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Although it was considered a most unlikely candidate to top the music charts, Bing Crosby knew a hit when he saw it. He had passed up the carol one time, and he wasn't about to do it again. However, it was the message that it brought to a struggling world that he appreciated most. "The Little Drummer Boy" ended up being the final Christmas song that he ever recorded.
Originally penned with the title "The Carol of the Drum," this beloved song, rich with meaning and captivating through its uniqueness, was written by Katherine Davis. In the 1890's, it was highly unusual for a woman to pursue a career in music, but pursue she did. Wellesley College in Massachusettes recognized her incredible talent and creative drive and embraced her as a student, eventually hiring her on as a music teacher.
She devoted herself to writing her unique style of music, in which her deep love of history and study of other countries and cultures were interwoven throughout each penned measure. However, as her recognition was increasing, World War II broke out and she found herself desperately longing for simple times again. It was also during this time that her studies landed upon English and French Folktales that reminded her that the greatest gifts at Christmas came from the heart. Inspired, she decided to try something completely different: a Christmas song written from the heart to give solace to other aching hearts of the world in the aftermath of the war and The Great Depression.
Ironically, the only artists to first appreciate her efforts were the Trapp Family Singers (the Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies!), understanding first-hand the effects of the Hitler's war. The song still went largely unnoticed to the world until Harry Simeone, an arranger and choral producer for Twentieth Century Fox Records, came upon it and saw its potential for a new Christmas hit.
With Katherine Davis' permission, he rearranged it for choral presentation and changed the title to "The Little Drummer Boy." Surprisingly, the recording made the top 40, resonating well in a world searching for meaning and love at Christmas. Christ had again entered the world of music in an unexpected way, reminding us that gifts from the heart are far more precious to Him than the material gifts that the world lauds.
As we struggle through the gift returns and exchanges from our Christmas celebrations and as we look forward to the Feast of the Epiphany next week, this song is a great reminder of the simplicity of love.
How reassuring and encouraging that message is!
God bless you all, and in case you didn't get enough of this beautiful carol this Christmas season, here's a link:
Source: "Stories Behind the Greatest Hits of Christmas by Ace Collins, Copyright 2010
Here's a quick picture of our manger scene...before Jesus and the Wise Men enter the story! As you can see, our manger is very clearly missing something very important. However, soon, it will be empty no longer. We can hardly wait!
Thankfully, our wait only continues for two more nights. As the song goes, "Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King!"
As the hustle and bustle increases substantially over the next 48 hours, we pray with all of our hearts that His peace fills the crevices of the craziness and eventually overflows and covers the chaos that inevitably comes in its wake for you and your loved ones.
We'll get back to posting after Christmas due to our own share of Christmas celebrations, but our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you, especially for those who have been emailing prayer intentions.
May the Peace of the King of Kings reign over your Christmas celebrations and fill you with His incomparable joy!!
O Come, Let Us Adore Him! :)
Here's for a colorful Advent: another edition to our Advent coloring pages!
We hope that these simple, focused-based images lead you and your kids closer to preparing for His coming!
For other coloring pages and printables, see our Printables dropdown under the Kid Korner tab in the header above!
It's that time again to let your kids' imaginations run wild!
Jesus is the reason for the season! We are looking for some great portrayals of the true meaning of Christmas through our Lego and Craft Challenge!
For a great time-keeper, have the kids make a creation out of Legos, a drawing, painting, or clay creation (or any art medium!) that depicts Christmas.
This challenge runs through the end of December, just in case the kids need something productive to do during vacation. (Hint, hint!) :)
To submit your photo, click on the Catholic Challenge Zone in the header above and choose your challenge. Each page has a link to submit.
God bless and we can't wait to see how the kids view Christmas!
Finally!! A new "How Not To" video! This one is quite fitting:
How Not to Act in Advent, of course!
We were having too much fun with this one, and really wanted to add more to it! But, each skit takes time and planning, and, as much fun as we were having, we wanted to enjoy other things in Advent too! :)
We truly hope you enjoy this video. If you like it, please pass it on! We would truly appreciate your help in getting our fun, little family ministry out there in cyberspace.
God bless the rest of your Advent - Jesus is coming soon!!!!
Today was one of those days in which the rubber hit the road - literally. Errands and commitments required a lot of traveling, and with the warning of another impending snowstorm approaching here in the snowbelt, we knew we had to get it all in. At one point, in the middle of all of this running, my 7-year-old suddenly announced that nature was calling.
'Of course it is,' I thought, sighing. The nearest bathroom wasn't exactly within throwing distance. Then, suddenly, I had a thought.
'Hmmm....the church isn't too far away. We'll stop and visit Jesus! And, since the chapel just so happens to have a restroom, we'll accomplish two things at once!" Smiling at my resourcefulness, I took the next right turn to the chapel.
Now, I won't deny that I felt guilty for choosing to visit the chapel with the intention of taking advantage of the "facilities." Somehow, the excuse I was using didn't sit right with me. So, when we got into the chapel, I took my son to the door that he needed, then made my way to the door that I needed, promptly falling to my knees to ask God's mercy on my fallen nature.
I have no doubt that God was smiling at that moment. And it wasn't just because one could hear the faint sound of singing from a certain 7-year-old emerging from the other side of the restroom door.
No, it was because God had undoubtedly planned this visit. I spent some brief quiet time with him as I waited for my little guy to join me. Once he did, he grabbed a rosary someone had left there, took his place on the kneeler and bowed in unusual silence.
I tried to act casual, glancing at an older woman praying in the back. A little pride crept into my heart as he knelt there looking so angelic. I'd like to say that my son is the perfect penitent - silent, prayerful, adoring - but that would be breaking the 8th commandment. However, today he honestly astonished me with his silence, bowed head, and closed eyelids. I would have given more than a penny for his thoughts.
So into his prayer was he that I actually had to interrupt him to let him know that time was ticking and that we had to get on the road again. He looked up and smiled. He started to talk, but after catching a glimpse of my finger over my lips, he restrained himself until we exited the chapel.
"Mom, I feel so good!"
I looked at him curiously, not sure from which direction regarding the word "good" he was coming from.
"I mean, talking to God...it's just amazing, Mom!"
I broke out into a huge smile.
"You're so right, Bud!"
"Really, I can't believe how good I feel. I should talk to Him like this everyday."
As he jabbered on about his conversation with God while he jumped into the car, I just smiled in intense gratitude.
Yes, God had planned this little visit. He had brought His child closer to Him today, and in doing so He had brought his mother along as well.
I know I say this often, but what a great God we have! Despite a crazy day, He made sure that we remembered our Advent committment to spend time with Him, using "nature" itself to meet us where we were.
Thank you, Lord, for loving us in such unusual ways! And I pray that as Advent moves along, you will experience Him in the unusual and in the unexpected as well.
May God open our eyes and ears to these moments! :)
As Advent continues, we thought we would put together a Christmas playlist of past videos for Christmas on our YouTube channel. Despite the fact that we have only had one Christmas behind us, we still have some helpful and fun videos to show you!
Click on the button below to link you to our Christmas playlist:
Designed by Justina in her Chibi-Inspired form, our new Advent coloring pages are here!
We have two available with more to come.
Purposefully simplistic in design, the coloring focus keeps our attention exactly where it needs to be.
We hope the kids have fun with a colorful Advent! :)
Just click on either image below to print out your coloring page!
REALLY cute DIY Christmas ornaments using puzzles!!!
We saw an idea at a craft table a while ago that put our minds to wondering if we could make cute ornaments using leftover puzzle pieces. After playing around a bit, we came up with these designs that appear to work well and would make excellent gifts!
The kids can have a great time painting the pieces and decorating their final product, all the while working on the virtue of patience as they wait for the glue drying times! :)
Check on the video tutorial below which gives suggestions for layouts and gluing for a stronger product in the end.
These are a blast to make and really have brought oohs and aahs from those who have seen them!
God bless and have fun creating!
Ever wonder what it is like to be behind-the-scenes at Catholic Conundrum when we're making our videos? Well, here is a video giving you a glimpse of just that! Since we have hours and hours of footage, we thought it best to start by showing what it's like behind the camera during the shooting of the music videos. Justina worked hard to edit the footage down to 13 min...quite a feat!
See outtakes, photobombing, and get more of a birds-eye-view of what it takes to make a music video!
Be sure to watch it in its entirety to witness the crazy antics of our relentless feline photobomber!!
Hope you enjoy it! :)
Looking for our videos? Check out the Teen Take and Kid Korner tabs above!!
May your Lent be truly fruitful and fill you with longing for His Resurrection!
If a song's title includes (family recording), please refer to the blog entry on 3/8/16 for info...
Hi! I'm a Catholic mom who loves to encourage and support others in their journey to live the beauty of our Catholic faith in a modern world. It can be a struggle, no doubt, but God has given us the tools we need! Join my family (both immediate and extended!) and me as we take on this incredible journey of our path to holiness.
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