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Archive for the ‘Christmas songs’ Category


So I am finally counting, it’s forty three days to go before the big day.

Do you know the meaning  and the symbolism behind the song Twelve Days of Christmas? 

Some of us are not probably aware of it. It is another one of those lovely melodies we play during the Christmas season, right? The 12 days of Christmas is the period that in Christian theology marks the span between the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi, the three wise men. It begins on December 25 (Christmas) and runs through January 6 (the Epiphany, sometimes also called Three Kings’ Day). 

In our Catholic calendar, the Feast of the Three Kings was moved every first Sunday of the year, not usually January 6 as we previously knew.  So it ends on Sunday, January 5, 2020. Here is the true meaning of the twelve days of Christmas. CHRISTmas with Christ in it.

(Got  this from a post of a friend on FB). I posted something similar two years ago. Just a gentle reminder why we are celebrating Christmas. 

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Christmas will always be a blessed and beautiful celebration of Jesus’ birthday. I have always said in my previous posts that no matter how commercialized the season has become  the past years. I will always look forward to it, creating more memories with family and friends.

We started it with a pre-Christmas lunch on December 24  since Nissa’s family did not spend the Christmas Eve with us because they had a family reunion (on her husband’s side)  yesterday.  It was a lovely celebration with Nate doing the entertainment dancing on top of the bed with a  beautiful music on Jovy’s  new sound link.  Got a new headphone from Josef and a lovely Casio wrist watch from Nissa.   I also got a lovely BPI planner from Nissa.  Josef gave Nate a simple cellphone  and he was so proud to say “call me”. There is actually no SIM attached but you can load one.  I know it is not practical to have a kid with cellphone at Nate’s age but it’s one of those one can play with. It is not even a touch screen  but there was a low-end camera  in it.

Christmas Eve was a quiet celebration with an occasional firecracker from some neighbors.  We cooked plenty of food and  there are still leftovers in the ref.  We attended Christmas mass early yesterday morning with Mom.  The usual native cakes, sweets, ice cream, salad and desserts were served at the table.  It was a dinner of pancit bihon, baked marble potatoes  and some leftover ham.  Last night, I found myself watching the group Pentatonix on YouTube listening to their Christmas albums with my new set  of headphone. The rendition cuts deep, I guess they were singing from the heart.  So many greetings and videos from friends all over and I haven’t finished answering them all  yet on FB.

 

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♫♪And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart♪♪♫

Yes, my favorite time of the year is almost here.  Next Sunday is the start of the Advent season, the beginning of another liturgical calendar, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the Nativity of Jesus.  I love the ritual of praying and watching the lighting of the first Advent candle, it signals the official start of the most joyous season of the year.

I am glad there is always YouTube to provide the music, I won’t have to take out all the Christmas CDs  which are usually mixed with other DVDs the kids have accumulated through the years. Listening to Christmas carols all day long, singing  along and belting out those familiar tunes and inspiring words. Truly, it warms the heart. I love the Christmas album of the Günter Kallman Choir, the cool voice of Johnny Mathis, the romantic way our very own  Jose Marie Chan sings his Christmas compositions, Jason Mraz’ version of Winter Wonderland and the Pilipino Christmas songs from way back which speak of how we Filipinos celebrate Christmas. The latter would make you dance, stomp your feet and sing the familiar Tagalog lyrics.  Talk of tinolang manok, lechon, salabat, bibingka, puto bungbong, hot tsokolate and such recipes and delicacies that you can only find here. The joys of meeting friends and relatives, the fun of watching little kids singing their versions of Christmas carols and shouts of “namamasko po” and your shouts of “patawad” because there are no more loose coins in your pocket.

Gifts are wrapped finally but I think I would have to make another trip to the mall for those I haven’t marked on my list yet. We have put up some Christmas decorations but don’t have the lights yet anywhere outside the house. And it is this time of year that I am sure Nate would love to celebrate with us. He is three years old now and can appreciate even small gifts that he receives. I love how his eyes light up and his whole face transforms into a smile while uttering a single word “wow”.

Hmmm….now I’m counting! Did I say there are twenty-nine days to go before Christmas?

 

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Yes, I know a lot of you would probably react and say “it’s too early yet”. I know, I know. Yesterday before my son left for work he asked me to listen to the new downloads on his tab saying that I would surely like it and adding that it’s my favorite album of all time. I was surprised. He downloaded the whole album of Gunter Kallmann’s  Christmas Sing In. Around this time every year, I would bring out the various CDs and play them randomly and one of them is the album Christmas Sing In. As if that was not enough, son said, “listen to this Ma”. We smiled, remembering those days when they were younger and we would listen to the Jackson Five belting out ♫♪Santa Claus Is Coming To Town♪♫.

Did you ever believe in Santa Claus? Did you let your kids believe that he comes on Christmas Eve bearing gifts that they asked and prayed for? I don’t remember my kids ever having asked Santa about what gifts to receive for Christmas although they each had a picture with Santa Claus, a perfect capture of smiling kids on Santa’s knee.  Those were the days when parents and their kids line up at one section of the mall  to wait for their turn to be pictured with Santa. I wonder if they still do that these days. Since I resigned from work more than fifteen years ago, my check list on buying Christmas gifts has dramatically narrowed down to just family and close friends. I do my Christmas shopping early depending of course on available budget and finding gifts for family and friends that they will truly appreciate. It’s not the cost that counts really, but the thoughtful gestures behind the gifts.

I remember our Christmas celebration last year with Nate’s infectious smiles while  embracing a Mickey Mouse toy which was larger than he was.  Back then, Mickey Mouse was his favorite. Now he is into Minions and large Lego blocks. I wonder what will be next when he celebrates his third birthday come November.

I bought a food magazine on home-cooked Pinoy classics. Chanced upon it when I went grocery-shopping. I would love to try those luscious local fruit pies (at least one on their list), recipes using coconut, and locally famous desserts. One can always buy them here (Cainta is famous for kakanin) but the challenge of course lies in learning how to cook them in one’s own kitchen. I would love to try the good old-fashioned Bibingka wrapped in banana leaves, topped with grated coconut, a little amount of sugar and butter and those cheesy Ube-Cassava cakes…heaven.

Oh, I am listening to the remastered Christmas album of Johnny Mathis. I think of Dad when I listen to this, he used to have an LP (a long-playing record) way back then.  It makes me smile and a little thoughtful listening to the catchy and lovely Christmas songs in the album.

I know, it’s that time of year again!

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When music inspires, the soul rejoices and the heart is happy.

Yesterday was one of those days that kept me a little morose. Being alone has its rewards, the interminable silence that keeps your mind wander  but there are times when you feel that you need to do something aside from talking to yourself and your three dogs.  My son called up yesterday and told me that he was really happy to stay in Boracay for a week.  “I know” I said, it is a much-needed break. They will be coming home tomorrow and I am excited to see him again.

Out of boredom (yes, I was really bored) I played Christmas carols on YouTube. Seeing the digitally remastered  Christmas album of Johnny Mathis made me smile. It made me remember my Dad when he was alive. He used to have this LP and it was a family favorite  and we would all look forward to listening to the album in our portable player every time Christmas season comes. It brought back lovely memories  of the past, nostalgic and magical.  I visited Hallmark channel too and checked all the uploaded full movies that you can just click and play. I found A Song From The Heart  which was worth the almost two hours  I was glued to the monitor. It starred Amy Grant, Keith Carradine and D. W. Moffett. Amy Grant is cast as Maryann Lowery, a blind music teacher. New Age pianist Gregory Pavan (D.W. Moffett) became romantically involved with the talented  Maryann and coaxed her to have an eye operation because he knew she had what it takes to be world-renowned concert cellist. Oliver Comstock  (Keith Carradine), is cast as a close neighbor who has always worshipped Maryann  from afar. I had a great time watching and listening to the music. And as if that wasn’t enough, I watched another movie (for the nth time,  I guess).  I read the book  The Promise when I was in college and watched the movie adaptation with my youngest brother during the mid-eighties. That  was back when Danielle Steel was such a very popular romantic novelist and some of her books were made into movies. I was curious if the movie which I loved thirty years back would still hold the same  fascination for me. It did. I  think the latter was the movie where I memorized the name of the characters, aside from another favorite movie Dying Young.  I accidentally found  the book version many years after watching the movie several times too. The movie adaptation was I think better than the book and I loved the music of Kenny G.

The power of music – it makes you smile, it makes you sing too but sometimes it makes you cry. “Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence” so says Robert Fripp. Do you agree? I do.

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