Christmas Memories in Music, Part 1 ~ A Guest Post By My Daughter

 This Christmas, instead of filling your mind with songs like, “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” and “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer“, why not add a touch of nostalgia and joyful toe-tapping music to your festivities? Bring out the epic, the madrigal, the joyful, and the majestic in replacement for the jazzy, shallow Christmas music of today.

Today, as I will be sharing a sampler of our favorite Christmas music, remember that some of the best memories of Christmas with family are those times cuddled on the couch reading the Christmas story, smelling the aromas of turkey and scones in the oven, and listening to the timeless classics that have been sung throughout the ages.

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence is one of our family’s favorite Christmas hymns. Written in the 4th century AD, this is an ancient chant of Eucharistic devotion based on words from Habakkuk 2:20, “Let all the earth keep silence before him.”

This song is from O Come All Ye Faithful, a beautiful hardcover book of the stories behind great Christmas carols and an accompanying CD by John MacArthur, Joni Eareckson Tada, and the Wolgemuths. You can get it on Amazon for just over four dollars!

Growing up, some of my fondest memories are centered around Christmas  music by Mannheim Steamroller. “Fum, Fum, Fum” is one of my favorites, and reminds me of the joys of family celebration, games,  laughter, and reunited family members.

My Mother and I agree that our favorite Christmas carol is “What Child Is This” (also known as “Greensleeves”), and we love the madrigal experience that Mannheim Steamroller creates on their album A Fresh Aire Christmas.

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, written in the mid 1700′s, was mentioned in Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol in 1843, “…at the first sound of — ‘God bless you, merry gentlemen! May nothing you dismay!’— Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action that the singers fled in terror, leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost.” This one is sung by Joni Eareckson Tada on her album Whiter Than Snow.

One snowy December, my Mother and I were driving home after a grocery run. This song was playing on our local radio station, and its beauty took our breath away. We hurried to find paper and pen to jot down the information when it was given at the end of the song. Enjoy “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” by Selah on their album Rose of Bethlehem.

“Joy Has Dawned” is a modern Christmas carol by Keith and Kristyn Getty, some of my favorite artists. Their hymns are always so full of truth with a masterful melody and musical quality. Unlike most Christmas albums that are filled with the same Christmas carols just sung in a different way,  Joy! An Irish Christmas has many new Christmas carols written by the Gettys. These are sure to become favorites!

Probably my favorite Christmas album is The Promise by Michael Card. My first memory is of my mother singing his lullabies to me. Michael Card has such a depth of theology in his music, and the accompanying harmonies and rich sounds added together give these pieces almost hymn-like quality. Today, I will share “Immanuel” with you. And I have yet to make up my mind which other one I shall share with you next week. ;-)

Be keeping an eye out for Part 2 in this series. And in the meantime, share a favorite Christmas song or two!

“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world”.  ~ Martin Luther 

To read part two, follow this link.

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~ Jacqueline

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14 Responses to Christmas Memories in Music, Part 1 ~ A Guest Post By My Daughter

  1. LindaG says:

    Oh Holy Night is my favorite Christmas song.
    I like some of Mannheim Steamroller’s stuff. I love Choral Christmas songs the most.
    Thanks for sharing your music with us! :o)

  2. Ronda says:

    I just found your site (through Raising Arrows). I love this post. The music and pictures are wonderful. Thanks for sharing! I also shared the quote of Martin Luther with my daughter – she couldn’t agree more! God bless -

  3. Tillie says:

    We listen to a lot of Loreena McKinnet’s music at Christmas as well. Very soothing! Thank you for some new ones to add to the list (and a great idea for a near-in-the-future blog post of my own!)

  4. Oh, I just LOVE “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent”! I heard it for the first time last year and worked on memorizing it with the kids. It’s so rich and beautiful and worshipful!

    Great list. :)

  5. happy momma says:

    I love it! thanks for sharing. I just linked up a post of my own about getting Christ back into Christmas. One of the ideas I had was to fill your home with the beautiful songs of Christ. It is wonderful to see and hear that others are doing this. I love that you added links for us all to be able to listen to the lovely music. I enjoy coming here to be inspired. Thank you

  6. Abby says:

    Wow wow wow. Love this post, I appreciate you taking the time to add the music selections. I’m pinning this to my “Hymn” board. I hadn’t heard the Martin Luther quote, but I’d have to agree with him. Thanks so much. I appreciate this. ~ Abby

  7. Petra : ) says:

    Music is a treasure, truly one of the things in life dearest to me. Thank you for sharing some of the pieces you love! I can’t wait to download them when I get time on the computer.

    I’m trying to think what Christmas songs I like best. What Child is This and I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day come to mind. I’m thinkin’ the ones you posted will join my favorites! Hope you all are having a peaceful evening.

    • Jacqueline says:

      Petra! Yay! I’m glad you like our faves. We love wonderful music, but there is also time that we love total quiet. today, I am craving a quietness~ lots to ponder…

      • Petra : ) says:

        I feel that way too often. Just as I appreciate solitude sometimes rather than others’ presence. It feels as if we are an island apart today…there is a blizzard and one can see no farther than the nearest trees. I’m thinking of you all today!

  8. Helen says:

    Looking forward to Part 2! In addition to the wonderful traditional carols, Michael Card’s The Promise has long been my favorite–his Joseph’s Song is especially poignant. One of my new favorites is Mary, Did You Know?….”the baby boy you’re holding is the great I Am?” Several good versions but the Gaithers’ featuring Mark Lowry is especially breathtaking! Thanks for enriching this advent season.

    • Jacqueline says:

      Helen,
      My daughter will be blessed (along with me) when she reads your comment here :) I did hear Mark Lowry sing ‘Mary Did You Know?’ a while back and was in tears! We, too, LOVE Michael Card’s the Promise! The whole CD is excellent. (we have ALL his CDs) I sang all the songs over and over on the CDs ‘Come To the Cradle’ and ‘Sleep sound in Jesus’ when I rocked them each night before bed. They still play those CDs in their own rooms before bed sometimes…very special to us all. Thank you, Jesus!!

  9. Rachel says:

    I love Amy Grant’s Christmas albums. Probably because my mom played them a lot this time of year when I was growing up :)

    • Jacqueline says:

      Rachel, it only makes sense :) We usually are drawn toward music we are familiar with…thus it is important to think deeply about themusic played in the home, espceially with children. More is caught than taught ;) Yes, I do like some of her pieces, too!

  10. Charity says:

    Beautiful post, Rebecca! I love all of these. It’s been a while since I heard “Let all Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”, but it’s a lovely piece. What a blessing it is to see how y’all also appreciate Christ centered, melodious music! Our family has music playing often, but we also love quiet….well, whatever “quiet” you have in a family of almost 10! ;) And we make alot of music ourselves, which is my favorite of all!
    I hope the Lord sees fit for us to meet on this side of Heaven, for I’ve seen a real kindred spirit in you. :) May the Lord bless as you in serving HIM!
    Blessings,
    Charity

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