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8. Adeste Fideles

During December, I’m posting my Top 10 favorite holiday songs. Each song has a special story or meaning behind it for me. What stories or meanings do you have for your favorite holiday songs?

Here is a holiday song that actually is a Christmas song. I first sang this song in elementary school, and I’ve sung it in every choir I’ve been in through high school.  (Yes, we did sing Christmas songs in public schools back then.) You probably know it by its English version, “O Come All Ye Faithful.” So, why do I call it by its Latin name, “Adeste Fideles”?

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9. Jingle Bells

During December, I’m posting my Top 10 favorite holiday songs. Each song has a special story or meaning behind it for me. What stories or meanings do you have for your favorite holiday songs?

The typical reaction to this holiday song is, “Oh, brother! Not this one again!” (I say “holiday” because “Jingle Bells” was originally written for US Thanksgiving, not Christmas.) There have been countless versions of this song, endless parodies, and that time someone appended “Rock” to the title and came up with a whole different song. So, why is “Jingle Bells” on my list?

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10. Monotone Angel

Reseda High School Vocal Ensemble performance of "Monotone Angel" in December 1976.

During December, I’m posting my Top 10 favorite holiday songs. Each song has a special story or meaning behind it for me. What stories or meanings do you have for your favorite holiday songs?

As a testament to my singing ability, I only had one solo in my first holiday concert at Reseda High School in December 1976. I was the Monotone Angel.

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My Top 10 Holiday Songs

Reseda High School Vocal Ensemble 1977

I was in choirs from elementary school through high school. Some of my favorite songs were the ones we sang at holiday concerts. By “holiday,” I’m not being “War on Christmas-y.” Most of the songs are Christmas ones, but some are not. All of them have some sort of story or meaning for me — including songs that came out after I limited my singing to the shower.

So, for December, I’m doing the “Top 10″ thing and listing my Top 10 favorite holiday songs. My ranking is based on what the song means to me and the story behind it. As I share my stories, you might think about what the song’s meaning is to you.

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The other side of gratitude

Sometimes, finger-pointing is necessary.At U.S. Thanksgiving, I usually write about the importance of gratitude. This year, I’m writing about the importance of the other side of gratitude: guilt.

Guilt has negative connotations, which is understandable because it can be destructive when used improperly or manipulatively. However, the right kind of guilt can be beneficial for us and the people we care about. Just like gratitude, guilt reminds us of our responsibility to others.

To explain, let’s look at why guilt has been so maligned these days.

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