THE DECEMBER SOLSTICE WILL OCCUR AT SUNSET (5:03 PM) LOCALLY TONIGHT
And in case you’re wondering, the above sunset occurred at Fort Riley, Kansas. Please note that I spent two winters there many years ago. The solstice is also when a lot of people celebrate ancient pagan traditions like burning the yule log, hanging mistletoe over the doorways and decorating the Tannenbaums. The early Christians incorporated these traditions into the celebration of Christmas and they are still around today.
And as you sit around this week listening to all those familiar Christmas songs, remember that the top ten most popular Christmas songs were written by composers or lyricists who were Jewish.
10. “The Christmas Waltz,” (Sammy Cahn and Julie Styne)
9. “Silver Bells,” (Jay Livingston and Ray Evans)
8. “Winter Wonderland,” (Felix Bernard)
7. “Santa Baby,”(Joan Ellen Javits and Philip Springer)
6. “Sleigh Ride,” (Mitchell Parrish)
5. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” (Buck Ram and Walter Kent)
4. “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” (Irving Berlin).
3. “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow,”(Sammy Cahn and Julie Styne)
2. “The Christmas Song – Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” (Mel Tormé and Bob Wells)
1. “White Christmas,” (Irving Berlin) And did you know that Bing Crosby’s recording of this song is the best-selling single record ever.
And yes, Virginia, Rudolph, The Red-nosed Reindeer (Johnny Marks) is also on this list along with The Little Drummer Boy, Sleigh Ride, Jingle Bell Rock, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, There’s No Place Like Home For The Holidays, Do They Know It’s Christmas and Have A Holly Jolly Christmas.
So, we owe a lot of our Christmas traditions to a lot of people who weren’t even Christians. That’s why I share my Christmas love and joy with everyone I know during the holidays! Though I don’t have many pagans on my list of close friends these days.
So Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Happy New Year!
Personal side-note: There is one song on this list that still makes me teary-eyed whenever I hear it today … it is I’ll Be Home For Christmas. And that’s because my Grandmother had five of her six sons serving overseas in the military during WWII, and she would break down crying whenever she heard the song on the radio.