TOP 10 POP CHRISTMAS ALBUMS OF ALL TIME

The best in pop Christmas albums. Top pop stars frequently record holiday songs or complete albums. 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 Sony

At 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&M


This 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 Fantasy

Lee 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 Reprise

Pop-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 Sony

Mariah 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 Gramaphone

Producer 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 RCA

Elvis 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 Capitol

Nat 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 MCA

Bing 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 Records

The 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.

By Bill Lamb, About.com Guide

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CHRISTMAS REINDEER: WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?


History of Christmas Reindeer is associated with Santa Claus riding on it from the far off north to present gifts to children on the Christmas day. Santa has eight reindeers that magically pull his sleigh through the sky. They are named Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder (thunder in Dutch) and Blitzen (lightning in German).

Reindeers were ancient domestic animals that came into being several thousands years ago. Rock paintings as well as carpentries were made from parts of this animal. Reindeer is the beloved symbol of Christmas.

History of Christmas Reindeer carries with it numerous legendary interpretations. The mythical stories of the Norse narrate the tale of Thor, the god of Thunder who flew through the stormy sky in chariots drawn by magical goats termed Gnasher and Cracker. Goat was also a popular Christmas symbol in Sweden during the 18th c. It was the bearer of Santa Claus. In Finland the traditional gift bringer during Christmas was Joulupukki or the Yule buck.

The names of the reindeers appeared from a Christmas rhyme ‘Twas the night before Christmas written by Major Henry Livingstone Junior in 1807. It was entitled as Account of a visit from St. Nicholas. The renowned educationist Clement Clark Moore made many alterations to it.

Robert L May wrote the story of Rudolf the red- nosed Reindeer May in 1939 in a booklet for the Montgomery Ward department stores. The Rudolph story reached its heights later when May's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, developed the lyrics and melody for the song. The song was recorded by Gene Autry in 1949, and sold two million copies in the first year, going on to become one of the best-selling songs of all time.


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Be one of the first to download this exciting jingle by simply following our Facebook page and get the latest updates and what's happening in all SM Supermalls - Nationwide!!!

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Follow the SM Supermalls Christmas Facebook page and get the latest updates from all SM Supermalls nationwide!!!

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THE ORIGINS OF SAINT NICOLAS, SANTA CLAUS, PRESENTS, AND TREES

Saint Nicholas Day (December 6) was the traditional day for giving gifts to children. It is still the day on which children receive gifts from St. Nicholas in the Netherlands. Epiphany (January 6) is, in the western Church, the commemoration of day on which the three kings presented the baby Jesus with gifts.

Saint Nicholas was the bishop of Myra in Lycia, which is in modern Turkey, sometime before AD 350. Nothing is known of his life except for the legends that have built up around him, but he was associated with kindness to children. He was a widely admired saint throughout the eastern and western churches. The Dutch custom of giving presents to children on St. Nicholas Day was brought to America by early Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam, which was renamed New York when the British took over the colony. Santa Claus is the American pronunciation of Sinter Klaas, which was colloquial Dutch for Saint Nicholas.

In the US, gifts are now exchanged on Christmas Day in a sort of compromise of Dutch, German, and British gift-giving customs. The Christmas tree is a Christianized pagan custom that originated in Germany. German settlers introduced it in America. It became popular during the nineteenth century, and then later spread to Britain and Japan from the US.


Source: Copyright ©1995-2010 by the Rev. Kenneth W. Collins and his licensors. All rights reserved.

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TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOYFUL AT SM SUPERMALLS!!!

SM Supermalls bursts with fun, joy and a thousand things to do as it welcomes the Yuletide Season with an exciting new Christmas anthem!!!

Be one of the first to download this exciting jingle by simply following our Facebook page and get the latest updates and what's happening in all SM Supermalls - Nationwide!!!

A million lights! A thousand voices! 40 SM Supermalls! It's all happening, this November 6!!!

Follow the SM Supermalls Christmas Facebook page and get the latest updates from all SM Supermalls nationwide!!!

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CHRISTMAS DAY: THE ORIGIN OF THE DATE

There is a very widespread theory that Christmas began in Rome as a response to pagan festivities centering around the winter solstice, which was locally considered to be 25 December. The pagan celebration, which was first established by the Roman emperor Aurelian in AD 274, was called The Birth of the Invincible Sun. However, there is evidence that, some years earlier, Christians had made a sincere attempt to calculate the actual date of Jesus’ birthday. People commonly believe that Christmas was instituted on the date of a pagan holiday to supplant it, but it was actually the other way around. Christmas was there first.

In ancient Judaism, there was a common belief, which ancient Christians inherited, that the prophets of Israel died on the on the same date as their birth or conception. This may be behind the long-standing Christian custom of referring to the date of a martyr’s death as their “birthday in heaven.” According to ancient western calculations, Jesus was crucified on 25 March, so they assumed that 25 March was the date of Jesus’ conception. The Annunciation is still commemorated on that date to this day. Nine months after 25 March leads to 25 December, which would be the birthday of Jesus Christ if all those assumptions and calculations were correct. They aren’t correct, but the fact remains that the date has a Christian origin.

In AD 354, Philocalus wrote a Christian martyrology that dates the nativity of Jesus Christ on December 25, and cites an earlier work as backup. From this we can deduce that Christmas was celebrated on the present date at least as early as AD 335 in Rome.

Source: Copyright ©1995-2010 by the Rev. Kenneth W. Collins and his licensors. All rights reserved.
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TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOYFUL AT SM SUPERMALLS!!!

SM Supermalls bursts with fun, joy and a thousand things to do as it welcomes the Yuletide Season with an exciting new Christmas anthem!!!

Be one of the first to download this exciting jingle by simply following our Facebook page and get the latest updates and what's happening in all SM Supermalls - Nationwide!!!

A million lights! A thousand voices! 40 SM Supermalls! It's all happening, this November 6!!!

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ANDREA BOCELLI'S "MY CHRISTMAS" NOW ON DVD


Produced by David Foster - My Christmas offers a sequence of heart-warming, beautiful new arrangements and interpretations of classic tunes one never tires of, with Andrea's caressing, resplendent voice at its best. Favourites such as Adeste Fideles, White Christmas and Silent Night have never sounded more alluring.

The remarkable Canadian producer David “Hit Man” Foster has set the scene for Andrea Bocelli’s Christmas party by inviting an altogether extraordinary collection of special guests. The phenomenally successful Welsh mezzo Katherine Jenkins joins him on I Believe, while the very different mezzo of soul superstar Mary J. Blige duets on What Child Is This? Echoing one of the best-loved seasonal performances of all-time, Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song, Andrea movingly sings with Nat’s daughter Natalie Cole.

But these are single artists. Andrea also flew to Salt Lake City especially to join forces with none other than the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir for an uplifting interpretation of The Lord’s Prayer. And comprehensively completing the party are the most amazing guests of all . . . the Muppets! Yes, their outrageous version of Jingle Bells ensures that Andrea Bocelli’s Christmas is one to be remembered.

My Christmas is a winning album, expertly arranged, played and sung, becoming a point of reference for the entire genre. And from now on, no one, listeners and performers alike, will be able to forget this Christmas, as sung by Andrea Bocelli.

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CHRISTMAS FACTS: SILENT NIGHT

Silent Night was written in 1818, by an Austrian priest Joseph Mohr. He was told the day before Christmas that the church organ was broken and would not be prepared in time for Christmas Eve. He was saddened by this and could not think of Christmas without music, so he wanted to write a carol that could be sung by choir to guitar music. He sat down and wrote three stanzas. Later that night the people in the little Austrian Church sang "Stille Nacht" for the first time.

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‎'TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOYFUL AT SM SUPERMALLS!!!

SM Supermalls bursts with fun, joy and a thousand things to do as it welcomes the Yuletide Season with an exciting new Christmas anthem!!!

Be one of the first to download this exciting jingle by simply following our Facebook page and get the latest updates and what's happening in all SM Supermalls - Nationwide!!!

Watch out as we post exciting games and online contest that'll surely make your Christmas more memorable and exciting!!! 'Tis the season to be jolly! At SM Supermalls!!! Catch the exciting launch of the Supermalls Christmas 2010 on November 06!!!

Merry Chrisms Everybody!!! :o)

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WHO INVENTED ELECTRIC CHRISTMAS LIGHTS?

Thomas Edison and Edward Johnson (1880 &1882) and Albert Sadacca (1917).

Thomas Edison, the inventor of the first successful practical light bulb, created the very first strand of electric lights. During the Christmas season of 1880, these strands were strung around the outside of his Menlo Park Laboratory. Railroad passengers traveling by the laboratory got their first look at an electrical light display. But it would take almost forty years for electric Christmas lights to become the tradition that we all know and love.

Before electric Christmas lights, families would use candles to light up their Christmas trees. This practice was often dangerous and led to many home fires. Edward H. Johnson put the very first string of electric Christmas tree lights together in 1882. Johnson, Edison’s friend and partner in the Edison’s Illumination Company, hand-wired 80 red, white and blue light bulbs and wound them around his Christmas tree. Not only was the tree illuminated with electricity, it also revolved.

However, the world was not quite ready for electrical illumination. There was a great mistrust of electricity and it would take many more years for society to decorate its Christmas trees and homes with electric lights. Some credit President Grover Cleveland with spurring the acceptance of indoor electric Christmas lights. In 1895, President Cleveland requested that the White House family Christmas tree be illuminated by hundreds of multi-colored electric light bulbs.

On Christmas Eve 1923, President Calvin Coolidge began the country’s celebration of Christmas by lighting the National Christmas Tree with 3,000 electric lights on the Ellipse located south of the While House.

Until 1903, when General Electric began to offer pre-assembled kits of Christmas lights, stringed lights were reserved for the wealthy and electrically savvy. The wiring of electric lights was very expensive and required the hiring of the services of a wireman, our modern-day electrician. According to some, to light an average Christmas tree with electric lights before 1903 would have cost $2000.00 in today’s dollars.

While Thomas Edison and Edward H. Johnson may have been the first to create electric strands of light in 1880/1882, it was Albert Sadacca who saw a future in selling electric Christmas lights. The Sadacca family owned a novelty lighting company and in 1917 Albert, a teenager at the time, suggested that its store offer brightly colored strands of Christmas lights to the public. By the 1920’s Albert and his brothers organized the National Outfit Manufacturers Association (NOMA), a trade association. NOMA soon became NOMA Electric Co., with its members cornering the Christmas light market until the 1960’s.

Today we expect to see the holiday season become aglow with electric strands of light. Think of the variety and range of Christmas lights available in today’s market. We can be grateful to Thomas Edison, Edward H. Johnson and Albert Sadacca for illuminating our holiday season.

Source: The Library of Congress >> Researchers >> Science Reference Services

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THE SM SUPERMALLS GATHER FOR A GIGANTIC AND JOYFUL CHRISTMAS ON NOVEMBER 6!!!



SM Supermalls bursts with fun, joy and a thousand things to do as it welcomes the Yuletide Season with an exciting new Christmas anthem!!!

Be one of the first to download this exciting jingle by simply following our Facebook page and get the latest updates and what's happening in all SM Supermalls - Nationwide!!! To hear the SM Supermalls Christmas jingle, visit: SM Supermalls Christmas.

Watch out as we post exciting games and online contest that'll surely make your Christmas more memorable and exciting!!! 'Tis the season to be jolly! At SM Supermalls!!!

Catch the exciting launch of the Supermalls Christmas 2010 on November 06!!! Merry Chrisms Everybody!!!


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Gather the family for a joyful Christmas on November 6 at SM Supermalls

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_iNIB8i2XYn8/TLdq-UQQWfI/AAAAAAAAAGA/Xo-LRD9CvfU/s1600/offline_39x24_hangsign.jpg
SM Supermalls bursts with fun, joy and a thousand things to do as it welcomes the Yuletide Season with an exciting new Christmas anthem!!!

Be one of the first to download this exciting jingle by simply following our Facebook page and get the latest updates and what's happening in all SM Supermalls - Nationwide!!! To hear the SM Supermalls Christmas jingle, visit:SM Supermalls Christmas.

Watch out as we post exciting games and online contest that'll surely make your Christmas more memorable and exciting!!! 'Tis the season to be jolly! At SM Supermalls!!!

Catch the exciting launch of the Supermalls Christmas 2010 on November 06!!! Merry Chrisms Everybody!

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