The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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December 22, 2000 Issue

Do you prefer Rudolph or a Silent Night?

Students choose top Christmas carols

By Patricia Kasten
Compass Associate Editor

We hear them a lot this time of year - over the PA in the mall, on the radio, in TV ads. Christmas carols. From "O Holy Night" to "Jolly Old St. Nicholas," Christmas carols offer us all sorts of images from the holiday - and holy season - of Christmas.

But which is your favorite - not the one that gets stuck in your head over and over - but the song that really sums up the season for you.

Some of the participants in The Compass' 13th annual "Just For Kids" Christmas essay contest chose to explore that question rather than write a carol (see Children offer their own Christmas carols). We received 30 votes for favorite carols from fourth and fifth grade students.

The hands-down favorite was "Silent Night" with 11 votes, followed by "Joy to the World" with five votes. The other 14 votes ranged from "Once in Royal David's City" to "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Below are the popular carols and the reasons for that popularity:

St. Bernard School, Green Bay, Grade 7:

I can hear the song now! "Silent Night, Holy Night," the old familiar Christmas carol that I love to sing! Why? Because, at my Baptism in January 1988, it was sung to me by my family and guests. I enjoy hearing this played with chime bells, and a soft organ! - Bridgett Ellis, age 13

St. Anthony School, Oconto Falls, Grade 5:

"Silent Night" The rhythm is so nice. I like how quiet it is. The verses are so holy with the music. It is just so beautiful. I can just imagine the night where Jesus was born. I just think Christmas is "Silent Night." - Kathy Rieth

We Three Kings because it talks about the three kings and the special gifts they brought, like gold, frankincense and myrrh. And also shows how three kings came to honor the one Special King, Jesus. - Tom Lotter

"I'm dreaming of a White Christmas." I like it because it sounds nice. It also sounds like a song that carolers sing. I also like it because it reminds me of playing in the snow, sledding. - Clayton Neal

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I think it's a cool song. I especially like singing with my friends. I like it because Rudolph is different, so he gets picked on by the other reindeer, but then he becomes the hero by saving Christmas. I know how he feels. - Ashleigh Bushey

Holy Cross School, Kaukauna, Grade 5:

"Silent Night" because I like the melody, and I like the words to it. I like it because it talks about the silent night when Jesus was born and it says how he was born. - Nicole Meehl

"Once In Royal David's City" because one boy would stand out and sing one verse by himself and then after that the whole congregation would sing on verse 6. - Calvin Meulemans

St. Bernadette School, Appleton, Grade 4:

Silent Night because it is a real pretty Christmas song. I think it captures the true beauty of Christmas. And I think it has beautiful and peaceful instruments in it. - Kayla Sterken

"Rudolf The Red Nose Reindeer" because it has a cool beat to it. My other reason is at the end of the song, he gets to guide the sleigh and the other reindeer become his friend. - Mariah Kersten

Silent Night. It is a very good song to listen to. Whenever I listen to Silent Night, it makes me feel special. Silent Night reminds me of Christmas and Jesus a lot. It has a nice tune to it too. - Chelsey De Santos

Assumption BVM School, Pulaski, Grade 5:

"I Wish You A Merry Christmas." I like this song because it sounds like people are wishing me a Happy Christmas. I like it because it is very special and it is a very pretty song. - Nicole Marie Parker

"Joy to The World." I like songs that have meaning and rhythm. I like songs that you can picture yourself in. It means that every Christmas should be a joyful one. - Alex Lasecki

Holy Martyrs School, Green Bay, Grade 5:

"Joy to the World." When I hear this song I think about when baby Jesus was born. I can picture Jesus all warm in His Blanket while the angels sing Joy to the World. - Murphy Yang

"Joy to the World" because it makes me feel great and helps me think about Jesus and heaven. In the song I also think about heaven because when someone who loves and follows Jesus dies they go up to heaven. - Kayla Navin

"Silent Night" because the song is very peaceful. It is very easy to memorize the first verse. The melody is very quiet and makes me relax. The song is very pretty and calm. I like listening to "Silent Night" because it makes you forget your bad day if you had one. - Stevie Frankow

"Joy to the World" because it talks about God and all the things he made. It talks about the Lord has come! "Receive" and "Lord" are the main words - you're receiving Jesus and the Lord is coming into the world. - Evan Wendtland

"Silent Night." I like it because it sounds like Christmas, soft and sweet. - Amy Stauber

"Joy to the World" because of the tune of it and because it has to do with the Lord. I think that it has a lot to do with praising God and the whole world. When people sing it, then I feel like praising God for the world and the day. - Adam Heraly

"Deck The Halls" because it puts that jolly Christmas spirit in you. It makes me feel like jumping and dancing around and singing it really loud. It makes me feel like Christmas is coming. - Ava Marie Teresi

"Silent Night." It is a pretty song. I have a book on it and it plays Silent Night. I like it because it has Jesus in it. Another reason is it has Mary and Joseph in it and they're trying to find shelter and they finally find shelter. - Paris Lischka

"Angels We Have Heard on High" because it tells about angels singing and I like angels. They are neat. I also like the song. I like listening to it during Christmas Mass. I think of angels during Angels we Have Heard on High. It is a beautiful song to listen to. - Brittany Allen

I'd choose "Away in a Manger." It reminds me of Jesus being born. He had no crib for a bed and he did not cry to complain. I think this carol is a religious carol that tells that everyone should be thankful for Jesus. - Kayla Jonet

Holy Martyrs School, Green Bay, Grade 4:

My favorite Christmas carol is Merry Christmas to you from the Red, White and Blue. I like it because it is good singing and it has a good tune to it. - Mitchell Buiz

Silent Night because when Jesus was born it was quiet. I would use a piano because it can play quietly. I also would use a violin because it makes a soothing sound. - Holly Forst

"Oh Come All Ye Faithful" because it is like a warm welcoming song. It welcomes Christmas' joyfulness, happiness, peace, love and Christians. It makes you feel jolly and happy and in the Christmas mood. - Anna Wolfe

I think a Holly Jolly Christmas brings out the spirit of Christmas. Christmas is the season to be jolly. A lot of children think about presents. This is not what Christmas is about. It's about Jesus' birth. - Tom Fisher

"Sing We Now of Christmas," because it reminds me of when Christ was born. Another reason I like it is because it is a story and a song. It sometimes calms me down and it makes me so that I can't wait until Christmas. - Jamie Kaiver

Another class, which took part in the part of the essay asking students what original carol they would write (see Children offer their own Christmas carols), also offered their votes for favorite Christmas carol. In Mrs. Rush's second grade class at St. Francis de Sales School in Manitowoc, "Silent Night" was popular, getting four of 17 votes.

But these seven and eight-year-olds feel the most popular carol is "Jingle Bells." Seven students selected it for reasons ranging from being able to play it on the piano (Emily Bouril) to "because it make's me think of Jesus." (Jake Eisenschink)

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