Tag Archives: the christmas song

Please Christmas Don’t be Late: Funny and Feel Good Christmas Songs

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

I get sentimental when I hear Christmas songs of almost any genre. That sentimentality ranges from the hymns of the season such as Silent Night, The First Noel, or Joy to the World. Likewise I find the hymns of Advent like O Come, O Come Immanuel and Es ist Ein Ros Ensprungen (Lo, how a Rose e’re Blooming) to be songs of hope in dark times.

I have shared many of my Christmas favorites each year. This year I did my favorite Rock, R&B, and Classic Country and Western favorites. But tonight I am going to share some of my favorite non-religious and sometimes funny Christmas songs. I suppose this goes back to my earliest days when as a three to four year old living in the Philippines and my parents bought me David Seville and the Chipmunks Christmas Album, which included the song Christmas Don’t Be Late. 

That came to me tonight when Judy and I were talking about our Papillon dog Minnie, who I compared to Alvin. Judy knew about the Chipmunks but her parents had never let her watch them, so the whole concept of David Seville trying to get Alvin’s attention being like us an Minnie was lost on her.

So anyway, here are my favorite non-religious Christmas songs. Some are sentimental, some irreverent, but I love them all.

Until tomorrow,

Peace,

Padre Steve+

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Another Rock and Roll Christmas

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Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

I am continuing to post about Christmas and so tonight some classic Christmas and holiday songs performed by various Rock and Roll artists and groups.

I realize that it is not quite  Christmas yet, and in fact it is still the season of Advent but I have to admit that I love the holiday season, especially the music. But I am a child of the 1960s and 1970s, so I have certain preferences in in music and Christmas music comes in many forms and genres. Over the next couple of weeks I will be doing a number of articles like this which have no purpose but to share a little joy through music. I plan on doing one focusing on the great R & B legends, one with Country artists, and a couple dealing with the stories of White Christmas and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, as well as the many different versions of both.

These holiday season I hope that no matter what holiday you celebrate that you do it with a joyful heart, even if it is Festivus, which it is tomorrow, or today when many of you are reading this.

So here are some great songs put out by some great artists and groups over the years, they are in no particular order. Some are traditional Christmas hymns while others are popular Christmas songs without a particularly religious bent, and many are sung by artists who are not practicing Christians, some of whom would be condemned to hell by many conservative Christians. Maybe that speaks to the power of the holiday, and the hope that it brings to so many people.

I hope you enjoy them.

Peace

Padre Steve+

Elton John, Step into Christmas

Elvis Presley, Blue Christmas

Paul McCartney and Wings, Having a Wonderful Christmastime

Freddy Mercury and Queen, Thank God it’s Christmas

The Bangles, Hazy Shade of Winter

The Beach Boys, Little Saint Nick

Band Aid 1984, Do They Know It’s Christmas

Billy Idol, Jingle Bell Rock

The Carpenters, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Wham! Last Christmas 

Jose Feliciano, Feliz Navidad

Chicago, O Come All Ye Faithful

Annie Lennox and Al Green, Put a Little Love in Your Heart

Gary Glitter, Another Rock and Roll Christmas

George Harrison, Dong, Dong, Ding Dong

Herman’s Hermit’s O Holy Night

Chuck Berry, Run, Run Rudolph

Mariah Carey, All I Want for Christmas is You

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Christmas All over Again

Blondie, We Three Kings

The Eagles, Please Come Home for Christmas 

Rod Stewart, Let it Snow

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Little Drummer Boy

Nat King Cole, The Christmas Song

Twisted Sister, White Christmas

John Lennon, Happy Christmas (War is Over)

Bruce Springsteen, Baby Please Come Home

Stevie Nicks, Silent Night

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Padre Steve’s Traditional Country Christmas

Country_Christmas

I grew up in a house with a lot of music. My parents both liked Country Western music, though my dad was more of the fan of it, while mom had much more eclectic musical taste, from rock, to R & B and top 40 Pop music. As a result I was exposed to a lot of different musical genres and the Christmas music played around our house reflected that diversity. I have written a number of articles about Christmas music, the latest more focused on Rock and R & B.

Since I have done those I figured I would add to the mix with the Country and Western Christmas music that I grew up with, which I consider to be classic. What you won’t find in this particular list is anything new, and by that I mean anything done in the last 20 years. This is a conscious choice on my part and not because I dislike the new Country music sound or artists. I actually want to reintroduce people to some of the classics, the artists who made the overwhelming success of the modern artists possible.

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Like R & B Country and Western music comes out of the unique experiences of Americans. The unique styles of the the artists even when they perform traditional Christmas music comes through to make a distinctive sound. Like the R & B artists the Country and Western artists also wrote and performed Christmas music the spoke to both the joys and heartaches of life, especially of lost loves and loneliness.

Lynn Anderson

Lynn Anderson’s Don’t Wish Me a Merry Christmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xwd0OvuxtV8 is a song that speaks of losing love and the pain of a broken relationship.

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Loretta Lynn’s To Heck with Old Santa Claus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEc65BgbK3c is a funny song about a person who didn’t get they wanted for Christmas. She also recorded A Good Old Country Christmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x5Ws_fiVVE and the sad Christmas Without Daddy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x5Ws_fiVVE

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George Jones released Lonely Christmas Call http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvHocPrFcTU another sad song of a broken family and kids missing their mother. Merle Haggard did Daddy Won’t Be Home Again for Christmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjZ1qCoJyck

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Buck Owens’ All I Want for Christmas Dear is You http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_973SwUSvz8 is another song about missing a loved on at Christmas.

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Ernest Tubb was one of the first to perform Blue Christmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPz6fge6vBM later made famous by Elvis Presley.

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Tammy Wynette’s (Merry Christmas) We Must be Having One http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5SHleiV08A speaks of Christmas together while Barbara Mandrell’s It Must Have Been the Mistletoe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cD7NmzQjKDg speaks of love discovered at Christmas. The Silver Fox Charlie Rich recorded the fun Santa Claus’ Daughter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmoA0Zt7xuU

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Kenny Rogers did Kentucky Homemade Christmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQHnFCMlTlg talks of Christmas in a poverty stricken home. Rogers also teamed up with Dolly Parton on The Greatest Gift of All http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eap7smYFalg a song about love at Christmas.

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Freddy Fender’s If Christmas Comes to Your House http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ltluy_tUkak speaks of sharing Christmas with a child who is sad because of his parents divorce.

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Glen Campbell released the classic Christmas is for Children http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ_RJjdMyCE in 1968.

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Willie Nelson along with a number of other artists did Pretty Paper http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqNFdFbo8cA and Porter Wagoner recorded a song about a young boy asking Santa for a Christmas tree and his dad feeling bad about being poor called Johnny’s Christmas Tree http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blIOyH2Q2Kw and how his prayer was answered.

Roy Clark

Going to more traditional songs, Roy Clark did a nice rendition of The Christmas Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSY9szl2bnQ and Johnny Cash did I’ll Be Home for Christmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3LZr6dSM8A

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Jim Reeves did Silver Bells http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYIv9IPkxJQ and Connie Smith recorded What Child is This? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVkW0MJkUjU .

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Anne Murray recorded Away in a Manger http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOPkImLx8YA and teamed up with John Denver on The Christmas Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqEBdqxQQeY . Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter did Silent Night http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZbLujMQJ40 while Jim Neighbors lent his amazing voice on O Come All Ye Faithful http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkxAaDfkxYg

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But perhaps my favorite Country Christmas Song is Dolly Parton’s Hard Candy Christmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pttkAyWvAhU was featured in the musical Best Little Whorehouse in Texas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A3amYOiZms

So wherever you are in whatever circumstance this Christmas season finds you I hope that you find hope and comfort in these songs.

Until tomorrow,

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Padre Steve’s Look at Christmas Rhythm and Blues

R&B Christmas - (front)

American Christmas music has been enriched by the influence of Jazz, Blues, Gospel and what came to be known as Rhythm and Blues in the 1940.  I have always loved R & B and some of the most memorable songs about Christmas come from the African American experience and the R & B genre.

R&B as it became known was what record labels marketed music by American American artists. It became popular with White Americans as well with audiences in Europe and the musical influence was felt in the early days of Rock and Roll as Elvis Presley’s musical style incorporated many facets of this rich tradition.

R&B Christmas music incorporated a good amount of faith found in Black Churches of the time as well as the reality of life including poverty, brokenness and loneliness.

Rather than listening to political commentary, news or sports lately I have been spending a lot of time this year listening to a wide variety of Christmas music. For me it was a time of rediscovery of the variety of Christmas music that is part of our life including that of the legendary R&B artists. Now while I was familiar with many of these artists, for me their Christmas songs were new and refreshing, despite in many cases being recorded before I was born. Some of course were new versions of songs already made popular by people like Bing Crosby or other crooners. I know I have heard almost all of these songs but to hear so many of them was a joy for me. Some caused me to laugh even as others brought tears to my eyes.

So enjoy some of the great Christmas songs recorded by the legends of Blues, Jazz and R&B.

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Fats Domino Christmas is a Special Day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTgBZfA6LQE

Christmas time
Everybody sings hopeful of joy
Ding-a-ling bell rings
Christmas day will soon be here
Thou’ get come but once a year
Christmas is a special day
Don’t forget to go to church and pray
Santaday we’re never ‘lone
That’s the day our saviour is born
Yes one day when we will lost
Yes he died upon a cross
Yes he died for one and all
So our soul wouldn’t be lost

Yes he died for our sins
The 3rd day he rose again
What a man, oh what a friend
Let all his life for our sins
Jesus did on Calvary at the age of 33
Yes he died for our sins
The 3rd day he rose up again
What a man, oh what a friend
Let all his life for our sins
Jesus did on Calvary at the age of 33
Christmas day is finally here
Don’t get come but once a year
Christmas is a special day
Don’t forget to go to church an pray
Don’t forget to go to church an pray
Don’t forget to go to church an pray

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Santa Baby, Eartha Kitt  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOMmSbxB_Sg

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Charles Brown, Please Come Home for Christmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itdNoGtPQ3I

Bells will be ringing the glad glad news.

Oh, what a Christmas to have the blues.
My baby’s gone. I have no friends
To wish me greetings once again.
Choirs will be singing Silent Night.
Christmas carols by candlelight.
Please come home for Christmas.
Please come home for Christmas.
If not for Christmas, by New Year’s Night.

Friends and relations send salutations
Sure as the stars shine above,
Because it’s Christmastime, my dear.
The time of year to be with the one you love.

Dear, won’t you tell me you’ll never go wrong.
Christmas and New Year’s will find you home.
There’ll be no more sorrow, no grief and no pain,
‘Cause I’ll be happy, happy once again.

Mmmmm, no more sorrow, no grief and no pain,
‘Cause I’ll be happy Christmas once again.

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Lionel Hampton Boogie Woogie Santa Claus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQlJSgqzXzY

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Booker T and the MGs  Merry Christmas Baby http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAuVbtCYChs

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Etta James This Time of Year, When Christmas is Near http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKyuaTun5R8

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The O-Jays Christmas Just Ain’t Christmas and New Years Just Ain’t New Years Without the One You Love http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xttf75_o-jays-christmas-just-ain-t-christmas-new-year-s-just-ain-t-new-year-s-without-the-one-you-love-1973_music

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The Platters (Paul Roby) Christmas Time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aci25FzNiIQ

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The Drifters White Christmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgGcrvApljY

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Ella Fitzgerald The Christmas Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGtiLouJWuU

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Pearl Bailey 5 Pound Box of Money http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIflovCenXA and It’s Cold Outside http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeGXHKzdZwg

Hey Santa Claus, You want to make me happy this year?

Listen to me, honey, Give Pearl something that would be of some use to me, Like a five pound box of money

Now there’s a little gift, That’s loaded with, Lots of sentiment

See, when I get blue, Santa, I’m gonna think of you

But at the same time have a little change to pay my rent

Now, money isn’t everything, There’s no two ways about it

But while we’re here, Santa dear, It’s much better with it than without it

So really, I could be real good, And not do nothin’ funny, If you do like I ask you

Stop by right on Christmas night, And try me, try me, try me on that money

Just try me, honey, Santa, can you hear me?

Have you listened to everything I’ve been asking you about?

Listen honey, Santa dear,, The New Year would be so bright and sunny

Just bring me that simple thing that I’ve been speaking to you about

And bring me a five pound box of money, That’s all, that’s all

It would be so heavenly, And help me meet both ends, yes indeed

But old Pearl been needin’ bad, A five pound box of tens, Really, how much could that weigh?

I don’t want the whole money tree, What good is that big thing to me?

You keep the branches, the trunk, and the roots, ‘Cause all I want is just a little bit of the fruit

So if you wanna be sure I’ll be yours,Little old honey, honey bunny

You can start me off on Christmas night

With a five pound – no, I better increase that, ten pounds

No, I better beg big while I’m beggin’

‘Cause you know, I might not catch you next year

‘Cause sometimes people go out and you don’t see them no more

So bring the money, Santa! Do you hear me?

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Louis Armstrong Christmas in New Orleans http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVFEadOKBYE

Magnolia trees, At night, Sparkling bright

Fields of cotton, Look Wintery white

When it’s Christmas time, In New Orleans

A barefoot choir, In prayer, Fills the air

Mississippi folks, Are gathering there

When it’s, Christmas time, In New Orleans

You’ll see, A dixieland Santa Claus

Leading the band, To a good old Creole beat

And golly what a spirit, You can only hear it

Down on Basin Street

Your cares will disappear, When you hear

Hallelujah, St. Nicholas is here

When it’s Christmas time, In New Orleans

Oh, yeah, baby, You’ll see

A dixieland Santa Claus, Leading the band

To a good old Creole beat, And golly what a spirit

You can only hear it, Down on Basin Street

Your cares will disappear, When you hear

Hallelujah, Old St. Nicholas is here

When it’s Christmas time, In New Orleans

When it’s, Christmas time in, In New Orleans

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Ray Charles The Spirit of Christmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWmgTXuNoRY

I was sittin’ by the fire side

Taking a walk through the snow

Listening to a children’s choir

Singing songs about Jesus

The blessed way that he came to us

Why can’t it remain all through the year…

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Stevie Wonder Someday at Christmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ1-duv_zNk

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Count Basie Orchestra Good Morning Blues  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhFFXHr8iO0

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John Lee Hooker Blues for Christmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIOcxEsX2pE

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The Temptations Silent Night http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFc7STuQF0U

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Nat King Cole The Christmas Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__kQ1PCP6B0

So have a very bluesy Christmas.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Merry Christmas to All!

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas- Frank Sinatra

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpPdl0StUVs

It is Christmas morning and thankfully it is a day of rest for most people. Of course there are those in the military, police, fire, emergency services and healthcare that are on duty  and those that work in jobs that allow people to eat and travel during the holidays.  But for most the day is one of rest, most stores are closed as are many restaurants.  Movie theaters tend to open up as people emerge from their homes and since it is Sunday many will find themselves in Church if they did not attend a Christmas Eve service or Mass.

I’ll be Home for Christmas- Bing Crosby

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFGfCn5rKIM&feature=related

The NBA will be busy will a bevy of games as it tries to open its season and begins to attempt to recover from the effects of the strike and lockout.  The NFL played most of its games yesterday save the game tonight between the Bears and the Packers in Green Bay.

As for us we opened presents last night, Judy gave me all things Orioles including a really nice watch, Orioles floor mats for my car and the new Orioles cartoon bird hat.  I was out much of the day yesterday as none of what I ordered online arrived and I can’t say what those things are here because it would ruin the surprise so she got a few books to tide her over until they arrive.

The Christmas Song- Nat King Cole

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpPdl0StUVs

For us the highlight was watching Molly unwrap her Christmas presents. Molly figured out this Christmas thing as a puppy and the first time we wrapped presents for her she tore open the paper and began to play with her toys. Last night was no different and like any “kid” she was abuzz when the presents started to come out.  She played for hours last night interspersing the play to give us attention and then to have me take her for walks in order that she might both do her business and hunt for the deer which populate our neighborhood.  She didn’t get any deer last night which I ascribe to Santa having borrowed them for the evening.

Today for us will be quiet. Judy is trying to fight off whatever bug is going around and continuing to recover from her Achilles tendon surgery. There will be the usual calls home and I will celebrate a Eucharist here at home since she is in no shape to go out. Later we will have a small Christmas dinner here at the house.  Molly of course is resting with Judy right now.

The First Noël by Celtic Women

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDtvtJxsbuc&feature=related

Today I wish all of my readers and anyone else that stops by a Merry Christmas, and Happy continued Hanukkah to my Jewish friends.  I do pray that you and your families enjoy the day and each other.  I feel honored that people actually subscribe to my articles and I hear back from so many of you in the comments section.

If you have the time feel free to hang around this site or look at some of the links to some of the sites that I like.  My friend Joel Watts has a particularly good site called Unsettled Christianity. I highly recommend it.

With that I bid you a Merry Christmas and a blessed day that hopefully is filled with joy and peace.  Please pray for those in harm’s way or any danger or distress.

Blessings

Padre Steve+

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Padre Steve’s Favorite Non-Religious Christmas and Holiday Music

I love Christmas music and of course that music spans both the sacred realm as well as the not so sacred realm. Today I was in a store amid crowds or rather hoards of crazed 6 and a half shopping days until Christmas trying to avoid being trampled when behold I heard the soothing sounds of Karen Carpenter singing Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas. In the maelstrom of the merchandise mad mom’s and toy seeking tots and guys praying that if they just spend enough money that they can win their sweetheart’s heart one more time the song took me away to a peaceful place far, far away until a wild eyed woman dove into the clearance bin that I was standing by nearly knocking me down like a linebacker blitzing a defenseless quarterback.

Despite the fact that my foray into the fog and confusion of war nearly caused me injury the mere thought of that song in the sad yet soothing voice of Karen Carpenter I began to think of other Christmas and Holiday songs that I like which are not of the sacred variety.  So here they are, Padre Steve’s favorite non-religious Christmas and Holiday music songs.

From a sentimental point of view my absolute favorite is Karen Carpenter’s version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.  I don’t know what it is about the song but it is one of those rare songs that calms me and makes me appreciate the relational aspects of Christmas.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vZwWJMAoTA

Not far down my sentimental favorites list is Bing Crosby and his timeless performance of White Christmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aShUFAG_WgM which as I understand is the most popular Christmas song ever recorded even in Tajikistan.

Nate King Cole recorded this beautiful song back in 1946 The Christmas Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG5VPji-SpU and early rock and roll Christmas songs like Bobby Helms’ Jingle Bell Rock and Rocking around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee and if you think of Rock and Roll you have to include the King, Elvis Presley and Blue Christmas. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ODrPL9-kEs&feature=related

One of the earliest Christmas songs that I remember was Christmas don’t be Late by Alvin and the Chipmunks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzTG0fTLAlU I heard it today at the local 7-Eleven and had a wonderful chat with the lady behind the counter.

Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzTG0fTLAlU is one of the few things in Spanish that I know besides what is on the menu at Mexican restaurants.

The title song to A Charlie Brown Christmas entitled Christmas Time is Here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPG3zSgm_Qo was always one of my favorites mainly because I have always loved that show.

Since there are very few songs about New Year I have to mention Happy New Year by Abba http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcLMH8pwusw&feature=related

My golden old kid Christmas songs include Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6OC7Y4n3xs and Here Comes Santa Claus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0BOIdwUiqA&feature=related by Gene Autry

Then there are the more irreverent songs like Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer by Randy and Ronnie Brooks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG5VPji-SpU

I could go on and you could probably add more songs so in the last few days before Christmas, take a few minutes to enjoy the music, and without getting hurt at the mall have a wonderful Christmas.

Peace

Padre Steve+

 

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