When I was a child, there was a family in our neighborhood who always came caroling on Christmas Eve. They’d sing for us and give us a perfectly round (baked in a soup can) loaf of banana bread, frosted with buttercream frosting and topped with a sprig of holly. Christmas had arrived.
As a teenager, my dad used to challenge me and my siblings to recognize the voices of artists who sang Christmas songs and see who could name them the fastest. “Andy Williams!” “Bing Crosby!” “Nat King Cole!” To this day I mentally call out their names when I hear them on the radio.
I remember one night staying up with a sick baby—rocking in a dark room and humming “The First Noel” over and over and over again. Born is the king, noel, noel. It still sounds like a lullaby to me.
Last night my family went to visit a friend of my grandmother’s—an elderly gentlemen with little family close by. After talking for a while, we sang. He played the piano in a lilting 1940s style, heavy on the arpeggios and free with the melody. He doesn’t read a note of music and plays entirely by ear. It felt like magic.
Our stake had a choir festival on Sunday and part of the evening included the entire congregation singing the Hallelujah Chorus. I stood and sang, feeling my voice blend with those around me, hearing the parts intertwine and support, being surrounded by physical praise. King of kings and Lord of lords—bless those soaring, warbly sopranos, it was fantastic.
What are some of your favorite Christmas music moments?