· O Come of Come Emmanuel – Without fail, when I hear this one, I am at the Deer Spring Bruderhof in Connecticut, which actually no longer exists. I spent one Christmas there many years ago and often throughout December I sang this song in the huge communal dining room with the Bruderhof members or with it with my host family, the Warners. I remember all the wonderful Christmas festivities that I experienced there. One of my favourites was watching an outstanding performance of ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’, by a High School group that came from another Bruderhof community in New York.
· Tomorrow I love you – This is not really a Christmas song, but it has Christmas memories for me. We had a cassette (Remember those?) of this song. I’m not even sure who sang on it. However, a few lines from the song somehow got stuck in my brain. For many years, at one point during Dec. the 23rd I would belt out “Tomorrow, I love you. You’re only a day away.” Today still, my mom sometimes chuckles, “Linda hasn’t sung her song yet.” Like the 24th wouldn’t arrive until I did.
· Der Tag der ist so Freudenreich (a Day that is so rich in joy) Was one of my dad’s favourite Christmas songs. I hear him sing in a strong, deep voice for all the Christmases that we had him with us. Today, I’m blessed to count this as one of the beautiful memories my dad left us. Our first Christmas, after losing him in October 2006 wasn’t easy, especially singing this song. We’ll always miss him, at the same time we rejoice that he's celebrating Christmas in heaven.
· Still, still, still weil’s Kindlein schlafen will (Still, still, still, 'Cause baby wants to sleep.) Except I couldn’t tell my heart to be still, or maybe it was heading towards ‘too still’. I was about 15 or 16 and our choir sang for the Rotary Christmas Festival in Portage – my first time of performing for a big audience of mostly people I didn’t know. Before going on stage we waited in a narrow, stuffy hallway and I thought they’d have to pick me off the floor before our turn came. I somehow survived, but then we had to step over about a hundred cables… well ok not that many, to get to the stage area. Miraculously, I didn’t trip and my gummy- candy knees held out through our two songs, finally we filed through the audience…and I wondered why people choose to do this for a living.
· Silent Night – this memory is more recent. At our annual Christmas concert a few years ago, one little boy did a solo, singing the first verse of this carol. I can still see him standing tall and straight, serious expression, singing with a beautiful clear voice, “Sleep in heavenly please. Sleep in heavenly please.” Needless to say, the audience loved it.
Your turn, do you have a Christmas song that triggers a special memory?