As we’ve explored how the five senses can expand our teaching, learning, and spiritual growth this year at OC Online, we thought it fitting to send you off into the Christmas season with a few Christmas carols! Singing in response to Jesus’ birth is a tradition that dates back all the way to Mary’s Magnificat, where Mary ponders her incredible task of carrying God’s son with a song.
Rest assured, then, that while the online office will be closed from December 23-January 5, we’ll still be singing with you in spirit as we remember the greatest day in human history. Check out below some of the specific songs we might be singing and why:
Jeff Ogne, Dean of Students: I am a big fan of Mannheim Steamroller’s “Deck the Halls.” This song reminds me of Christmas past and my dad playing this song really loud across the house. Hearing the song is like an unofficial marker that the Christmas Season has started in our home.
Lauren Travis, Dean of Instruction: My childhood favorites center around the restaurant my parents owned when I was growing up, Braddock's Tavern. Christmas there was an absolutely magical time, with Santa Brunches for kids on the weekends and Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol progressive dinner theater every night of the week in the banquet hall. In the main restaurant, three Madrigal singers, dressed in gorgeous, satin, jewel-toned Renaissance costumes, took requests and serenaded dinner guests. They always knew my favorite was "Little Drummer Boy." Secretly, I was giggling on the inside at the singer who had to do the "ba rum pum pum pum" part in a low octave. I also loved imagining that I was that young drummer boy coming to play for the King. Also, the entire Charlie Brown Christmas album played on repeat in the background. Both of these make me think of not only the sounds of Christmas, but the tastes and smells at those restaurant dinners.
Lita Bledsoe, Director of Operations: I have two favorite songs that we especially enjoy at Christmas. One is “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” because Charles Wesley is actually a distant relative, so growing up, when I heard this song, I always loved that someone in my family was the one who wrote it. The other one is O Come, O Come Emmanuel, because the idea of “God with us” has always been a wonderful comfort for me. So much so, that we chose Emmanuelle as our youngest child’s middle name! Worshiping through music is always a huge part of our lives, but even more so during this joyous time as we celebrate His birth.
Cyndy Locke, Director of College Counseling: My favorite Christmas song is “The Star Carol”. We had a multi-artist Christmas album that got played over and over. It is such a beautiful song. Years later I had the chance to perform the song as a part of a Christmas concert for a dear friend’s recital for her Master's Degree. It was an incredible night of Christmas music adding to my love of that song.
Samantha Farinacci, Chaplain: I’m generally, all things considered, a pretty easy going person. But when it comes to Christmas carols I am really, really, a diva. I have a deep conviction that “O Holy Night” is the most important song ever written, and so I shamelessly use any (moral) acts of persuasion at my disposal to make sure it is played—often. For example, one time I was teaching a single author course on CS Lewis at a community college, and I made them listen to it during class. I explained to them how this is fulfilling their “learning objectives” because I found a band that covered it and the band’s name was inspired by a line in a Lewis poem. So yeah, look up “O Holy Night” and read those lyrics. Best song-based theology ever. Just ask me. And I’ll tell you. A lot.