, still" today. Hug your loved ones!
I'm on kind of a Civil War kick today, so here's a Christmas song that was written during the Civil War. I love the lines "Then pealed the bells more loud and deep/God is not dead, nor doth he sleep/The wrong shall fail, the right prevail/With Peace on Earth, Good will toward men."
"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" by The Carpenters
Is a Hippopotamus. Yep, I'm with Shirley Temple on this one.
This song just reminds me of how ridiculous Christmas can sometimes be. I have been blessed with material things far, far, FAR more than I deserve, yet I'm expected to come up with a Christmas list of things I want? It seems an affront to people with far less than me that I should expect or want more.
A bunch of my friends have been sharing this video on Facebook. It's a beautiful version of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" by The Piano Guys, along with images of Christ's birth and life interspersed. A good reminder of our reason to "rejoice, rejoice" as part of the song goes.
We have a "five families" Christmas party which involves five families from my parents' ward. We've all known each other forever and it'd kind of what I imagine having a large, extended family Christmas party would be like (none of my extended family lived nearby growing up). For the past couple of years, it has been a tradition to sing this at the Christmas Party:
Handel's Messiah - it gives me chills every time - so so so so so so so so so so so so so so SO awesome! We are *almost* as good as MoTab.
Tis the Season for Christmas Music! Christmas music gives me much joy - I think I'm going to share some of my favorite Christmas songs this December. Below is a Youtube video of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing "Joy to the World." I love it! Anyone else have any ideas of good Christmas songs? I like unusual versions and new songs, so feel free to suggest anything.