Blog Caroling: I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

This is a repeat post from last year, when footnoteMaven started the tradition of blog caroling. It is just as relevant this year. To join in, visit her blog.

The footnoteMaven invited us genea-bloggers to go blog caroling. We’ve been posting favorite carols and sometimes a bit of history to go along with them. The Maven also posted a spectacular Choir of GeneaAngels graphic with links to our blog carols here.

Boy, it’s hard picking out a favorite, since I love most Christmas carols, both religious and secular. Also, being a bit late to the game, some of my favorites were already picked. For instance, Craig at GeneaBlogie posted “Silent Night.” I’ve always loved the legend of how the German pastor and church choir director created a song they could play accompanied by a guitar when their church organ was damaged by hungry mice. Additionally, this was the song that briefly stopped World War I…until December 26th, 1914, when indignant officers insisted that the war must go on.

Terry at Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi also blogged about another fave of mine, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” Although I knew the history behind this song, I forgot that it was written by Longfellow, one of my favorite poets. And then my Salvation Army background gets a boost when I think of “Silver Bells,”

inspired by the imagery of Salvation Army bellringers standing outside department stores during the Christmas season. [1]

What to pick? What to pick? At a school sing-along yesterday [17 December 2007], I was reminded of a very favorite Christmas song first introduced by Spokane native Bing Crosby in one of my favorite classic movies, Holiday Inn:

The sun is shining
The grass is green
The orange and palm trees sway.
I’ve never seen such a day
In Beverly Hills LA.
But it’s December the 24th
And I am longing to be up North.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know.
Where the treetops glisten,
And children listen
To hear sleighbells in the snow.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write.
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white. [2]

While Bing was born on the west side of the state, he grew up in Spokane and attended Gonzaga University until the siren call of the entertainment industry drew him to California. In fact, when I was pregnant with our son, we used to live across the street from his sister’s home in what is now the City of Spokane Valley. I often wonder if, as Bing sang this song, he thought of snowy days in Spokane, sliding down the hill at Manito Park or skiing up at Mount Spokane?

[1] Wikipedia contributors, “Silver Bells,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Silver_Bells&oldid=178588830 (accessed December 19, 2007).

[2] Berlin, Irving. “White Christmas.” Lyrics. White Christmas, single. Decca Records, 1942. Lyrics007, http://www.lyrics007.com/Bing%20Crosby%20Lyrics/White%20Christmas%20Lyrics.html (accessed 17 December 2007).

My Genealogical Stocking Stuffer

Source: Robbins, Miriam at The Salvation Army Metlakatla Corps, Metlakatla, Alaska. Photograph. December 1968. Original privately held by Bryan Robbins, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Colville, Washington. 2008.

This photo, shot by my dad, was used for my parents’ 1968 photo Christmas card while they were officers (pastors) in a small corps (Salvation Army church) in a Native American village in Southeast Alaska. Dad recently e-mailed this scan, along with some ancestral photos I was very happy to receive, and I’d like to stuff this into the Christmas stocking of my children, so that they can see that I, too, was once a little child.

Written for the 8th Edition of the “I Smile for the Camera” Carnival.

The Salvation Army in Muskegon, Michigan

Here’s a story from the Muskegon Chronicle that interests me both from a genealogical and personal standpoint. Muskegon is one of my ancestral locations, and as many of you know, my parents served in The Salvation Army in Alaska for a number of years during my childhood. For those of you who are unaware, The Salvation Army is first a church, and then a social service agency. There’s a little history about both The Salvation Army as a church and its history in the community of Muskegon. That early Salvationists were thrown into jail for disturbing the peace during their first visit to Muskegon is not unusual for the early history of this church. I wonder what my LEWIS, WILKINSON, SAYERS, and ROBBINS ancestors thought when they read about this in their local newspaper (probably the Chronicle!) in 1885. None of them were Salvationists. I’d give anything to be able to go back and time and hear their responses to this event!

The Salvation Army in Muskegon, Michigan

Here’s a story from the Muskegon Chronicle that interests me both from a genealogical and personal standpoint. Muskegon is one of my ancestral locations, and as many of you know, my parents served in The Salvation Army in Alaska for a number of years during my childhood. For those of you who are unaware, The Salvation Army is first a church, and then a social service agency. There’s a little history about both The Salvation Army as a church and its history in the community of Muskegon. That early Salvationists were thrown into jail for disturbing the peace during their first visit to Muskegon is not unusual for the early history of this church. I wonder what my LEWIS, WILKINSON, SAYERS, and ROBBINS ancestors thought when they read about this in their local newspaper (probably the Chronicle!) in 1885. None of them were Salvationists. I’d give anything to be able to go back and time and hear their responses to this event!

Advent Memories No. 21: Christmas Music

Christmas Music

What songs did your family listen to during Christmas? Did you ever go caroling? Did you have a favorite song?

There was a while there when our family did not have electricity on our little farm in Alaska. But before, when we lived in town, and after, when we did have electricity on the farm and later when we moved to Washington, we often would listen to a set of records that I believe came from Reader’s Digest. There were a number of boxed sets of various types of music that my parents had purchased, and one of them was all Christmas music. Between listening to those records, frequent church attendance, and involvement in school music programs (choir and band), I was very familiar with the songs of Christmas.

When I moved to Spokane to attend college, I was very involved with The Salvation Army, and learned to play brass instruments (I had played clarinet in school). As a band, we would go caroling in quartets or quintets to the various kettle stands around town, both outside and inside malls and shopping centers. We would play a few numbers before moving on to the next location. This always helped to bring in more donations, and it was just plain fun!

I can’t think of a song that’s an absolute favorite. I love all Christmas songs, and many are dear to my heart (I did blog about “White Christmas” here). I do have to say that as a choir and band member for many years in both school and church groups that I always enjoyed singing or playing “The Hallelujah Chorus,” even though it technically is not a Christmas carol. It is traditionally played at many Christmas concerts, and has a powerful effect on both the audience and the performers.

This post is a part of the “Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories” meme created by Thomas and Jasia. You, too, can write your own Christmas memories, either for your personal journal or blog. Click on their names for the list of topics. To see what others have written, go here.

Advent Memories No. 21: Christmas Music

Christmas Music

What songs did your family listen to during Christmas? Did you ever go caroling? Did you have a favorite song?

There was a while there when our family did not have electricity on our little farm in Alaska. But before, when we lived in town, and after, when we did have electricity on the farm and later when we moved to Washington, we often would listen to a set of records that I believe came from Reader’s Digest. There were a number of boxed sets of various types of music that my parents had purchased, and one of them was all Christmas music. Between listening to those records, frequent church attendance, and involvement in school music programs (choir and band), I was very familiar with the songs of Christmas.

When I moved to Spokane to attend college, I was very involved with The Salvation Army, and learned to play brass instruments (I had played clarinet in school). As a band, we would go caroling in quartets or quintets to the various kettle stands around town, both outside and inside malls and shopping centers. We would play a few numbers before moving on to the next location. This always helped to bring in more donations, and it was just plain fun!

I can’t think of a song that’s an absolute favorite. I love all Christmas songs, and many are dear to my heart (I did blog about “White Christmas” here). I do have to say that as a choir and band member for many years in both school and church groups that I always enjoyed singing or playing “The Hallelujah Chorus,” even though it technically is not a Christmas carol. It is traditionally played at many Christmas concerts, and has a powerful effect on both the audience and the performers.

This post is a part of the “Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories” meme created by Thomas and Jasia. You, too, can write your own Christmas memories, either for your personal journal or blog. Click on their names for the list of topics. To see what others have written, go here.

Blog Caroling: I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

The footnoteMaven invited us genea-bloggers to go blog caroling. We’ve been posting favorite carols and sometimes a bit of history to go along with them. The Maven also posted a spectacular Choir of GeneaAngels graphic with links to our blog carols here.

Boy, it’s hard picking out a favorite, since I love most Christmas carols, both religious and secular. Also, being a bit late to the game, some of my favorites were already picked. For instance, Craig at GeneaBlogie posted “Silent Night.” I’ve always loved the legend of how the German pastor and church choir director created a song they could play accompanied by a guitar when their church organ was damaged by hungry mice. Additionally, this was the song that briefly stopped World War I…until December 26th, 1914, when indignant officers insisted that the war must go on.

Terry at Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi also blogged about another fave of mine, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” Although I knew the history behind this song, I forgot that it was written by Longfellow, one of my favorite poets. And then my Salvation Army background gets a boost when I think of “Silver Bells,”

inspired by the imagery of Salvation Army bellringers standing outside department stores during the Christmas season. [1]

What to pick? What to pick? At a school sing-along yesterday, I was reminded of a very favorite Christmas song first introduced by Spokane native Bing Crosby in one of my favorite classic movies, Holiday Inn:

The sun is shining
The grass is green
The orange and palm trees sway.
I’ve never seen such a day
In Beverly Hills LA.
But it’s December the 24th
And I am longing to be up North.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know.
Where the treetops glisten,
And children listen
To hear sleighbells in the snow.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write.
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white. [2]

While Bing was born on the west side of the state, he grew up in Spokane and attended Gonzaga University until the siren call of the entertainment industry drew him to California. In fact, when I was pregnant with our son, we used to live across the street from his sister’s home in what is now the City of Spokane Valley. I often wonder if, as Bing sang this song, he thought of snowy days in Spokane, sliding down the hill at Manito Park or skiing up at Mount Spokane?

[1] Wikipedia contributors, “Silver Bells,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Silver_Bells&oldid=178588830 (accessed December 19, 2007).

[2] Berlin, Irving. “White Christmas.” Lyrics. White Christmas, single. Decca Records, 1942. Lyrics007, http://www.lyrics007.com/Bing%20Crosby%20Lyrics/White%20Christmas%20Lyrics.html (accessed 17 December 2007).