I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
There are so many topics that scream ‘Christmas’ to me; it’s hard to pick out just one.
In my short time here in Henderson, some of you have come to find out that I’m a huge music geek.
There are two reasons for that; I come from a family background of singers and musicians. Also, I had early plans of becoming a high school music teacher. I didn’t make it because of my lack of piano proficiency.
My brother, five years my senior, was taking piano lessons when I was about four years old. He was practicing for his Christmas recital.
I began humming the melody to a song he was rehearsing. I don’t remember the time frame, but he taught me the words.
Well…that was it. I was hooked.
Being a fearless four-year-old, and after the recital, I was ushered up front where I sang ‘Birthday of a King.’ I haven’t shut up since.
I love to sing and music has been a major part of my life.
I offer for your perusal, my Top 10 list of Christmas songs.
• Oh Holy Night – always a favorite of mine and would reduce my mother to tears.
• Birthday of a King – a family favorite. Look it if you’re not familiar.
• Carol of the Bells – there are a lot of versions of this one, but Manheim Steamroller has the best version.
• The Hallelujah Chorus – this piece from Handel’s Messiah has to be one of the most beloved major musical pieces known to man. If you can find a late 70s – early 80s version by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, you are in for a treat.
• The First Noel – this church hymnal favorite has one of the best descants I have ever sung. And under the right conditions, it just rings off the walls of the church.
• Do You Hear What I Hear – A chancel choir favorite, it was sung by thousands back in the 70s and 80s. The building crescendo to the end is simply awesome.
• The Little Drummer Boy – once performed by me as a nine-year-old during a family gathering with a three-pound coffee can and two dowel rod drumsticks my grandfather fashioned for me.
• Silent Night – rumored to have been sung during World War II by soldiers on Christmas Eve at the front lines. It is such a simple and calming song to be sung on Christmas Eve.
• Deck the Halls – a hearty and rustic favorite of mine to be sung with pep and vigor.
• What Child is This – This oldie, but a goodie, begs the question of who the Christ child is and why is this happening.
There are a couple of dozen that would take me a day to rank, but then I would be changing my mind every third or fourth song.
My best Christmas memories have been rooted in music, whether I was singing as a child and teen to directing church choir as an adult.
I had a string once of performing Handel’s Messiah in 16 consecutive years from mid high school to my early 30s. and I have continued to sing off and on over the last 25-plus years.
Christmas and music for me go hand-in-hand together.
My Christmas message for you readers is this…
Take ownership of your Top 10 Christmas List. Make it personal and share it with everyone you know.
The season of giving doesn’t stop at the holidays. It should be a year-round effort.
Each and every one of us brings a different skill set to the table. Everyone should experience your talents and natural gifts from God.
Again, Merry Christmas Henderson and a Happy New Year.
Kent Mahoney is the managing editor of The Henderson News. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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