12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

1 Day before Christmas:

11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”
16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.

-Luke 2

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12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

2 Days before Christmas:

As Eloise said, “It’s Christmas Eve Eve!” With that I am reminded that growing up, due to cultural traditions, today was actually Christmas Eve in our house. See, we’d wake up on the 24th of December and the gifts would be under the tree. That meant one thing – we’d spend the rest of the entire day waiting for Midnight Mass to come. We’d attend, and then it was back home to our Christmas dinner followed by the moment all my brothers and sisters and I had waited for – the opening of gifts after a very long and exciting day of waiting.
Throughout the day, we’d test the patience of our parents. We’d huddle around the gifts, shake a few and ask how long it would be before we could open them; knowing full well that nothing was happening until my dad took the final bite of his Christmas dinner.
To make the length of the day more enjoyable, I had an older sibling that would go through the collection of Christmas albums and ask my mom if we could play them. I presume my mother said yes, and gave us free reign over the record player, because it gave us all a common distraction (she didn’t have to keep answering our questions and we stayed busy entertaining ourselves) to make the minutes go by faster.
We eventually narrowed down the albums to those we thought were the most Christmas-y. This song, by this artist was on one of the preferred albums. It doesn’t get played much over the air, but every time I do hear it (the album is still at my parent’s house and I don’t have a record player) when I’m out and about, it brings back warm memories. I could listen to nothing but Percy Faith and Paul Mauriat during these 12 days leading up to Christmas and reminisce. I’m in no rush for Christmas to be over.
Enjoy.

12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

3 Days before Christmas:

I’m not completely sure, but I think that at some point many, many years ago, my parents took  my siblings and I to see this group of young singers at some downtown venue. It was our first time going to see such a performance. We didn’t do this often and I’m pretty sure my parents forked over good cash for the seats. I’m always left wondering if it in fact was the Vienna Boys Choir or not. My dad had a way of going with an Option B when Option A was not cost effective. Still does to this day. As far as I know it was our last ’cause I ain’t got any memories of it happening again. Perhaps we exhausted the budget for the next few years. Regardless of the lack of facts, I still enjoy this tune and at this point in my life, it doesn’t really matter if it was or wasn’t this choir that day downtown. What matters now is that my parents went out of their way to give us a wonderful gift that keeps giving every time I hear this version of the song.

12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

4 Days before Christmas:

I thought this tune would be appropriate given that we’re ‘pose to have snow by today. (Last I checked when writing this post, it was still rain. We’ll see what gives by the time the post goes live.) Around Camp Realist, every time The Drifters’ version of the song is heard, at least one member needs to break out mouthing the words a-la-Kevin from Home Alone. Goofy and silly, but it puts a smile on all of our faces – and ain’t that what Christmas is all about?
Go ahead, sing along. Just be careful where you splash that aftershave. AAAAAAAAHHHHH!

Stocking stuffer: The Drifters first released their recording of the song in 1954. According to ASCAP, White Christmas is the most recorded holiday song with over 500 versions.

12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

5 Days before Christmas:

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m making changes to this list of 12 songs as each day goes by. This one was not on the original list but it has made its way in for a couple of reasons. One, a member of Camp Realist believes this to be one of the better recorded versions of the song s/he has heard in some time. Two, I thought it to be in keeping with the other tunes and befitting of the ‘popular’ category (not to mention that it is also a Church hymn like a previous and future selection).
So here you have it gentle women and gentle men. Rest well for Christmas is but a few days away. No, not the kind of rest where you kick back and do nothin’. It’s not about idleness. Not the kind of rest  where you crash from the exhaustion of shopping for gifts. No sir. The kind of rest that is implied can only be achieved by completing physical, mental, and spiritual activities in a state of peace. (Kinda hard to do during that last week of the semester, I know. Been there, done that.)

12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

6 Days before Christmas:

As a younger, less mature individual, I could care less for the melody and I didn’t give a hoot for the lyrics. Now, a bit older, not necessarily wiser, but certainly with more experiences in life, I’ve come to appreciate the simplicity of the lyrics. Where else would I want to be for Christmas if not home or with family? I am blessed to say that I’ve been home for every Christmas. For better or for worse. I pause to think of the many individuals that will not be home or don’t have a place to call home this holiday. Or any holiday. Or any day.

This semester, like others, I’ve had students share their personal stories of misery and success. All stories have a common theme: misery stems from these individuals feeling or being alone in the world and success stems from individuals feeling like or being a contributing member of a family.

If you could ask Perry Como, I’m pretty sure he’d agree.He came from a decent family and went on to have a good one himself. Almost 60 years after it was first recorded, the lyrics still hold true. “If you want to be happy in a million ways, For the holidays, You can’t beat home, sweet home.”

12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Christmas songs before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one song per day leading up to Christmas. Members of Camp Realist couldn’t decide whether to go iconic, popular, memorable, or classic. So we narrowed the list down to a bit of each.
Comments are always welcomed.  If you have a better version of the song, let me know. Do enjoy and sing along if you’d like! Or if any special memory is associated with the song, feel free to leave a reply.

7 Days before Christmas:

Here’s what y’all get instead of Pat Boone. A beautiful and simple rendition of this Christmas tune. The lyrics are by  Rev. Phillips Brooks.  His inspiration for the words came to him when he made a visit to Bethlehem during Christmas week in 1865. Some historians say it was exactly on Christmas Eve that the words were born. A few years later, the music was written for it by Mr. Lewis H. Redner and a Church hymn was born.

I’d probably be as equally moved to create a tangible record (as in historical record) of that intangible experience. Having the musical talents of Sarah McLachlan to pull it off wouldn’t hurt. Enjoy. One week to Christmas.