Mrs. Claus Is Bearing a Gift for You

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Time Is Here!

Chicago put out 2 Christmas albums

Christmas day is the celebration of the birth of the Savior. Christmas is also a season. In the Church, Christmas is a liturgical calendar season lasting 14 days following Advent. In the secular world, Christmas time is a season usually coinciding with the liturgical season, though it seems to end on New years Day.

The love and grace from the holy time of year spreads into the secular world. There is no way around it - it is about sharing and love and doing good for others - those you know and those you don't.
Well, this all brings me to the song "Christmas Time Is Here" written by Vince Guarldi. You remember Vince? He's the jazz pianist who wrote and performed that great music for

Saturday, December 21, 2013

What Does Christmas Mean To You? Take The Poll.

What does Christmas mean to YOU?
Ah . . . Christmas! 

Christmas is a BIG holiday around the world. To some, it means material things. To a few, it means spiritual things. To activist atheists, it is a battle cry. To fundamental Muslims, it is a distraction. To others, it is the proverbial "Bah Humbug!"

Let's hone in a little on the concept of the word Christmas. When I say the word "blue", what word do you say immediately? Most people say red. If I say hot you say cold. If I say yes you say no. Well, if I say "Christmas", what do you say? Some may say Easter, others winters, other, still, perhaps, Hanukuk.

Well, if I say "Christmas", what are the first images you think of?

In our sad world, many would say "cars lined up at the mall". Here are some more images:
  • "It's A Wonderful Life film"
  • "Scrooge or Mr. Grinch"
  • "Christmas Trees"
  • "Family meal or visiting relatives"
Others may get these images:
  • "Loneliness"
  • "Loss of a Loved One"
  • "No Money - No Friends - No Love"
  • "Holiday Bonus" or "Day off from work"

The word "Christmas" is a loaded word. It is a single words that evokes thousands of images from memories of the past to plans in the future. With such a volatile word that means so many things to so many people at so many different times in their lives and circumstances, that it's original and true meaning gets lost.

Christmas is the celebratory Mass of the Nativity of Jesus Christ. How many people actually think of the image of the Holy Family looking for a place at an Inn, or the newborn lying in a manger? 

Christmas is more than one day
How many think beyond the baby that was born and actually see that Christmas image of God-become-man, let alone why he did what he did? 

Nevertheless, I am not making a sad commentary on the state of the world and people's thoughts about Christmas. I just wanted people to think a little about the word. Yes, it is buying gifts. Yes it is hectic and stressful time of the year. Yes it evokes plenty of memories, good and bad. Most of all, it is about the birth of Christ, first and foremost and although many may not share that same belief it is nevertheless true.

So for fun, I have attached a poll on this page to the right. Kindly, but honestly, answer the question "What does the word "Christmas" bring to mind?" Don't feel bad about your answer, either. There's always time to put it all in perspective.

So, will you have a "White Christmas" or a "Blue Christmas"? will the Grinch steal your Christmas or will Mr. Scrooge surprise you all? Will you remember that Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ?


To help you remember the true meaning of Christmas, I am giving you 2 FREE downloads:

"This Christmas Tree's For You" and "This Is the Birth" (they can be downloaded for free - see above this blog entry.)

As I mentioned in my two previous posts Alone For Christmas? and This Christmas Tree's For you, these are two songs that are musically diametrically opposed to each other. One song is a jazz-singed R&B song and the other a simple acoustic guitar song. One song is about the birth of Christ and the other is about the symbolic Christmas tree.

The Christmas Tree song was recorded in 1996 (remixed this year), The music to the Birth song was written in 1996 as well, the lyrics this year and the song was newly recorded in November 2013. I really appreciate your comments on these songs and hope you do enjoy them. Download them and insert them into your mix of favorite Christmas songs.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Alone For Christmas?

Will you be alone this Christmas? Not many visitors or feeling left out? 

Well, the Holy Family may have felt the same way over 2000 years ago. Left out, perhaps alone even though they had each other.

But the undercurrent is utter JOY! Surrounded by unseen angels and watched over by God, Mary and Joseph, wait in anticipation of the birth of the Son of God, Savior to mankind. This fact alone should comfort anyone who is alone this Christmas for your angel watches over you and God is with you.

You see, Christmas is not about shopping or decorations or parties or the hustle and bustle. It is not what the world wants you to think it is. It is not about you or me or gift giving or that "special time of the year". It is about the birth of our Lord who came to save you from sin and bring you to eternal happiness.

Take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and thank God for giving you a second chance to holiness and happiness. You are not alone.

About "This Is The Birth"

The music to this song was written 1996 and the current lyrics went through five different renditions. The final words written in November 2013. I originally anticipated the song to be more jazz (with organ and bass and a choir) than its current form. I opted for a simple acoustic number with vocals and some additional electric mood guitar.   The loneliness of the guitar seemed to matched the mood for a "Christmas Alone" type of message.

There are three verses to the song. The first verse concerns the three wise men on their journey - can you relate to a journey you may be on? The second verse concerns an ordinary place and ordinary day, yet here is the Virgin Mary - a miracle and the child who is the King of Kings. The final verse expounds more on the mystery of what happened because Mary said 'yes' and the Creator became a baby to save the world.

This song is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD on the page for a limited time. It was delayed because I had other obligations so you should be able to download it through January 6, 2014 gratis.

For contrast, listen to my "This Christmas Tree's For You", also available as a free download for a limited time through this page or Soundcloud.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Steve & Eydie Christmas Music - That Holiday Feeling

NOTE: It was sad to see the loss of Eydie Gorme. A big pop star of her own, she was the wife of pop star Steve Lawrence. Eydie passed away in August 2013 and if you go here, you can listen to Steve sing about his wife and also see a photo tribute :

Now this Christmas, we won't have Eydie, but we do have their legacy - their music.

Although Steve was not a Christian, his wife was and so back in 1964 they released a Christmas album which features them singing duets and solo. The album is called "That Holiday Feeling" and some years ago (90's?) the CD also included a bonus track (Baby, It's Cold Outside - the best version you will ever hear).

I loved listening to this record since I was a kid. The orchestration was great, Steve sings his heart out and Eydie pours out her more soulful vibes. Here is an album that not only delivered great Christmas season music but presented songs done deeply in love. Listening to the duets, you realize this is about two people in love and having a good time, sharing a life together. Is it no wonder why my wife and I always loved singing along and over-playing these songs. So, not only is this a Christmas album, it's a love song album.

Steve and Eydie were married for 55 years and this Christmas CD captures the bond that kept them together. Not many female singers come close to Eydie's prowess these days, and Steve's voice is unmatched, he in the league of Sinatra, Crosby and Como.

The album is nostalgic, yet rarely played on adult contemporary radio. That's too bad - I've got my CD and we play it every Christmas.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

This Christmas Tree's For You -for FREE!

Don't Have a Blue Christmas -
Have a Beautiful Christmas!
This Christmas Tree’s For You

Free Christmas Gift

you can download (Limited Time only)

I wanted to share a song I recorded back in 1997 with you. This is a special gift I’m giving to anyone free of charge because it’s getting close to Christmas. You can download this song from Soundcloud.         
I will allow anyone to get this through January 6, 2014, gratis.

About the song This Christmas Tree’s For You:

This song was originally recorded back in 1997 in Chicago and was never released anywhere as it sat as a demo on tape. I’ve just remixed it for mp3, cleaned it up and have it ready for your listening experience. How about that?? - A 70's style song written in the 90's and made magically digital in this the 21st Century!

On this particular song, not only do I play some guitar fills, I also play all of the keyboards (organ and synthesizer). Actually, the keys are the lead instrument and not guitar, which is unusual for me. Mark Farner was a big influence in taking a breather from heavy guitar and getting into some funky keys. Think "Foot Stompin' Music" you old timers.

This song is one of those timeless-type of R & B songs that gets you going. It’s a groovy tune with a groovy message – not your traditional mall-song. I also had a longer alternate version sans vocals (and with some handclapping) but this one stands up on its own.

The lyrics are obviously Christ-centered. What good is singing about a Christmas tree unless that tree happens to be the tree that held up Christ? And the star on top – symbolic of the Nativity star but more representative about the “Star of Stars” who is the Light of Light.

Well, I can understand many of our anti-Christian and atheist friends booing this song, but hey, what’s Christmas really about (Jesus Christ? J). The “Christmas” Tree is for them, if they’re willing to accept it.

Next year I hope to have a fully produced video for the song. 

Yeah it’s not sacred music and yeah it’s not some sappy secular “holiday” song but it is a song with a message and a good groove. I left out the standard “jingle bells” everyone else is using in this mix.

This is one of two freebies “Santa” Lattin is giving you this year, not because you’ve been naughty or nice but because I want to get this stuff into your ears and get a message into your heart.

If you want the lyrics, email me.

The next freebie is Christ-centered too, but not as ‘pop-ish’. It is an acoustic guitar song with some special 6 string playing by yours truly and it’s a song you can sing along with as well. It will be released in a day or two.

Here is where you can download This Christmas Tree's For You!
Or just be lazy like me and scroll down to the widget. Looks pretty cool, huh?

Merry Christmas!

This Christmas Tree’s For You ©1997 R. Lattin. All Rights Reserved.


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