From home to home,
and heart to heart,
From one place to another,
The warmth and joy of Christmas
brings us closer to each other.
~Emily Matthews~I would love to report that my favorite Christmas carol is something very spiritual. I would love to report a magnificent, worshipful chorus has earned my top spot. I would love to report that a contemplative ballad rings the true meaning of Christmas in my ears.
My favorite Christmas carol is Silver Bells.
For all the right reasons.
He was still a relatively young man when his heart gave out and he left this world behind. I only remember tiny wisps, really, and even those memories may be placed there by the grainy home movie film images that show him holding me, tossing me in the air. He was my maternal grandfather. And I was his first grandbaby and the only one he met this side of eternity.
His memory still casts a long shadow, almost 40 years later. He was an entrepreneur, an artist, a salesman, a pilot. He gave my mother an incredibly blessed childhood full of his love and mischief and a legacy of an adventuresome spirit. He was a devoted husband to my grandmother. He read, he flew planes, he designed advertising in neon. He lived a very full life in a handful of decades.
And then he was gone.
It's a funny thing, this missing someone you barely knew, someone who played such a huge role in the lives of the people around you. His volume of personality is still just audible in the voiced remembrances of my mother and grandmother. They have made sure that my brothers and I know him, know of his joy of life, know of his daring, know of his crop dusting and funny stories and heart and drive.
And they have made sure we know his favorite Christmas carol.
Which has now become mine.
The song was written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans and was first recorded in 1951. My grandmother and mother giggle in remembering how my grandfather loved music and could barely sing.
But would sing out this carol in full voice.
I recorded a Christmas album in 1993. The majority of the songs on the album celebrate the story of Jesus's birth and are a compilation of many of the beautiful, traditional songs of the season. But I knew that Silver Bells would be an important piece on that album.
When I sing those words, I'm singing words he sang. When I sing those words, I give voice to his legacy. And when I sing those words, I'm struck with such gratitude that my Savior has provided the way of reunion for all of us, a means to be reunited with those who have gone on before us and the gate by which we are reconciled to God. Silver bells. A carol about the clear sound that reminds us all of a baby and a manger. A song that reminds us of the Christmas message without ever really saying it.
Soon it will be Christmas Day.
For your listening pleasure, I've decided to try a little experiment. My Christmas album was availabe on cassette tape. This was back in the days when CD's were just starting to be available--the Dark Ages, I know. I've transferred my rendition of Silver Bells to a wav file and am including the link http://www.box.net/shared/auiurmli21. You'll have to download the file and then play it on your computer's media player. I hope to have an embedded audio player posted later today, but for now, this will have to do. The resulting quality is not fabulous, but I thought it would be fun. Listen and enjoy!
*(Note-I've added the song in the video box below--)*
And then, come back here and let us know what your favorite Christmas song is and why. Write a post on this topic on your own blog, then enter the url of that post your name in the Mister Linky's box below. Or just give it the ol' comment. What is your heart singing this Christmas?