There are certain songs and movies I simply must have during Christmas. First, the movies. It just ain’t Christmas unless I see all of these.
In random order:
A Christmas Carol: I rather like the George C. Scott version. Don’t tell my mother.
White Christmas: This one is an absolute must. Every year. And yes, I have the “Sisters” song memorized. But I can also belt out “We’ll follow the old man wherever he wants to go/ Long as he wants to go opposite to the foe…” I wait all year to watch this movie. It just makes me happy and sappy.
The Polar Express: Yeah, this one makes me happy, too. Makes me happy like a little kid, with that kind of wide-eyed wonder and excitement. “Here we only got one rule/Never, ever let it cool!/Keep it cooking in the pot/ Then you got, hot chocolate!” And that bell from Santa’s sleigh, oh, the marketing folks behind that movie were complete idiots for not selling that bell. Just the bell, all by itself, or maybe in a package with the golden ticket. I would have bought it in a heartbeat.
The Christmas Box: Another absolute must for me. I cry every single time I see it. “I understand now, Mary. The first gift of Christmas… it was a Child. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” This is another movie I wait all year for, and I can’t believe it’s not available on DVD. I want to own this movie! (The prequel, Timepiece, is also wonderful.)
Fallen Angel: I like Gary Sinise. He’s a good guy, a good actor, and he supports our troops. That makes him first-rate in my book. And this is great story of redemption, second chances, and the healing power of love.
Christmas Child: Based on Max Lucado’s story, The Christmas Cross. I have the book and the movie. Again, a great story of redemption, second and third chances, and the healing power of love. A must-see.
Now the tunes. The tunes are very important to me. They set the mood, and feed my spirit.
Last year I discovered Selah’s Rose of Bethlehem, and it immediately became one of my most favorite songs. I mean, WOW… so moving, so beautiful, so profound. I absolutely love this song.
I love Audrey Assad’s Winter Snow. Thoughtful, creative, and beautiful.
Michael W. Smith’s album, It’s a Wonderful Christmas, is practically my soundtrack for Christmas. I love this album.
I love the lyrics of “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”, though I don’t always like the way it’s sung. Seems to have different melodies and variations. Some I like, some I don’t. I have a recording of a children’s choir singing it mingled with Dona Nobis Pacem, and it’s beautiful.
I love “O Holy Night” when it’s done well by a great choir and soloist, without any of the vocal gymnastics that is so common among singers today. Just give it to me straight and strong, please. With reverence. It’s a HOLY night.
The Little Drummer Boy is another favorite of mine. Talk about theology in a children’s song… it makes me cry every time.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel is a favorite now. Didn’t used to be when I was a kid. But now I get it — I appreciate the depth of the lyrics and the hope they cry for. Phillips, Craig and Dean does a nice job on their Christmas album, Repeat the Sounding Joy.
I love Amy Grant’s Welcome to Our World. Love, love, love it. Her cover of Agnus Dei is pretty awesome, too.
So what are your Christmas “musts”?