in a Manger
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Some of your favorite Christian artists share what they like best about the holidays in 2000.
From the Group Say-So
Christmas serves as a time when people reflect on the birth of Christ.
Perhaps one of the most significant things about this event we call the
Incarnation is that Christmas means we are no longer alone in the universe.
God has invaded the space-time continuum He created to rescue the souls of
His people. All we need do is recognize our need of His gracious gift and bow
before Him as our Lord.
Aside from the festivities, family gatherings and the traditional spirit of
giving that Christmas brings, I love the opportunity God took to reveal his
character to us in this season. I will never understand why Christ willingly
laid aside his heavenly crown and stepped into the skin of humanity. Giving
up heaven to rescue the unworthy refugees of grace is nothing other than the
act of a loving Savior. We celebrate the fact that God sees us as redeemable.
Will Pavone (lead vocals/keys)
Growing up on Long Island was always extra special at Christmas time. There's something about the winter cold and the
powerful ocean still moving through its tides. I remember one Christmas Eve where my father took as all to the beach. It
was cold and we were all bundled up as we walked out into the sand. Looking up at the stars and feeling the wind blowing
in my face, I felt the presence of God in such a powerful way. Those bright stars, the crashing waves and the love of my
heavenly Father made that one of my most treasured Christmas memories.
Aaron Paganini (rhythm guitar)
After opening all of our presents one year, my dad disappeared upstairs to retrieve my final life changing gift...a Taylor
guitar. Here I am six years later and my life dedicated to worship, the majority of the time using that very guitar. The Lord
has altered my life completely using music. That gift from my father has been my favorite gift over the years.
Paul Barber (bass)
One year my brother and I found our presents a few weeks before Christmas. We were so psyched because we knew that
we were both getting radio controlled Porsche's. But the day we opened our gifts, not only did we have to wait for the
rechargeable batteries to charge, when we took them outside to play we were bummed to realize that the two car's radio
signals crossed. So we had to play them separately from each other, which in turn made us never play with the cars.
Dan Cuomo (drums)
My favorite Christmas tradition is every year the day after Thanksgiving my family travels out East on Long Island to cut
down a Christmas tree. We go out into a field and cut down a 10 or 12 ft. tree and drag it out and strap it to the roof of our
car and drive it home. We've been doing this for the past 8 years.
Well, one of my kids' favorite Christmas things is to set up our Christmas Village on our dining room table. Over the years, I've painted over 25 pieces, little houses that light up. And added one each year. We've got an ice skating pond, tall pine trees, and little people. It looks like a winter wonder land in the middle of the living room. My two boys, Cody and Trevor, love driving their matchbox cars all over the village and they especially love landing their airplanes and helicopters on top of these fragile porcelain pieces and of course bombing the peaceful city below.....they love to be GI Joe a little too much. It's truly a sight!
Michael O'Brien, lead singer of NewSong
One of my favorite things about the Christmas holidays is actually Christmas
Eve. After the kids leave cookies and milk for Santa and throw out crackers in the
front yard for the reindeer, we put them to sleep. Then, my wife and I have a
tradition of opening 1 gift from each other. Most of the time, we have no
idea what we are getting and its a very special time. With 4 kids, quiet takes on a new definition.
"A few years ago I shared with many of you about a breakfast gathering at our
home that started because Mitzy's mother had this habit of showing up at our
home much too early on Christmas morning to wake our children so that they
could open their gifts. Mainly due to guilt for also waking their parents,
she would stick around and prepare breakfast for all of us. It was the least
that she could do. That breakfast has grown over the years to quite a number
of family and friends. My parents are gone now and our children are now
adults (but they still count on a present or two under the tree.) And Mitzy's
mom? Well, although she doesn't get around as easily as she used to and is
not always up to fixing the meal, we're just glad she's still showing up."
Christmas. The smell of pine trees, the sheer excitement on a childs face,
family gatherings, visiting friends, the wonderful aroma from the kitchen
and most importantly... remembering & celebrating the incredible gift that
was given us that day. Christ. Our Lord, Saviour, Friend.
Merry Christmas everyone.
By God's Grace...Always
When I think of Christmas, two things immediately come to mind. The first
is, of course, the meaning of the holiday and the external impact of
Christ's birth on the world - the ultimate reason for celebration. I also
think of some of the most beautiful music ever created - the songs for the
Christmas season. I have a deep appreciation for the standards made famous
by those 20th century voices and the big band jazz sound that so often
provided the foundation for their arrangements.
My favorite thing about Christmas is the music. I love hearing Christmas
songs everywhere I go - department stores, elevators, concert halls,
churches. It doesn't matter where, it just seems like the whole world is
tuning up, trying to come into harmony. Even unbelievers find themselves
humming "Silent Night" or "Joy to the World". For a season the music of the
Messiah becomes everyone's song.
Paul Alan - (formerly with Nouveaux) AUDIO X RECORDS
Seeing my family. I'm a momma's boy.
"My favorite thing about Christmas is that one moment on Christmas eve when
I'm sitting in the living room with my family, sipping hot apple cider or
chocolate, we're listening to old Christmas records and getting ready to
our gifts. There's just something really special about that moment."
Sammy Ward (40records)
"I absolutely love hangin' out with my family and celebrating God's gift
of Christ to us... not to mention Mamma's good ole home cookin'!"
"I love getting together with all my family, sharing old memories to my
nieces and nephews about their parents, my brothers and sister; and I love
remembering my first and favorite doll, Suzy Smart who was an A student and
Oak Ridge Boys
- Best Christmas/memory is when his wife dressed their new baby (daughter Jamie approx. 12 days old at the time) in Christmas clothing, put her in a basket and put her under the tree.
- Memory of his Father going downstairs the night before
Christmas and setting up a platform with a train track, then putting the
Christmas tree right in the middle. Train would circle under the tree.
Fabulous Lionel train set. Had an engine with smoke, coal car, Baby Ruth
candy box car and a caboose. That's how he remembers Christmas.
- College student at Trenton State College. Music major,
studying voice. Part of what they did was to go caroling around the
college. Happy memory. Great fun.
My favorite part of Christmas is definitely the unexplicable feeling that
is in the air, the feeling of more love than any other time of the year. To me, it isn't a coincidence that the love I'm talking about occurs around the
same time that we celebrate our Savior's birth. Being with family and
friends, giving to those people like we never give any other time, loving
like we don't usually love, that's my favorite part of Christmas.
Sharnessa Shelton of V*Enna:
"Every year on Christmas Eve, for as long as I can remember, us three kids
have slept by the Christmas tree! (My parents have many times as well!)
When I was younger, for many years in a row, my brother and I would get to
open a gift on Christmas Eve - we could always tell what it was because it
was big cushy round thing - a fun cartoon sleeping bag (remember the Care
Bears and Strawberry Shortcake?!) to sleep by the tree in! Of course we
don't get those anymore - we're a little too big for them! Although at
times I'd love to have one again! But sleeping by the tree is something we
still do and started soooooo long ago, just to make it all even more
exciting! It's so magical falling asleep by a tree glowing with little
colored lights and decked out with memory-laden ornaments, and the excitement in the air of what the next day will hold!! Can't wait for it this year!!!
Carl of INSIDE THE OUTSIDE
Christmas is my favorite time of year. There are so many things that I
love about this holiday that it's very hard to pick one favorite thing,
so here are a few. I love going to Christmas productions (i.e. The
Christmas Carol etc. ). I love buying gifts for other people. I love egg
nog (non alcoholic). I love Christmas cookies. I love putting up
Christmas decorations. I could keep going, but I don't want to go
overboard. The whole season just rocks.
My favorite thing about Christmas is:
The coal I get in my stocking each year will become diamonds in 5.2 million years!
Troy Sneed, (Georgia Mass Choir, Savoy Records)
Troy Sneed's favorite thing about Christmas is
spending time with his kids and family. With all of the hustle and bustle
and demand of being a recording artist, Troy sometimes is not at home for the
holidays. He likes seeing the anticipation on his children's faces as they
wonder about what they are getting for Christmas. Troy and Emily Sneed are
the proud parents of four children-- 2 boys and 2 girls-- Troy Jr, Evany, Trey and Tyler
Dex Alexander of All Together Separate
Well, Christmas is as important to ATS as it is with
everyone I'm sure. Our most memorable experience as a
band is, without a doubt, the Evans Family Christmas.
When we were starting off, there was a friend of ours
who wanted us to play for her family's Christmas get
together. We rocked for all eight of them, including
Grandma and Uncle Evans. It was raucous!!! We knocked
over a glass of red punch on their white carpet and
everything!Jingle Bell Rock!!!
Bonafide (from GRITS)
I will never forget the Christmas I got my first skateboard. It was a
little orange skinny plastic thing shaped like a fish. I was about 5
years old and my our family lived in Detroit, MI.
A favorite Christmas memory for me was actually my first Christmas away
from family. My first winter in Nashville contained something I've never
experienced in my life...........SNOW! Lafayette, Louisiana (my home town)
doesn't get much snow so it was a prayer answered from childhood. Also,
this was the first Christmas that I really experienced the essence of the
holiday. No presents, no tree, no family, yet at an awesome place in my
life alone with God. It was probably one of the best Christmas experiences of my
INDIES AND NEW ARTISTS CONTINUE THE THOUGHT
Dave from Soulsoak
I wanted to pass on to you my favorite thing about Christmas.
My daughter is just now Four years old and really
starting to grasp everything. My new favorite thing
about Christmas is the look of wonder and amazement in
her eyes when we put up our Christmas tree. It's great
knowing that we well all have that kind of look when
we see Jesus face to face.
Always and Forever in Jesus
Sammy Joe Voiles
I have many favorite things about Christmas.......as I'm sure we all do.......but if I had to pick one thing.......it would have to be that for one day
a year.......even the meanest of people seem nice!