Sunday, November 8


Many people have their top ten favorite Christmas Album's. This one is from

These 10 are classics and the perfect place to start any holiday music collection.

1. Various Artists - 'A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector' (1963)

Courtesy SonyAt the peak of his success on the pop charts with his trademark "wall of sound" production technique, Phil Spector put together this Christmas collection by four of his top recording acts. The Crystals, Ronettes, Darlene Love, and Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans each contributed their versions of mostly secular Christmas songs. The album had the misfortune of being released the same day as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and was a relative failure upon initial release peaking at #13 on the album chart. However, over time it has been recognized as perhaps the top Christmas album and one of the top overall pop-rock albums of all time. Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" is particularly revered.

2. Various Artists - 'A Very Special Christmas' (1987)

Courtesy A&MThis was the first in a series of Christmas albums put together to benefit Special Olympics. The overall series has raised over $55 million for the cause. Artist Keith Haring contributed the cover art to this first collection. The overall project was overseen by producer Jimmy Iovine. The collection features a significant number of the top pop artists of the 1980's. Among the most celebrated recordings here are the Eurythmics "Winter Wonderland," Whitney Houston's "Do You Hear What I Hear?," Sting's "Gabriel's Message," and Run-D.M.C.'s "Christmas in Hollis."

3. Vince Guaraldi Trio - 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' (1965)

Courtesy FantasyLee Mendelson, producer of the A Charlie Brown Christmas TV special heard a recording of "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" by Vince Guaraldi's Trio while riding in a taxicab in San Francisco. Mendelson was put in touch with Guaraldi and he made the proposition that Vince Guaraldi create the score for the upcoming Peanuts special. The results were such a success that Guaraldi ended up composing scores for 16 Peanuts TV specials. Among the legendary songs created are "Linus and Lucy," "Christmas Time Is Here," and "Skating."

4. Josh Groban - 'Noel' (2007)

Courtesy ReprisePop-classical singer Josh Groban had already released three multi-platinum top 10 albums before putting together Noel, his first Christmas collection in 2007. The result was the sleeper hit album of the year. It was produced by David Foster, known for his big pop productions with such stars as Whitney Houston and Celine Dion. Noel hit #1 on the pop album chart in the US seven weeks after its initial release. It became the first Christmas album to ever spend five weeks at #1 on the album chart. By the end of 2007, the album had sold over 3.5 million copies making it the biggest selling album of the year.

5. Mariah Carey - 'Merry Christmas' (1994)

Courtesy SonyMariah Carey had released three multi-platinum albums and was riding high with the success of Music Box that spent eight weeks at #1 on the album chart and ultimately was certified ten times platinum when she decided to record a Christmas collection. Mariah Carey worked with a variety of producers, and, in the album's first run on the charts, it peaked at #3. The album includes the song "All I Want for Christmas Is You" which is considered a contemporary Christmas classic. It is the first holiday song to sell a million digital downloads.

6. Mannheim Steamroller - 'Mannheim Steamroller Christmas' (1984)

Courtesy American GramaphoneProducer and composer Chip Davis first became known in the music industry for helping create the musical personality C.W. McCall for singer Bill Fries. C.W. McCall went all the way to #1 on the pop singles chart with the CB radio themed song "Convoy." Davis put together his own record label, American Gramaphone, to release a combination of classical music and light jazz under the pseudonym Mannheim Steamroller in 1975. The album was Fresh Aire and became one of the prototypes for new age music. In 1984 Mannheim Steamroller released this Christmas album, its first holiday collection, and found its true niche as a recording act. Mannheim Steamroller has now released eight platinum certified Christmas collections.

7. Elvis Presley - 'Elvis' Christmas Album' (1957)

Courtesy RCAElvis Presley was the hottest recording artist in the US having released nine #1 singles and three #1 albums in two years when he put together his first Christmas album. The collection spent four weeks at the top of the album chart and, with sales of nine million copies, it is considered the bestselling Christmas album of all time in the US. Songwriter Irving Berlin stated that Elvis' recording of "White Christmas" was a profane parody of the song, and it was ordered off a number of radio stations. Elvis Presley's version of "Blue Christmas" on this album is considered a holiday classic.

8. Nat King Cole - 'The Christmas Song' (1963)

Courtesy CapitolNat King Cole first recorded "The Christmas Song" in 1946. However, it is his 1961 recording that was later added to a holiday album of the same name that is best known. The song and album became even more popular following Cole's death from lung cancer in 1965.

9. Bing Crosby - 'White Christmas' (1945)

Courtesy MCABing Crosby's recording of the song "White Christmas" is considered the bestselling single of all time having sold over 50 million copies worldwide. This album was first put together in 1945 when it was released as 10 songs on five 78 rpm discs. The album was released as a standard vinyl LP for the first time in 1955. It has remained in print ever since and is considered the longest in-print album in the US except for the original cast recording of the musical Oklahoma! which was first released in 1943. The album first became available on compact disc in 1986.

10. The Carpenters - 'Christmas Portrait' (1978)

Courtesy A&M RecordsThe Carpenters' popularity was definitely beginning to fade by the time they put together this first Christmas collection. They would only have one more top 40 pop hit after release of Christmas Portrait in 1978. This album includes the duo's classic "Merry Christmas, Darling." The album has sold over a million copies and today is one of the best loved Carpenters albums.

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Wednesday, November 4

NOT TO MISS............

It is the time of year that we go looking for gifts for family and friends.  So it is this time of year when shops invite you over for a look at their goodies and boutiques abound, here are some not to miss:

Whisperwood & Co. - Holiday Openhoue Event / November 5-7
10:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
131 N. Main St.
Bountiful, Utah 84010
*Free gift with purchase

All Tucked In - Christmas Open House / November 4-7
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
115 South Main Street
Bountiful, Utah 84010

The Window Box & The General Store - 11th Annual Holiday Open House / November 5-7
Window Box 1066 E. Gentile St.
General Store 50 W. Gentile St.
Catered by CutsieCakes Cupcakery

Christmas Barn - Christmas Boutique - November 5-7
169 E. Mutton Hollow Road
Kaysville, Utah
10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Utah Women Show November 6-7
South Towne Expo Center

Simple Treasures November 11-14
Davis Fairgrounds - Legacy Events Center
151 South 1100 West
Farmington, Utah

Salt Lake Family Christmas Gift Show - November 13-15
South Towne Expo Center
Sandy, Utah

Tom & Lucy's Art Shoppe - November 20-21
Ivory Ridge Country Club
32 East Clubview Lane
Lehi, Utah

Holiday Tip #2  While you are sitting there, get a piece of paper and write down the sizes of your kids.  It has been a few months since you bought school clothes, so figure out what size your kids are.  This will help your Mother, Mother-In-Law (Being an Aunt I know it helps). 

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Monday, November 2


Don't you just LOVE holiday music.  I have started listening to it a lot sooner than I ever have before this year, maybe because it just makes me happy or to get me in the mood to finish my handmade gifts for this year. 

One of my favorite Christmas's was in Decebmer of 2002 when we lived in Florida.My husband and I went to the Mizner Park Ampitheater in Boca and attended Harry Connick Jr.'s Christmas Concert.  Now, it was not the first or second time we had seen him in concert (and certainly not the last).  It was, however the first Christmas concert we had been to with him.  It was magical sitting in the 85 degree weather, the palm trees all lit with white lights and a little sway here and there; then to have him come out and start, "Dashing through the snow..........."  It was a night we won't forget.

So, needless to say my favorite holiday CD is one that I think everyone should put in their basket of music to get out every year, it's Harry Connick Jr. / When My Heart Finds Christmas from 1993. It is an investment you will not regret and will enjoy it year after year.

When My Heart Finds Christmas 1993

What A Night!  What a Christmas Album 2008


Holiday Tip #1:  Go get all of  your wrapping paper, bows, and tissue paper together.  There is some CUTE paper out there and if you don't look at what you have in stock you may be buying more than you need.

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