Tag: Christmas music

Nanowrimo, Christmas Music in November and Other Silly Rules

First I just wanted to announce to all of you I have finished the Nanowrimo challenge.  It was a tougher book for me to write than any of my other 3 and I’m proud of the basic story I was able to develop.  The prose is rough but the story I really like.

1508173_10152619833772239_8048249337604887857_nIt ended up being a story about a woman who has never fallen in love who loses her job which leads her into the path of an ever-growing group of people including a girl who ends up pregnant in a domestic abuse situation.  The more people she allows into her life the more she grows as a person.  It went darker places than I expected and I really enjoyed writing it.

I hope you are all having a blast with your writing and your projects! I look forward to having a bit of my life back after being kind of obsessed with nanowrimo.  I’m that way.  I get focused on one thing and shut other things out.  I would like to change that but it seems to just be part of me, so I work around it.

I’ve been thinking a little bit about the silly rules we set for ourselves that seem important at first but when you really think about it they are kind of dumb.  For example, for a long time I said ‘no Christmas music before Thanksgiving’.  This year I kept turning on Christmas music on the radio and enjoying it and then turning it off because of my rule.  It finally occurred to me ‘why?’.  If it is making me happy than why not listen to Christmas music?

Most people set such a rule because they don’t want to tire of the Christmas music.  Well, I do not tire of things like that.  If it is something I like I like it on listen 1 and listen 1000.  I just don’t grow weary of music, movies, food the way other people do.  Not sure why but it’s true.  So the rule may be helpful for other people but for me it was silly.  It was denying me of joy for no reason but to obey some rule.

It’s made me wonder what other silly rules I have that are unnecessary? Do you have any?

Well, I am exhausted so I will sign out.  Let me know how you are doing on nanowrimo.  Finish strong my friends!

Christmas Fun

So I have had a great start of the Christmas season!  It’s only the 7th but I have done so many fun things.  It all started yesterday with the singles 31+ dance at the Utah State capitol building.  I kind of hate dances but the idea of dressing up sounded fun so I went with some friends from my ward and we had a great time.  I asked someone to dance so I did my duty!

Capitol dance is so pretty!
Capitol dance is so pretty!
My friends and I from my ward looking cute from the dance!
My friends and I from my ward looking cute from the dance!
My earrings are super pretty
My earrings are super pretty
I got this belt from Faleblla Bridal on etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/FalabellaBridal
I got this belt from Faleblla Bridal on etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/FalabellaBridal

dance 5

I never got to go to prom so the idea of dressing up for the dance sounded fun
I never got to go to prom so the idea of dressing up for the dance sounded fun

After the dance we all went Village Inn and the girls were very bubbly.  I was definitely the grown up of the group despite being the youngest.  They even flirted with the waiter.  It was pretty hilarious.

Finally I got home and at about 3 am I got to sleep.  Then today I met up with my parents and we braved the snow to go to the Christmas choral concert at BYU.  It was wonderful. Here is one of the songs as recorded on my phone.  It was the grand finale with all the choirs surrounding you and the orchestra.

My Mom, Anna and I at the BYU Christmas concert.  Great!
My Mom, Anna and I at the BYU Christmas concert. Great!

Before I went to the concert my Christmas tree was finally delivered. I had ordered it through a company called Five Star Christmas Trees and the experience was a disaster.  They had promised me they would deliver it yesterday between 10:15 and 2.  It didn’t come until today at 11:30.  I tried to get through on the phone and they were not helpful or very apologetic.

Then when I did get the tree today it was smaller than what I had ordered, the delivery man had no idea about the install that I paid for and I didn’t get the recycle bag I ordered.  Buyer beware!

Anyway, I got the tree decorated tonight and I think it turned out very beautifully.  I love it.  I put on 900 twinkle lights and my memory ornaments and framed photo ornaments.

My tree!
My tree!

I hope you are all enjoying your Christmas festivities!  Merry Christmas!

Both of my Christmas Trees
Both of my Christmas Trees

Christmas without any Carols

choir1

I’ve had a thoroughly delightful Christmas season including three performances of the Messiah, lots of lights, Festival of Trees, and the Christmas Carol last night.  Tonight I will be singing in our semi-annual recital for my voice lessons.   I usually do a traditional Christian carol but decided to switch it up this year with ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas’ because I felt it was ironic for 2 reasons-

1. I’m not going home for Christmas and at the end it says ‘if only in my dreams’ (like many of the songs from the 40’s and 50’s there is a hint of melancholy in the depth of what is otherwise a cheerful song.  ie Somewhere Over the Rainbow “If happy little blue birds fly beyond the rainbow why, oh why can’t I?”).

2. I will be getting a new home, my first home, right after Christmas so the song works on that level as well.

Here it is.   As I’ve said before I’m no American Idol winner but I was happy with it.  The video isn’t great because I forgot my camera so I just had my phone, but I hope you all enjoy!

Anyway, as I’ve been preparing I have noticed a troubling trend- almost none of the stores or restaurants I have frequented this season have been playing Christmas music.  I’m not just talking about the ‘O Holy Night’ Christian variety.   They aren’t even playing the Santa, Rudolph variety.  I have never noticed this before and it makes me very sad.

For hundreds of years singing has been an integral part of the Christmas experience.  According to my old friend Wikipedia the first carols were sung in 1426 by “groups of ‘wassailers‘, who went from house to house”.  Then in the 1700’s Protestant churches wrote many of the popular carols we know today such ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’, ‘I Saw 3 Ships’ and ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’.

Think about what this means- that for 500+ years western civilization has sung the  carols at Christmas as part of our tradition and now it is not heard much (and this was not just an isolated incident Walmart, Postnet, Kohls, Scheels, Zupas, Wells Fargo, Dollar Tree…I could go on. None had Christmas music playing).  That is a radical shift! Not even Republics have been around that long!

And why? Because everyone is so afraid of offending a tiny minority of extremists who will make a fuss.  I realize that non-Christians are not a tiny minority but most of them participate in the cultural traditions of Christmas and ignore the religious connotations.  Most Jewish, Atheist, or agnostics that I have met still put up a Christmas tree and sing the Christmas songs without any problem at all.  It’s part of our community, our traditions, as Hanukkah and Ramadan are starting to become.

But again they are not turning off Christmas music because of these good people celebrating other traditions, they are doing it out of fear of the one squeaky voice who makes a scene.  Well, maybe I can be that squeaky voice.  I love Christmas music.  It’s positive, hopeful, peaceful, happy, and as a Christian I miss having one season of the year where I could hear uplifting music wherever I went.  Is that so wrong?

If it was good enough for civilization for 500+ years surely it is still needed today?  I do believe the further our nation gets away from God and Jesus Christ, the further we move from freedom.  However, I also recognize that not everyone shares this view.  Why can’t we find a common ground of traditions and community bonding in shared space?  Why do we seem to only listen to one side of this argument?   It’s like a separation of church and state (not in the constitution btw) has come to mean a separation between all culture, business, community, and church; and I don’t think that’s what the founding father’s had in mind.

Here’s my plea to businesses out there- Please play Christmas music!  Especially after the events of last Friday we could all use a little peace on earth, good will towards men.  A little joy and fa,la,la,la, la never hurt anyone.   The number of people who will be uplifted by it will far outweigh the complainers.

You are a business you do not have to restrain yourself like government.  Be bold! Play some White Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Frosty, whatever (sad that such songs are considered bold. Sigh…).  It may seem like a small thing but I believe these types of shared experiences and cultural routines have value and help us to relate to one another; otherwise, our spheres of common experience become more and more scattered each day and it should be no surprise that we are increasingly polarized with each passing year.

To Christmas carols!  Now on to my recital.  Wish me luck!

Holiday Music

One of my favorite things during the Christmas season is the music.  This year I even broke the cardinal rule and started listening early in November ( I know what a rebel!).   I have over 300 Christmas songs on my ipod, so I can put it on shuffle and listen to holiday tunes most of the day.  I like a variety of songs including everything from All I Want For Christmas by Mariah Carey and Santa Claus is coming to Town by Frank Sinatra to For Unto us a Child is Born from Handel’s Messiah and I Saw Three Ships by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Sometimes I wish I could listen to Christmas music year-round.  I love the happiness and memories the songs evoke.   (I also love Christmas movies- Christmas Carol in all its variations, It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, Polar Express, and even Charlie Brown Christmas- so great!!!).

Unfortunately most of my songs are m4a not mp3 so I can’t share them with you; however,  I am including a few mp3’s that I have.  Enjoy and have the best Christmas time ever!  Oh how I love this time of year!