Favorite Christmas Songs

Brian LePort posted yesterday asking about everyone’s favorite and most disliked Christmas hymns. Well, since I’m obviously not as pious and holy as Brian, I thought I’d post some of my favorite Christmas and seasonal favorites.

Wizards in Winter by Trans-Siberian Orchestra (you know, the house with the lights synced with the music?)

O Come Emmanuel by Folk Angel (popularized by A Social Network Christmas) and the instrumental version by August Burns Red

For those who don’t know, August Burns Red has for the last few years released a version of popular Christmas songs that have been run through the ABR filter. My favorite of these is their version of Carol of the Bells. They’ve also done renditions of Little Drummer Boy and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (which is quite good, especially the dual guitars toward the end).

I also love O Holy Night and this version by Andrea Bocelli is simply magnificent (it’s Bocelli–should we expect anything else? And, it’s sung in French)!

Oh, how could I not include You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch?!?

I could name others, but these are some of my favorites. What about you–what do you like?

Αυτω η δοξα

In Honor of Our Veterans

Veterans' Day (Part 1 of 5)

Image by jbelluch via Flickr

My wife and I both have family and friends who have served in the military.  They’ve seen their share of the horrors of war that are sometimes necessary to preserve the freedoms that we so fiercely cling to.  For their sacrifice, we say “Thank you.”

I came across this video some years ago and it is one of the more moving tributes I’ve seen in many years.  Take a listen if you will and thank God for our military men and women and their families.

 

Until Then

Αυτω η δοξα,

Jason

 

Packing Up

Well, we’ve got probably 90% or more of our stuff packed and I must say that packing up a house and office worth of stuff is positively awful. All we have left is furniture and last-minute necessities–tv, computer, a change of clothes and hygienic items. It’s strange looking at this house with empty bookshelves and no toys in the kids’ rooms; only boxes and furniture. And my office…Sheesh…This is the only time I don’t like having a lot of books! I’ve got it all finished now, though, and am glad that’s over.

We’re thinking of retiring in Seagoville…

With Christmas upcoming, we’ll be gone (as will most of you likely), then we come home for the weekend and start getting everything ready to load on the truck. Tuesday morning we head to TX!

My blogging, as in the past week, will be minimal as we visit with family and get ready to move. I’ll still be checking in, maybe even posting here or there, so keep writing!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (a bit early, I know!)!

Αυτω η δοξα,

Jason

Christmas Movie Meme

Ok, it’s a bit early, but the holidays will be rather busy for us, so I thought I’d post on this now.

Of all things I enjoy about the Christmas season, one of my favorite parts is the movies that you don’t see any other time of the year. Here are five of my favorite Christmas movies, in no particular order.

Gremlins

Okay, so it’s not really a “Christmas” movie, but the story takes place during Christmas, so that’s good enough for me! This was one of my favorite movies as a kid and though I haven’t seen it in years, it remains a classic. Cute little fuzzballs turned nightmarish imps–all because they ate after midnight! Good stuff.

Home Alone

So, the story is not entirely believable, but this movie was great fun anyway! Not only did it rake in the bucks at the box office, but it became an enduring favorite for holiday season. Watching one boy fend off “wet bandits” Harry and Marv with a series of booby traps was endless laughter. As Nick rightly noted, the spider-on-face scene is the most memorable in the movie and one of the funniest movie moments ever. Watch it here.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Where the Griswolds go, mishaps are sure to ensue. So it went with the first two installments of the series Vacation and European Vacation, and so it goes with Christmas Vacation. If you’ve seen the first and/or second movies, then you know that Clark will endure all manner of pitfalls and shortcomings to ensure that his family have the best and “brightest” Christmas of all. My only gripe with this film is that whoever cast the roles of Rusty and Audrey was way off. Even though the same actors did not portray them in the first and second films, there was at least enough similarity that the disconnect was minimal. Not so with Christmas Vacation–they didn’t look anything like the others. However, that little blunder aside, this movie was clumsy and big-mouthed Clark W. Griswold in all his glory!

Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This is definitely a classic Christmas tale. The ever soured Grinch hates Christmas and does everything he knows to stop it from coming. But when he realizes that the Whos’ celebration of Christmas isn’t centered around gifts and getting, but around family and friendship, he experiences a change of heart and even joins the once-loathed Whos for a Christmas feast. My kids love this short animated classic, just as I did growing up. Is there a more catchy tune than “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch“? Though the Jim Carrey remake was good, I didn’t like it nearly as much as the original.

A Christmas Story

Well, was there any question or doubt that A Christmas Story would make the list? Though I said these were ranked in no particular order, this is the exception: this is the best Christmas movie ever!!! Where does one begin when trying to narrow down the most memorable scene in the movie when most every scene is unforgettable in some way. A hose-clad leg lamp, an official Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot range model air rifle, a tongue frozen to a light pole, the infamous “fudge” utterance, or Scut’s beat-down at the hands of Ralph–all moments that are stuck indelibly in my mind! This is one that we deemed worthy to own on DVD, an honor not granted to most movies in this house. Every Christmas eve, I/we sit and watch at least once (maybe twice) through the movie when TNT does its 24 Hours of A Christmas Story marathon. A classic for the ages!

So, what are your favorites?

I tag Matt, Nick, Bitsy, and Jeff.

Αυτω η δοξα,

Jason

Christmas and Myth

Ben Witherington posted an insightful piece regarding much of the myth that has crept into our popular notions of the account of Christ’s birth. Read the whole thing here.

I remember it was one of my Greek professors in seminary, in a class on Matthew, who shared with us much of the information in Witherington’s post. For me, it was like so many other facets of holidays–a lot of erroneous information had made its way into what became popular. I’m sure there are many who would say “it’s just a Christmas song” or “it doesn’t really matter if that actually happened.” However, the danger lay in the fact that many Christians will tend to develop their theology or perspective on biblical accounts (such as the birth of Christ) based on what they know in popular songs or hymns (future post–hymns and “mansions in the sky”!). As the post indicates, “We Three Kings” is rife with error and speculation; yet, it endures as a Christmas classic!

We no longer sing it at our church because of this, but if one does, it doesn’t make them a heretic; just ill-informed. I have no problem with popular Christmas songs that have nothing to do with Christ; in fact, I like many of them. But if we’re going to sing about the birth of Christ, arguably one of the most significant events in history, then let’s do so without wallowing in speculation.

Αυτω η δοξα,

Jason

Happy Thanksgiving

A Happy Thanksgiving to all in biblioblogdom!

What am I thankful for?

  • The saving grace of God
  • My wonderful wife and kids
  • Scripture
  • family and friends
  • high-speed internet
  • holiday goodies (fudge, pralines, “trash”, fried turkey, my brother-in-law’s “duck d’oeuvres”!)
  • health
  • freedom
  • being southern ;-)

There are, of course, many things for which I am thankful and some of the items on this list are there in jest. Nevertheless, I thank God for all that He has done and that He has used me in His service. Thank you, Lord.

Αυτω η δοξα,

Jason