Thursday, December 17, 2009

Favorite Christmas Songs--Part 3

Finally here are my top 5 favorite Christmas songs to listen to on my MP3 player!

Mary's Boy Child by Harry Belafonte
There are other versions of this song, one by Canadian group Boney M that our local soft-rock station plays at Christmas time, and one that I've heard by Little River Band, both in a faster tempo and more upbeat than this one, but Harry's version was the first I ever heard of this song, and still the best. Quiet and really gets you into the spirit of what Christmas is all about.

O Holy Night sung by Josh Groban.
Josh's voice is so rich and mellifluous I could listen to it all day. Lots and lots of others have sung this song, but his is my favorite. (And btw, my very least favorite version is by Aretha Franklin--I don't know who told her it would be a good idea to sing this song. She sounds like she's bleating and yelling. I had to listen to this version several times one day when it was playing on a looping CD in the Christmas aisle at our store and I was in the next aisle pulling outdates. I wished I had earplugs.)

A Wonderful Christmas Time by Paul McCartney
This simple song, while somewhat repetitive in the chorus, has a certain magic sound for me. Paul is taking joy in the simple things of Christmas, and it's like he's telling us all to relax and enjoy the season. I like seeing him and Linda in the video as well.

Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant
This song almost makes me cry every time I hear it. Beautiful, haunting, and really gets you thinking about how Mary must have felt about her situation and the events to come. Nobody does this song better than Amy.

Stille Nacht as performed by Mannheim Steamroller
This is another song that gets to me every time I hear it. Its quiet spirit epitomizes Christmas and the reverence we should feel at the thought of this tiny babe coming down to the earth to save us.

So there you have it. I like lots of other Christmas songs and have over 200 Christmas songs in my playlist on my MP3 player, but these are my favorites.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mississippi Mud Cake

A friend was looking for this recipe, and I couldn't find it at the time, but I found it yesterday while cleaning up my recipe box so I thought I'd post it here so she could have it. This is kind of a cake, kind of brownies. Very gooey and messy and delicious.

Mississippi Mud Cake

1 cups sugar
1 cup margarine
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1 1/2 cups flour
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups nuts (optional)
1 1/2 cups coconut (optional)
(I've never used either nuts or coconut when I've made this)

Mix together all ingredients. Spread into greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Marshmallow Topping:
1 pkg. small marshmallows or 1 jar marshmallow creme

While cake is hot, spread marshmallows or creme on top. If using marshmallows, return cake to oven until marshmallows are melted and lightly browned.

1 lb. (4 cups) powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix together until well blended. Spread over cooled cake.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Favorite Christmas Songs--Part 2

Well it's been over a week, but here is part 2 of my top 15 favorite Christmas songs.

Christmas Eve in Sarajevo (aka Carol of the Bells), by Trans Siberian Orchestra
Though I mostly enjoy my Christmas carols calm and relaxing, I do enjoy an occasional "rock" Christmas song. This one is a classic. Someone got a good video of it at this concert.

Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth duet with Bing Crosby and David Bowie
One of the stranger combos that Christmas ever produced, but the song is very nice.

Winter Wonderland as performed by the Eurythmics
I have always loved this version of this song--my new-wave roots showing through!

Christmas Time is Here from the Charlie Brown Christmas Special
I grew up watching this show every Christmas season and love this song.

The Christmas Waltz by Frank Sinatra
They play an instrumental version of this song on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, when you go to the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party event. So not only is this a nice song about the joys and pleasures of Christmas, but it reminds me of Disney which is always a good thing! I actually like the Harry Connick version better, but I couldn't find it on YouTube.

So there you have it, 1-5 coming soon!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Favorite Christmas Songs--Part 1

I'm really getting into the Christmas spirit, so I thought I'd try to make a small list of my very favorite Christmas songs of all time. I tried to make it a top ten, but couldn't narrow it down, so it's a top 15.

Tonight's offerings:
Sleigh Ride by the Boston Pops.
For all of my high school years, we played this song every single Christmas in band. This version is the most like the one we played, and brings back fond memories of band class and concerts.

On Christmas Eve, by Andrew Gold.
I found this song on a CD called "The Stars Come Out for Christmas" with the likes of Willie Nelson, The Spice Girls, etc. I don't know why I love this one, but I do.

Hey Santa by the Wilson Sisters

This is a catchy song with good harmonizing. I love singing along to it in the car. My mp3 player seems to like it too, it seems to choose it quite often.

Jingle Bell Rock by Hall and Oates

Hall and Oates is one of my all-time favorites. Their Christmas album was recorded in the early 80's at the height of their popularity. I love the video because it's so corny and they're obviously having fun.

Believe by Josh Groban

Josh has such a beautiful voice, and this is a beautiful song. His "O Holy Night" is one of my favorite versions of that song as well.

I'll try to post again tomorrow with the next 5!