Canandaigua residents share their favorite Christmas songs



Vince Guaraldi’s magical fingers usher in the holiday season as the pianist happily – and jazzy – puts on a festive vibe with “Linus and Lucy” or a little sweeter with “Christmas Time is Here” in the lively classic , “A Brown Charlie Christmas.”

OK, so maybe a cartoon soundtrack isn’t for everyone, as many people believe is traditional, sacred. Songs such as “Silent Night” or “O Holy Night” set a more appropriate tone for a true sense of the season.

Nat King Cole, with “The Christmas Song”, Bing Crosby, with “A White Christmas” Mariah carey, with “All I Want for Christmas is You” and Bruce Springsteen, with his rockin ‘, rollickin’ version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, all won seats at the holiday table, with Elvis Presley (“Blue Christmas ”) Johnny Mathis (“ Sleigh Ride ”) and Brenda Lee (“ Rockin ‘Around the Christmas Tree ”) at the helm.

Well, you’d be really mean if you hadn’t invited Mr. Grinch.

Here are some of the favorite holiday songs shared by members of the Canandaigua community, and the reasons they are so loved year after year.

Cheryl Drake, Canandaigua

I love Christmas and holiday music. I’m probably one of the few people who doesn’t mind hearing these tunes on the radio before Thanksgiving. “Silent Night” is one of my favorite Christmas songs.

I tend to be too busy and exhausted with vacation preparations. “Silent Night” gives me peace and reminds me to stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas, God sent his son to save us. “All is calm, all is luminous… sleep in heavenly peace. ”

Ethan Fogg, Canandaigua Room

"Put some love in your heart" resonates with Ethan Fogg during the holiday season and, for that matter, all year round.

My favorite holiday song is “Put a Little Love in your Heart”. Originally written by Jimmy Holiday (irony is rich), Randy Myers and Jackie DeShannon in the 1960s, it was reintroduced in the 1980s by Annie Lennox and Al Green, and many may remember it. from the movie “Scrooged”.

It’s upbeat and the lyrics ring out all year round, regardless of your religious or spiritual beliefs. “Think about your neighbor, give him a hand, put a little love in your heart …”

Plus, it was introduced in the 80’s. Still my favorite era for music!

Bristol Supervisor Bob Green, pictured at St Mary's in Albany in May 2019 for the annual law enforcement memorial service, is a fan of

Bob Green, Bristol Supervisor

One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Carol of the Bells”. Its simplistic four-note melody speaks volumes and resonates with so many people around vacation time.

Written in 1916 by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovich and titled “Shchedryk”, the song tells the story of a swallow flying around a house to proclaim the bountiful year that the family will have. The title of the song is derived from the Ukrainian word “shchedryj”, which means “abundant”. (Rice University December 2004)

It was not originally written as a Christmas song and only became so in the 1930s, when it was copyrighted with new lyrics. The song has been performed by many bands including Mannheim Steamroller. It has a pervasive influence and is a melody that has the capacity to become memorable.

Steve Barnhoorn's parents helped make Christmas magical for kids, and the Ray Coniff Singers provided the season's soundtrack.

Steve Barnhoorn, Richmond City Councilor

Memories of my favorite vacation song can be traced back to 1969, when I was seven, in our family’s cottage in Honeoye Lake Park. This Christmas Eve, I felt even more festive in new pajamas, an “advance gift from Santa Claus” that Mom gave me on the sly. In the room I shared with my four siblings, our excitement peaked when we heard a thud and my sister exclaimed, “It’s Santa Claus! (Years later, I learned it was daddy throwing a stone on the roof.) Little surprise, we had a hard time falling asleep.

Wisely, my parents had decreed that we couldn’t go downstairs until we heard music on Christmas morning. The wait paid off when we heard “Jolly Old St. Nicholas” from the Ray Conniff Singers and jumped out of bed to be greeted with a mountain of freebies. To this day, the melody reminds me of the magic my parents created for us every Christmas.

When it comes to "Oh holy night" Anne Johnston is a fan of the great Nat King Cole.

Anne Johnston, UR Medicine Thompson Health

My favorite Christmas song is “O Holy Night”, and more specifically Nat King Cole’s version. I wouldn’t describe myself as a deeply religious person but it’s just very powerful and at the same time brings feelings of calm and peace.

Nat King Cole had such a calming and beautiful voice and I definitely prefer his version over all the others. Honorable mentions: I’ve always loved the Bing Crosby / David Bowie duo from “The Little Drummer Boy (Peace on Earth)” and “Christmastime is Here” from the Charlie Brown TV special. I guess all three songs remind me of my childhood and Christmases gone by.

Keith Childs dreamed of a "White Christmas," and for a magical theatrical night, her dream has come true.

Keith Childs, English teacher at Midlakes

From an early age, the movie “White Christmas” was a personal favorite. It wouldn’t be Christmas without hearing Bing Crosby sing the title track. It wasn’t until 2006 that the movie turned into a musical, but when it was, I couldn’t wait to run the Midlakes High School production.

During the finale, as “White Christmas” was sung by the entire cast and the onstage barn doors opened, revealing the falling snow, finally creating the long-awaited White Christmas, I reveled in with all the audience of the sentimentality of this old game tale and melody.

No "Rudolph the red nosed reindeer" for this reindeer.

Reindeer, Shortsville

You would think “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” is the obvious choice. This is not the case, even if it has its moments. “Dominick the donkey” – the Italian Christmas donkey – because, as the lyrics say, “The children sing and clap their hands and Dominick starts dancing. They speak Italian to him and he even understands.” Poetry, in a way.

But, even the reindeer want something from Santa for Christmas (not carrots yet): “I want a hippo for Christmas.” Who doesn’t?


Did you have to ask? All!

"Santa is coming to town" in style, at the recent Illuminate Parade in downtown Canandaigua.

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