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It’s the most wonderful time of the year….

December 1, 2010

Today, if my various time-keeping devices are correct, is December 1st. I steadfastly refuse to give up the tradition of Advent Calendars, so I got my first chocolate today. However, even more important than chocolate (if indeed anything can be more important than chocolate) is the fact that my self-imposed ban on Christmas music is lifted today.

You see, I love Christmas music. Every year, I have heard the same carols sung by the same crooners (think Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, et al), to the point where this particular music now evokes an almost Pavlovian response. I can’t help but feel warm and fuzzy, and like I should be hanging a wreath while sipping hot chocolate and juggling Christmas ornaments.

Furthermore, I am notorious for singing in the shower, and while wandering aimlessly around the house. I’ve been in choirs for years, and I’m a soprano, but I don’t have a vibrato (the “shake” you hear in opera singers). I sound like a little boy. But for Christmas music, that’s ok!

So, if Christmas music makes me this happy, why don’t I sing/isten to it all year round? It’s precisely because I love it so much that I forbid myself from listening to it outside of December 1st-25th. Anything repeated ad nauseam grates after a while. I don’t want that to happen to my favourite carols. The piped-in stuff I’m subjected to in stores is bad enough- I don’t want my crooners to change from heralds of comfort and joy to harbingers of irritation and lack of passion.

Now it’s December. Now I dig out all the old songs, and a few new ones. I discovered the Trans-Siberian Orchestra last year. If the “old classics” evoke images of sugar plums and curling up before a gently crackling fire, the TSO showcases the epic side of Christmas. And that’s “epic” in a “riding a snorting reindeer with ridiculously huge antlers over the desert to Bethlehem while an angel points the way with a sword of fire.”

At least, that’s what I tend to think of. That, and sleigh rides through Siberia.

Before I go, though, I thought I would share

Arvik’s Top 10 Christmas Carols

  1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  2. Adeste Fideles
  3. Carol of the Bells
  4. O Holy Night
  5. Hark, the Herald Angels Sing
  6. O Little Town of Bethlehem
  7. Silent Night
  8. Good King Wenceslas
  9. The First Noel
  10. Once in Royal David’s City

 What about you? Christmas carols: favourites? Ones you hope to never hear again?

-Arvik

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9 comments

  1. Hey Arvik! I recently discovered your blog and I’m really liking. Christmas Carols are my absolute favourite thing about Christmas, apart from Christmas trees. They make you feel instantly happy, like the ‘happy birthday’ song haha. Though I think your 1st December policy is probably a necessity. 😉 My favourite carol is Silent Night for sure. Not sure why, but it’s beautiful and I can listen to it over and over. Thanks for the post, I am now just that much more excited for December 25!


    • Have you ever seen the version of “Silent Night” that appears in Disney’s Christmas Sing-along (I’m lame, I know :P)? Anyway, they set it to the “Ave Maria” animation from Fantasia… it’s really, really beautiful.


      • Oi, Disney is never lame! 🙂 No I hadn’t seen it- but I just watched it on youtube. Gorgeous!


  2. I’m not a huge fan of carols, but my wife shares your passion. She, like you, waits all year to start blasting Christmas music in December. But for her it’s the Christmas movies that really lift her spirits. She’ll watch anything with a holiday theme this time of year, even those silly Hallmark movies with no-name actors and no-plot stories.

    I just shrug and enjoy it.

    — david j.


  3. Like all the carols on your list, except #10 ~ not sure that I’ve ever heard it.


    • It’s a British carol, I think… the first verse is traditionally done by trebles/as a treble solo-which works for me! 🙂


  4. Arvik, I really like your christmas spirit. If you like the traditional classics, I’d love you to listen to the version of “O Holy Night” I just recorded. I’m offering it as a free download. Let me know what you think & Enjoy your holidays.
    Twitter: @CharlieWMusic


    • Oh, wow, Charlie, that was great! I love this carol, and this is a beautiful version of it. I’ll definitely be downloading it. 🙂


  5. December 1st means I can listen publicly. The rest of the time I listen to Christmas music in secret. My favorite, that just makes me ache with melancholy is ‘Greensleeves’ or at Christmas time, ‘What Child is This.’. The weird thing about loving Christmas music is that I’m pagan. However, it’s the traditions, the memories, and those loved ones now gone that Christmas music brings back for me.



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