The Appreciation Factor

All things Appreciation: Things to Appreciate and the Ways we look at, Show and Think about Appreciation.

It’s that Time Again When The Radio is Taken Over

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It’s the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”  A time for giving, showing kindness, and making and buying gifts. Part of your holiday rituals may also include Christmas music (songs and carols).

Do you know the difference between a carol and a song?
Quite simply, Christmas carols are typically religious in nature – think Holy Night.
Christmas songs on the other hand are secular and have no real spiritual or religious affiliation.

I never thought I’d write a post about Christmas songs, but they are definitely something that I appreciate about the holiday season.  There’s something about them that just perks me up and at times makes me feel young again.

The only thing that turns me off about Christmas carols/music is the over stimulation created by the radio stations even before Christmas rolls around.  It seems that stations and retailers start playing these earlier and earlier each year. (This year I heard one BEFORE Halloween!)  I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

That said however, I’ve been pleasantly surprised not to be completely inundated with holiday music and Christmas carols since then.  That’s not to say I haven’t heard any, but interestingly, not too much. I almost have to “search” for them.


In the spirit of getting you ready excited for the holidays and the season of #giving I thought I’d share My Top 10 11 Favorite Christmas Songs with you. (Candidly they are not really in order of best to last, but simply just the 10 11 I love most.) Why this list? t really gets me in the mood to give and share more with others

1.  Rocking Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee  Definitely a favorite from the 50s that’s still fun today


2.  White Christmas – An Irving Berlin classic.  I love watching Bing Crosby sing this in both “White Christmas” and “Holiday Inn.” I’m not sure which movie came first however.  Maybe you




3.  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas  This one always gets me a little misty and I especially liked Kelsea Ballerini’s rendition on this year’s CMA Country Christmas  Watch here.

4.  Most Wonderful Time of the Year  This Andy Williams favorite of mine was introduced to me when my choir sang it as part of our Christmas Concert and it’s been a favorite ever since.

5.  Christmas Time is Here
The name might not be familiar, but it’s the opening song to the Peanuts® A Charlie Brown Christmas

Watching this cartoon was a family tradition, one we watched year after year. It’s comforting to know that it’s lasted the test of time.

Try playing it while watching the GIF to the right.


6.  Christmas Wrappings by the Waitresses      This is definitely more kitschy, but it resonates with the single girl. I always remember when I first heard this in HS and couldn’t wait to listen to it over and over again. For some reason, the cranberry part always makes me smile.  Click this link to watch the original video from the 80s.

7.  All I Want for Christmas Is You  – This song by Mariah Carey is “newer,” but really has definitely had staying power the last 1o years (It came out in ’94).  And who can forget Olivia Olson’s rendition in one of my favorite holiday movies, Love Actually.

(Note:   I don’t really consider Love Actually a holiday movie, but has been named to the top of the holiday movie lists a few times. (Plus it has Andrew Lincoln (now of The Walking Dead fame) before he was on TWD!)))

8.   Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms.  I used to think this was my Dad’s favorite song; it was played so much in our house. I think it was one of the first Christmas albums he and my Mom bought after they were married.  You’ll still find me bopping around to this one every time it comes on.

9.  Handel’s Messiah  Definitely religious and in the carol category, but it always seemed bigger than a carol.   At one time I knew the whole thing!  Listening to it, I often sing along, though not quite in the voice I had in HS. You can listen to each song individually by the St. Paul, MN Chamber Orchestra here.

10.  The First Noel  Simply a lovely carol that’s not played on the radio very much. It’s a must have at a Christmas Eve service though.

OK so I have 11 instead of 10 but this last one was powerful and couldn’t be left off the list.  I still get chills when I hear it.

11. Do they Know it’s Christmas by BandAid – a group of musicians, led by Bob Geldof got together to help raise funds for the famine in Ethiopia in 1984. (An updated version was released on the 30th anniversary (2014) to raise this time for the Ebola crisis in East Africa.)

So these are my Top 10 11. Do we have any in common?
Are Christmas songs or carols part of your holiday tradition? 
What one (or more) have I missed that’s a must have on your list?

Let me know what you think

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