More Christmas Music Memories

Continuing with yesterday’s topic regarding the memories Christmas music has made through my life:

During my twenties and thirties, I was the pianist for our church, and my dear friend, Janet, was (and still is) the organist. Every year, during one of the worship services in the Christmas season, we would play “O, Holy Night” in unison during the collection of the offering.  That’s a special memory that comes to mind now nearly every time I hear that beautiful old hymn.

During that same “era”, a group from our church went Christmas caroling to nearby shut-ins every year. We’d sing a few carols at each home,  and we’d always close with “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”. These days, when I hear that song, I’m often reminded of those wonderful caroling trips and the folks (no longer with us) that we visited.

Before Marshall was born and during his growing-up years, his dad and I owned the local Ben Franklin store. The holidays were always a super-busy time of year, and the song “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” seemed to have special meaning for us: ‘Take a look at the five-and-ten, glistening once again, with candy canes and silver lanes aglow.’ Although the business closed many years ago, I’m still reminded of those busy Christmas seasons whenever I hear that song.

Smithfield's first Ben Franklin store Photo courtesy of my friend, Debbie

Smithfield’s first Ben Franklin store
Photo courtesy of my friend, Debbie

When Marshall was in middle school, his class, for the school’s Christmas program one year,  sang “We Need A Little Christmas”.  Although I’d always thought that was a snappy little tune, I really learned the words to it that year. Each Christmas since then, I’ve been reminded of his class performing that song.  ‘It hasn’t snowed a single flurry, but  Santa, dear, we’re in a hurry!”

Through the years , our lives may change: different jobs, different houses,  we lose family members and friends along the way, but those old Christmas songs are a constant, there every year, to remind us of times past.

Which Christmas carols remind you of past events in your life?

~These Days Of Mine~

19 responses to “More Christmas Music Memories

  1. You must be very good to accompany congregations on the piano! What a gift, Dianna. I wish I could play the piano to accompany carolers. My grandmother played the piano and organ for her church. Years ago when the girls were in grade school I bought a Wurlitzer player piano and added to our QRS roll collection so we could enjoy and sing along with the player piano. It may sound like painting by number but I’m so glad we have the player piano.

  2. Ours is unusual in that it looks like a spinet rather than one of those grand 1890’s uprights.

  3. I have to admit, and I’m sure you know it, you’re the only musically a
    talented family member. I often say you play the piano and I play the radio!! That’s the extentvofy talent!

  4. Wonderful post – I remember shopping at the local “5 and 10” – with 5 kids Mom & Dad had us draw names and we all shopped for each other; I don’t remember the limit but it wasn’t a lot of $$. I recall buying my older sister “Moonlight in Paris” perfume in that beautiful blue cobalt bottle (I think I liked the bottle more than the fragrance 🙂 ).

    I am loving this series, Dianna!


  5. Songs invariably have memories attached to them that we keep for all time……not just Christmas carols – I can think of significant moments in my life and the music that was “around” at the time becomes permanently affixed to the memory. Love all the old Christmas carols and vividly remember going caroling in all our old neighborhoods with Sunday School classes and school groups…………lovely memories of music!


  6. I love this post. O Holy Night is probably my favorite—-we used to sing it at the closing of our high school choir concerts and invite the alumni to come up and sing with us. There are so many memories associated with songs, aren’t there? You have so many great ones listed here —I found myself nodding my head in agreement.

  7. Oh yes, so many to love. My Jennifer loved Joni Mitchell’s “The River.” Not a traditional Christmas song, really, but quite beautiful and mournful…love lost and all that….with a sad piano Jingle Bells riff in the background.

  8. Your post brought back lovely memories for me too. Years ago when we lived in Oregon, I too played piano for our church congregation occasionally and a friend played the organ. We also prepared special Christmas songs for duets. And I usually hum that song, “We Need a Little Christmas” as I’m decorating. I used to play a Christmas LP with that song on the stereo when the kids were little and we’d all sing it as we decorated the tree.

  9. I love Christmas Is a’ Coming by Bing Crosby. It reminds me of a song my Nana used to sing to us kids during Christmastime! Ellie

  10. What wonderful memories you’ve stirred this morning. I so enjoyed playing with you in church. Today it’s more piano – contemporary music is hard to play on the organ. And Christmas caroling – we were cold on the outside but warm on the inside, weren’t we? Such fun!

  11. When I was a youngster, NBC used to show “The Little Drummer Boy” near Christmastime. Now back then I was what people referred to as “tender-hearted”, and I would cry some honest tears. Later, David Bowie and Bing Crosby sang the song and added a layer of meaning in the words of a descant. This morning I heard the Lonestar version on the way to work. And for a moment I was 6 again, those tears running down my face.

  12. Yes wonderful memories Dianna. Music holds so many memories at Christmas. From Midnight Mass to parties and Christmas specials on TV. I so miss the the five and ten/five and dime stores. I can remember as a little girl my Grandma taking me there on the bus to downtown St. Louis and eating the best hot dogs off the grill at the counter!

  13. Whenever I’m talking with somebody about Ben Franklin, I always mention how all the extra activity there during the season was a big part of Christmas for me…
    And I remember that Christmas musical, too…. I bet we can all still sing those lyrics !

  14. “Away in a Manger” when my sister was 4, I was singing that song to her and she started crying! I said “is my singing that bad” and she said “no, baby Jesus did not have a bed”

  15. Beautiful memories. Music always sets my heart aglow this time of year.
    I miss Ben Franklin and 5&dimes… They helped make shopping and crafting for the holidays so much fun.
    I hope you & your family have a joyous holiday.

  16. Great memories! Thanks for telling us,

  17. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    O Holy Night is a special song for me. I sang that in church when my daughter was young and she remembers it to the day. I did not even think she was paying attention. 🙂

  18. One year I wanted to be able to play Santa Claus is Coming to Town for a family gathering. I can remember having a wonderful time practicing it–and singing along as I practiced.

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