Top 10 Children’s Christmas Songs From Boomer’s Childhoods

These 10 Christmas songs were hits when the baby boomers were kids or young adults, and are now classics.  These quality songs are still being played on the radio today, and the reruns of the television specials that many of them are a part of, are being enjoyed all over again by the boomer’s kids and grandkids. Read the stories behind the songs.

The first 4 songs are from these four classic animated Christmas television specials that still air every year:

1. Burl Ives – Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer –

The song was written by Johnny Marks, and was based on a poem written by his brother in law Robert L. May in 1939. It was recorded by Gene Autry in 1949 and was #1 on Billboard pop singles chart at Christmas that year.

2.  Vince Guaraldi Trio – Christmastime is Here– A Charlie Brown Christmas  TV special 1965

Peanut’s creator Charles Schultz asked pianist Vince Guaraldi and his trio to put together the soundtrack for his Charlie Brown Christmas special, and he did an extraordinary job in capturing the funny and whimsical story with music that we know and love. Christmastime is Here is one of the most memorable songs on one of the most popular Christmas albums of all time.

3.  Thurl Ravenscroft –   You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, TV  special 1966

The lyrics were written by Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel.  Albert Hague arranged the music and Suess was happy that Hague could slide a full octave on the word “Grinch”.  The Grinch’s character was based on Suess’s grouchy feelings during the Christmas season.  Anyone who has tried to park at the mall on Christmas Eve, or lined up at numerous checkouts can relate; but like us, the Grinch’s heart expands by Christmas time and he is transformed.

“The Grinch that stole Christmas” on vhs, was on constant rewind in the 1990’s at our house.  My three sons watched it at Christmas, in the spring, in the summer, and in the fall.  They loved Dr. Suess’s classic Christmas special so much, they wore out the tape from rewinding it so many times, until a message appeared at the beginning of the tape that said “tracking” for the first five minutes.

The original 1966 version of the animated Christmas special was expertly narrated by Boris Karloff.  My son’s favorite part of the show was when the song:  “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” was sung.  I assumed Boris Karloff was the singer of the famous song, until I learned that Boris Karloff couldn’t sing. Instead, actor Thurl Ravenscroft, ( who did the voice of Tony The Tiger for Frosted Flakes), sang the song, but his name was left out of the credits in error on the original film. Isn’t that grrrrrreeeat trivia?

4.  Jimmy Durante – Frosty The Snowman,  Frosty The Snowman TV special 1969

This song was written by Walter Jack Rollins and Steve Nelson and was recorded by Gene Autry and the Country Boys in 1950, a year after the successful Rudolph, and although it never mentions Christmas,  it remains one of the most popular Christmas songs ever. Jimmy Durante is unforgettable as narrator and singer.

5. Ross  Bagdasarian – Alvin and The Chipmunks Christmas Time Is Here (Christmas Don’t Be Late) 1958

– Bagdasarian sang the song and released it in 1958. To make the voices sound like chipmunks he sped up the playback.  It topped the Billboard charts for 4 weeks    and won 3 Grammy awards.  Bagdasarian died of a heart attack in 1972, and in 1981 his son, Ross Bagdasarian Jr. released A Chipmunk Christmas, the animated Christmas tv special.

6. Burl Ives – Holly Jolly Christmas, Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer TV special 1964.

Burl Ives released the Johnny Mark’s song as a single the following Christmas along with “Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer” and “Silver and Gold” and had great success with the singles. This song remains the favorite Christmas song of many people to this day.


7. Gayla Peevey – I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas – 1953

This song was released at Christmas time in 1953 when Gayla was 10 years old.  She performed the song on The Ed Sullivan show before it was released in October of that year.  The song reached #24 on the charts. The Oklahoma City Zoo did a newspaper promotion to raise money from the public to buy Gayla a hippo.  She received Matilda the hippo which she donated to the Oklahoma zoo, and Matilda lived there for over 40 years and had many babies that were given to other zoos across the United States.

8. Spike Jones & The City Slickers – George Rock (lead vocal) – All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth, 1947.

The song was written in 1944 by Donald Yetter Gardner who was a public school music teacher in New York.  While teaching music to his second grade class, Donald Yetter Gardner asked his students what they wanted for Christmas, and saw that most of them had one or two front teeth missing and that they  talked with a lisp.  He wrote the song in 30 minutes, and it was recorded it in 1947.  It was a hit on the pop charts in 1948 and in 1949.

9. Rolf Harris – Six White Boomers – 1965

Australian Christmas song, written when the temperature was 100 degrees fahrenheit in Australia. Boomers are special white Kangaroos used in Australia by Santa instead of reindeer.
Their names are: Jackaroo, Bluey, Curly, Two-Up, Desert-Head, and Snow.

10. Royal Guardsmen – Snoopy’s Christmas – 1967

Fictitious song, but based on a true story that occurred during World War I in 1914.  German soldiers (not the officers)  initiated a “Christmas truce”  with the British soldiers between Christmas and New Years.  The truce varied in length depending on location, but the soldiers exchanged small gifts of beer and tobacco across the lines.

Winter Needs Christmas

Winter needs Christmas

Christmas brightens winter

Many people are not religious, but they still love Christmas.

Christmas has become more secular, and more spiritual.

In those parts of the world where winter is cold, Christmas warms our bodies and souls from the inside out.

Christmas is a time of expansion – we eat too much, spend too much, drink too much, but our hearts expand in the process.  When we extend ourselves for others, we feel better, and associate Christmas with abundance and love.

A Happy Celebration

A Happy Celebration

The neighbours’ Christmas lights stay on all day and night, leaving an added glow, brightening the outside, when the days are short and the temperatures are cold.  When the letter carrier delivers the mail, it`s only a Christmas card, yay no bills!

My sister hosted a family Christmas gathering at her house, a wonderful opportunity for family bonding. No need to fly to a sunny location for Christmas; almost everyone wants to be home for Christmas, spending time with loved ones.

At Christmas, we give what we can.  It’s a time of goodwill and peace. We call a truce to arguments and wars, we see people we only see at Christmas, reminisce about Christmases past, and get updates on their lives today.

Christmas trees and decorations transform the inside of the house with colored lights twinkling like stars, with an angel on top.  We relax by the fire with hot cocoa, grateful for all the riches around us.

Christmas breeds joy in our hearts, of giving and receiving, rewarding service,  holidaying from work and stress, making wish lists, filling stockings with names on them, shopping in bustling toy stores, going to parties, making gingerbread houses, and smelling pine cones.

goodwill to all

goodwill to all

People I meet are wishing me a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, and to me it means have a happy celebration, good fortune, good food, and love.  I am not offended if they wish me a Happy Hanukkah, or Happy Kwanzaa, although I am not Jewish or African-Canadian, because I know they are wishing me the best celebration they can imagine.  Christmas is a family time that warms the heart and shortens winter.


photo credit: <a href=””>Darwin Bell / photo credit: <a href=””>CameliaTWU

photo credit: <a href=””>** RCB **

What is Your Favorite Holiday Decoration?

My Favorite Holiday Decoration

My Favorite Holiday Decoration

Sometimes our favorite holiday decorations are not the ones that cost the most money, or fit into a designer color scheme.  They are often the ones that catch us by surprise, and melt our hearts, because they were made with love by the hands of a child, who is so excited to give them to us, that their love lingers on years after we have received the gift.

My favorite holiday decoration is a wreath my son made me in his grade 7 class out of green garbage bags!  It is pictured here on my front door where it has been proudly displayed each Christmas!  Money couldn’t buy such a precious gift.

Here’s how he made it:

He bent a metal coat hanger into a circle with his hands and left the hook on top for hanging.

Then he cut the seams off a green garbage bag and cut the bag into strips 4 inches long and 1 inch wide.

Next, he tied the first garbage bag strip to the wire frame with a double knot and pushed it to the bottom of the hook, with the ends of the plastic being the same length .

Then he  continued tying strips of trash bag to the frame until it was completely covered, pushing the strips tightly against one another as he worked.

Next, he fluffed the garbage bag strips once the wreath was covered, making it appear full. With a glue gun, he glued small ornaments to the wreath and hung it on the door with the hook!

Please share your favorite holiday decoration with us, and any tips on how to make it, by hitting the reply or comment button on the blog. Thanks.

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Review of Week 48 – Optimizing Yourself – Getting Ready for Christmas

Tree Lit Up

For this week’s Optimizing Yourself exercise, I followed my plan to get ready for Christmas early, and got a lot accomplished. Starting early gave me time to sort through the decorations in the boxes in the attic. Over the years I have collected too many decorations, so I was able to give the ones I no longer needed to my son’s girlfriend to put on her Christmas tree, and I gave the rest to my husband to put on his tree at work. This freed up some storage space in the attic.

Garland of Christmas Bulbs

Making a garland of Christmas Bulbs

When my youngest son saw all the decorations boxes in the living room, he set up our artificial tree and put the lights and decorations on it for me. I bought the tree for $50 at The Real Canadian Superstore 20 years ago and have set it up every year since. It is a little sparse, but with 200 lights and 100 ornaments on it, it looks full. I bought some wire from the dollar store and strung some bulbs on the wire, making a garland that goes around the tree. This saves time when decorating, and it also prevents the ornaments from falling off the tree when my dog Rocko brushes up against it.


Favorite Practical Christmas Gifts

practical Christmas gifts

Practical Christmas gifts are useful

This year I am simplifying my Christmas gift shopping list and buying PRACTICAL gifts. These are the tools that the people on my list will use every day to help them feel or look better, be safe, comfortable, happier, healthier, inspired, warmer, cleaner, well groomed, organized, dryer, relaxed, entertained, and developed. This is an all-ages list of Christmas gifts that are helpful, safe, fun and healthy.

On-line surveys show that when people were asked what some of the favorite gifts they received were, they were practical items. They said at first they thought they were frankly, a little dull. When they first opened them, they thought they were a bit mundane, but, years later, they were still using the gift, and remembering the thoughtfulness of the giver.

Some gifts that Topped the list of favorite Practical Christmas Gifts were: vacuum cleaners, mini vacuum cleaners, frying pans, knife sets, cordless drills and Cuisinart machines. I can see why Canadian Tire is such a zoo before the holidays.

practical Christmas gifts

Practical Christmas gifts get used for years

favorite practical Christmas gifts

My Dog Rocko received his favorite sweater for a Christmas gift

You can always sprinkle whimsical gifts in between the practical, such as a pair of eyelashes for your daughter’s car headlights, but do consider going practical. All these gifts can be purchased in a one stop, big box or department store, and you won’t be on a goose chase until Christmas Eve, sitting in traffic, waiting in multiple lines, or battling for a parking spot.
You can even stock up on some of these items, and place them in a gift closet so they are handy if you want to give a gift to the newspaper carrier, the letter carrier or school playground supervisor.

Favorite Practical Household or Family Gifts:

Clip-on Flashlight
Spice rack
Honey, or assorted jam basket
Tea basket – herbal teas, mugs, honey, spoons
Water filtration pitcher or water purifier
Air purifier
Grocery store gift card
Fancy Towels
Smoke detectors with batteries
Floor Fan
Dish cloths/ tea towels/ oven mitts

Favorite Practical Personal Gifts:

Movie passes
Money Clip (With money)
Bath robe
Re-usable Water bottle
Books- inspirational books (such as from Hay House Publishing)
Roadside Emergency Kit
New pillows
First Aid Kit
Electric blanket
Hair dryer
Spa gift certificate
Comb and brush set
Manicure set
Classic Style Sunglasses
Steel comb – never needs replacing

While it may take a while for these timeless practical gifts to become favorite gifts, these are the gifts that keep on giving, and won’t end up being sold in your friend’s next garage sale.

photo credits: Morguefile & Ann Hoy

Week 48 – Optimizing Yourself – Get Ready For Christmas – Nov 18 – Nov 24, 2013

I love Christmas, but I sometimes find all the preparations a little overwhelming. I can understand how people dread the holidays if they’re not ready. I feel that this week is the perfect time to prepare, not too early, not too late. The lady that lives behind me put up her Christmas tree two weeks ago!

dinners and parties at Christmas

Getting ready for dinners and parties at Christmas

So, With a little over a month to go before Christmas, for this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I am going to get ready for it early, so I reduce the stress that comes with leaving it to the last minute.

Get Ready for Christmas

Get Ready for Christmas

Here’s my plan:

– Get the decorations out of the attic, sort through them and decide what to use this year
– Put up Christmas lights
– Decide on a holiday budget for gifts and food
– Make a gift list, and buy what I can now
– Write out Christmas cards so they’re ready to send in early December
– Clean out the fridge and freezer to prepare for storing all the extra food over the holidays
– Set up a gift wrapping and card writing center in the corner of the kitchen by the window
– Go through my closet and get my clothes ready for attending parties and gatherings
– Stock up on household staples such as dishwash detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, batteries, bread, napkins and beverages.

outdoor Christmas decorations

Getting Outdoor Christmas Decorations ready

By getting organized now, I will feel better when the crunch hits in December, and can avoid waiting in some long line-ups at stores, or searching for a parking spot. I will let you know how it goes next week.

google images:

Christmas Outdoor Containers

An entrance door flanked by themed Christmas containers, announces the season to all, and welcomes holiday visitors to your home. Arranged with evergreen boughs and seasonal accents, festive planters blend the spirit of the garden with the spirit of the holiday season.

A Woodward’s Christmas Story – By: Patricia Hoy

Nutcracker bearing gifts

Nutcracker bearing gifts


Patricia Hoy submitted the following Christmas blog that conjures up wonderful memories for me of the now defunct Woodward’s department store on Hastings Street in Vancouver.  It was like a Christmas Disneyland for adults and kids alike,  an annual Christmas shopping event for Vancouverites in the pre mega-mall era.  From  huge street level windows showcasing  animated motion figurines enacting winter holiday scenes, to the store’s fifth floor Toyland: a floor of toys with a pathway to a simulated north pole where animated elves were making toys for kids in Santa’s workshop, with reindeer on standby for delivery.  The experience was etched in the local children’s psyche.  A much anticipated visit with Santa was the reason for the line at the workshop. In my childhood imagination I believed that my gift would be made by the magic workshop elves that evening after store closing.


Like Patricia, my fond memories of Woodward’s stretch back in time to when I was 8 years old, when my dad and I stopped at the Woodward’s lunch counter for some refreshments and to rest our Christmas shopping weary feet.  We split the reuben sandwich on the menu; I couldn’t eat it all myself; with 3 inches of shaved corned beef piled between the rye bread. “The best reuben in town”, my dad declared.  Read Patricia’s story about Woodward’s special delivery of a Christmas gift to her home…..


Patricia’s Christmas Story: 

In my family it was Santa Claus who brought the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. The kids didn’t see it until Christmas morning. Not only did my parents set out the gifts and fill the stockings on Christmas Eve, but they also put up and decorated the tree. These were the years when dad often worked all day Christmas Eve, perhaps getting off work early, maybe 3 p.m. Mom would be busy dealing with the preparations for Christmas dinner and four excited kids. There were some very late nights for my parents.


So, it was a thrill when I was 9 or 10 and dad told me I was old enough to stay up and help put up the tree. The other kids would have to go to bed to await Santa’s arrival. As I was putting ornaments on the tree, there was a knock at the door. I remember dad questioning who would be at the house at that late hour on Christmas Eve. I looked out the window to see the blue Woodward’s truck and the delivery man at the door. When dad expressed how surprised he was to see him working so late on Christmas Eve, the delivery man replied that he didn’t want anyone to be without their packages for Christmas morning. I never did know which present it was that had been delivered, but I do know how impressed I was with that Woodward’s delivery truck driver!