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My Top 10 Christmas Carols and Chicken Mac & Cheese Soup


It's the most wonderful time of the year

With the kids jingle belling

And everyone telling you be of good cheer

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Andy Williams


It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas has always been and always will be my absolute favourite holiday! There’s something about Christmas that makes me believe in magic. The actual day, Christmas, isn’t my favourite part though. My favourite part is the weeks that lead up to the actual day. During those weeks people are smiling and playful. The Hallmark movies are filled with love and hope. The scent of pine, Cinnamon and cloves dance merrily through the air. People are baking, lights are shining and best of all… You can hear joyful Christmas carols everywhere you go!

I love Christmas music! Nothing gets me into the season like Jingle Bells! Unfortunately, Christmas does not start in our household until both of the Girl's birthdays are finished… On December 2. However, Christmas music starts in our van on November 1! My love of Christmas music has also become a love for the Girls and we belt out Fa La La La La as we drive to school every morning.

Today I would like to tell you about 10 of my favourite Christmas carols! I could add so many more to this list but these 10 have a special place in my heart!

My Top 10 Christmas Carols

1. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas by Johnny Mathis: 



This is always the first song we listen to at the beginning of every holiday season! The old timey song gives me goosebumps with the anticipation of the upcoming holiday! Everything I love about Christmas is mentioned in this song! I know there are a TON of versions out there but my favourite version is from Johnny Mathes which was released in 1986 but became popular In 1992 when it was included on the Home Alone 2 soundtrack. My favourite line is, “and Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.” 😂

2. Christmas Time is Here by Vince Guaradi Trio:


If I need It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas in my life to hear the beginning of Christmas, the movie that gets me most in the holiday mood is A Charlie Brown Christmas! As soon as I hear "Christmas time is here" I know it’s Christmas time! I especially love this album because it was the first performance I ever saw my big brother in! He played Schroeder 😊. The record was a big one in our house and I have many happy memories attached to it and especially this song.

3. I Believe in Santa Claus by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton


Another album that we listened to as a child was Once Upon a Christmas by Kenny and Dolly! I could have picked any song off this album, I love them all! However the first track on the album makes me feel like a kid again and truly makes me believe in Christmas miracles! My favourite part is,
“I believe in saying what you mean and meaning what you say
I believe a better attitude can make a better way
And I believe in viewing life as a journey that we're on
And lookin' at our troubles as another stepping stone

And I believe that everything in life is what it's meant to be
I believe there is a god somewhere although he's hard to see
I believe I am so therefore I should do all that I can
To be a better piece in the puzzle of god's plan”

I’m not religious and to be honest none of the songs on my list are about mangers, Jesus, or frankincense but these 2 versus just make sense to me. They have always stood out and I get a little emotional when I hear them.

4. Christmas Cannon by The Trans-Siberian Orchestra.


When Ninja and I first got engaged we talked about our ideal wedding. I had never really thought about it because marriage wasn’t something I thought I wanted in my life 😆. When we got engaged we had to start brainstorming ideas! Both of us thought the idea of a winter wedding, December 21 to be exact LOL would be beautiful! I pictured snow lightly falling, a beautiful cape trimmed with faux fur, and twinkling lights in front of a fireplace. We really got into it and even picked this as the song I would walk down the aisle to! Knowing what I know now, 2 birthdays and a ton of holiday planning… I am so happy that we opted for a summer wedding! 😂

5. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas by Gayla Peevey


This song is so silly I just HAVE to love it! My Nana used to crack up every time she heard it and every time my Mom heard it she used to say, “Nana loves this song” 😆 The song is from the 50's and is sung by a 10-year-old little girl! It is so adorable it’s almost annoying LOL but it always makes me think of those 2 very special women in my life 💛.
6. Somewhere In My Memory: John Williams and The Boston Pops


Who doesn’t hear that angelic chime and think of Home Alone? Home Alone 1 and 2 are two of my favourite movies ever! I could watch them in the summer and be completely happy! Again, back when I was a kid, Christmas movies consisted of black-and-white movies or animated movies I had seen 1 million times, it wasn’t until John Hughes brought us Home Alone that holiday movies took on a life of their own! Without Home Alone there would be no Hallmark movies! Whenever there is silence the first lyrics that always pop into my mind are,

“Somewhere in my memory
Christmas joys all around me
Living in my memory
All of the music, all of the magic
All of the family, home here with me”
PLUS what Christmas is complete without the Boston Pops? Am I right or am I right?


7. Snowflake by Sia


This is a new Christmas song! Sometimes Christmas music is just repeats of songs we have heard over and over again. Not this one! Sia put out a Christmas album last year and although the whole album is cute, this song makes me see dancing. I can’t explain it but when I hear it, it makes me think of dancing sugarplum fairy’s, beautiful snowflake ballerinas and my 2 uniquely beautiful dancing daughters! I just love this song!

8. Fairytale of New York by The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl


This is such an antiChristmas song but the punk in me LOVES this song! It’s hilarious and heartbreaking all at once. They are words in this song that you don’t normally here in a Christmas tune 😂 but it is so Irish jiggy that it just makes you want to dance in the twinkling Christmas lights while having a good laugh!

9. River by Sarah McLachlan:


This is my adult Christmas song. The first time I heard it or maybe the first time I took notice of it was on my favourite TV show, Ally McBeal. Robert Downey Jr played Larry Paul and he sat at the piano and played this song. It brought me to tears. The mistakes he had made on the show and in his real life came across in that one song. Over the years Christmases haven’t always been joy and peace 😜 life doesn’t just stop because it’s Christmas. You know how some people run to clear their heads? I’ve never been a big runner but I’ve always skated. I remember going to the rinks and skating hard. Just letting the cold wind burn my cheeks. No matter what the problem was, after a good hard skate things seem to be put into perspective. I still love Robert Downey Jr’s version of the song but Sarah McLachlan does it beautifully as well!10. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by The Pretenders


I love this song. I love this entire album! This was the first album in the A Very Special Christmas series. It was the first time that I heard my favourite pop stars singing my favourite Christmas carols! At that point in my life Madonna was everything to me LOL hearing U2, Bruce Springsteen, and Sting was amazing after a decade of rotating Charlie Brown Christmas, Kenny and Dolly, and Alvin and the Chipmunks on the record player 😂. This was really hard but I picked this song because it is my favourite Christmas Carol. Ever. I remember listening to it while we put up the Christmas tree and hearing, “through the years we all be together if the fates allow” and always choking up. When I was a kid I used to believe that we would be together always. Every Christmas. Oh that bitter fate LOL. It’s a beautiful song and I love when Diana Krall sings it but hello Chrissie Hynde?!?! Also, the coolest thing about this album, it was made to raise money for Special Olympics and over the years has raised over $131 million!

Honourable mention...

Get me through December by Alison Krauss and Natalie MacMaster


OK so this isn't a Christmas carol. However, the first time I heard it I was driving to Southdale Arena on my way to ref a ringette tournament. Ninja and I had just broken up and it was our first Christmas apart. I had never heard the song before but when it came on the radio it hit me hard. It was a sunny day and I was on the perimeter and I was bawling as I drove and just before my tears completely clouded my view I looked to the left and in this huge old car was... Santa 😂. He looked at my tear streaked face, smiled and gave me the thumbs up sign and then he sped up in front of me. Over the years this song has changed from a heartbroken girlfriend to a heartbroken daughter. The first Christmas we spent without my Mom was the hardest December I have ever had. All I remember is going to the steps and just thinking, "get me through this. Just get me through this month." it was indeed a hard candy Christmas. It has been 5 Christmases without her and everyone is hard. However, this song is less about heartbreak to me now and more about hope, the future and the promises that I will always remember all of the happy Christmases that have brought me here, to this point in my life where I can still believe in the magic of Christmas 💛.

I hope you enjoy my favourite Christmas songs as much as I do! If not you can always listen to our latest episode of How WasYour Week, Honey? Episode 93: The Best Lova HERE



O. M. G. I love homemade macaroni and cheese but the kids hate it! I love soup but my kids aren’t the biggest fans. However, I combined the 2 and we had a hit! This is comfort in a bowl! This is cheesy, full of flavor, filling, and stick to your belly warm! Everything I could want in a fall dish is in this bowl! I loved it so much I ate it for the next 3 days!

Chicken Mac & Cheese Soup
Adapted from The Cookie Rookie


2 tablespoons oil
1 roasted chicken, cooked and shredded
3 medium carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
6 cups chicken stock
¼ cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
¼ teaspoon nutmeg, grated
¾ tablespoon Dijon mustard
½bag small shell pasta uncooked
2 cups milk
½ cup Gruyére cheese, 
shredded
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, 
shredded
½ cup Cheddar blend cheese, 
shredded

Heat a soup pot over medium heat and add the oil. Add the carrots and celery to the pot. Cook the vegetables 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.




Add the onions and cook another 3 minutes or until the onion has softened and is translucent.



Slowly add the chicken stock, while stirring to deglaze the pan, and add the wine. Stir well. Bring the stock to a boil.



Add the thyme, nutmeg, mustard and pasta. Stir well and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the soup about 30 minutes. The pasta should be cooked through and the broth thickened.

After 30 minutes, turn the heat to medium and add the milk and the shredded chicken.

Bring the soup just to a boil and immediately reduce the heat to low. Cook the soup 10 minutes or until it has thickened slightly.

When it is the desired consistency, add the cheeses and stir until cheese has melted.



Season to taste with salt and pepper.








Wow Us Wednesdays 398

11.27.2018


It was a pretty slow week here in the Maier household! We are preparing for birthdays and Christmas!

I went out for lunch with my PSBesty, had a phone date with my WpgBesty AND I had a much needed night out with HLBesty and PACBesty! 



Ninja and I did a shit ton of shopping and got the bulk of birthday/Christmas shopping DONE!



While we were shopping Dad took SBean to skating, out for breakfast and to the park! HBear was at a curling workshop all day but after that Dad took them to the Anti Bullying Vees game!







HBear had a playdate/spa day at her Gr4Besty's on Sunday...



and SBean and I did some major cuddling and had breakfast in bed!



Yesterday Ninja and Dad drove to Vancouver to watch the Canucks vs the Jets! We had a Girls night with French Toast and cuddles!



Oh... and this happened!!!!!

Congrats Ninja, I am so proud of you! You took a passion/hobby and turned it into something you can get paid for! So proud and excited to hear you on the airwaves!


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