Sunday, December 13, 2015

Hometown Memories: Away In A Manger

There are some Christmas songs that tug at my heart strings and make me choke up with emotion. "Away In A Manger" is certainly one of them.

As soon as it starts playing, I'm transported back in time to a loving family and many heartwarming memories. I think of my parents in their younger years, particularly my mom - a very devout Christian - who took us to church regularly, sent us to Sunday school and made sure we attended midnight mass every Christmas Eve as soon as we were old enough to stay awake through it. She wanted to share her profound love for Jesus, instill it in us, really, and so my childhood is filled with such moments. And around Christmas time, it was all about baby Jesus and his humble beginnings. As a little girl, it made me sad that He didn't have a crib to sleep in.
My personal spiritual journey has taken me far from the religious teachings of my childhood and I have since then formulated a belief system - or rather a philosophy - that resonates with me. But despite that, whenever a song such as this plays, I am overwhelmed as I think about those early days and the most important things I learned from my mother: love, honesty, compassion, generosity and, above all, kindness. All the things that define her.


34 comments:

  1. That's heart warming, thanks for sharing and greetings!

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    1. Hey Martha,
      In the USA, we have a different tune to this song than we one they use in England. You have the American version on the video clip and you have the English one as the printed music. By the way, I like both tunes. x
      Sorry to leave this as a reply to the above comment. I can't leave a comment again!

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    2. We use the sheet music one in Australia. I have heard the US version as well.

      I had that problem with not being able to leave comments, but I find if I click on a reply to someone else, the "add comment" link also appears down the bottom and I can just abandon the reply and do my own comment.

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    3. Thanks for stopping by, Blogoratti! Kay, I've no clue about different tunes (US or England or anywhere else). I just know I love this song because it brings back wonderful memories.

      And Natalie's strategy is a good one for opening up the comment box. I have problems commenting on some blogs and it helps me.

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  2. When I hear old Christmas carols from my childhood, they too evoke many memories. "Silent Night" always chokes me up. It's what my husband's beloved grandparents used to sing every Christmas.

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    1. That is a lovely memory. "Silent Night" is a beautiful one!

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  3. Christmas is made for memories like this!

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  4. What wonderful memories. If only all the children of the world had such loving mothers.

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    1. That would be wonderful, Toni. All children should have that.

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  5. Some things are an influence for our entire life. We went to a college Christmas music program the other night and yes they had a sing along.

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  6. I very much enjoy the religious Christmas songs despite my differing beliefs. It tickles my husband to no end hearing me sing "Faith of our Fathers" or "Silent Night" or some other ones I enjoy! I am glad you can still enjoy the memories :) Some my husband's siblings can't enjoy anything remotely religious because of the falling out over religion in their family, and that's sad.

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    1. That's great, Hannah, that you enjoy these songs. I love Christmas songs whether they're religiously based or not. They bring back a lot of great memories and they are fun, too!

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  7. This song also brings me back to my childhood. I had a very Catholic upbringing at school. We were more relaxed at home.

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    1. I think that's what's so special about these songs; that they bring back many good memories.

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  8. I remember learning that song when I was in Catholic school as a kid. We had to sing it for the priest who came to visit the classrooms. Whatever the memory, as long as it makes you feel good, that's what's important.

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    1. That's it, Barb. As long as it makes you feel good!

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  9. Such wonderful memories from years long ago :) This song seems to be the one that a lot of kids sing in Christmas concerts at private schools :)

    betty

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    1. That's the best part of these songs. All the wonderful memories they bring back!

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  10. It was never my favorite song, I always felt it sounded kind of sad. Especially the singers who sung it

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    1. It is kind of sad. But I find it very beautiful, too.

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  11. Oh, Martha. This is a beautiful post.

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    1. Thanks, Birdie. I get all gooey and mushy this time of year :)

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  12. Wonderful memories, Martha! Love the old songs. :)

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    1. I do, too. And it's such a bonus that they stir up so many heartwarming memories!

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  13. I love how music (and food and smells), can transport us back.

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  14. This time of year evokes such special memories.
    I always think back to a most wonderful Christingle service when the children all sang in the candlelight ... very special.

    We should all do our best to remember what we have and be thankful.
    Share, care, enjoy because sometimes the world needs a little bit more, and what better time of year to go an extra step ...

    All the best Jan

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    1. I totally agree, Jan. We should be thankful all year long but this time of year even more so!

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  15. "Away in a Manger" has always been a favorite of mine, too, Martha! My parents both loved this time of year, and I always feel them close to me during the holiday season. So many wonderful memories!

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    1. I understand, Louise. I feel that way about my father and brother. It's like their spirits are right beside me this time of year!

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