On the Way to Christmas Eve

What are your favorite Christmas Eve or Christmas Day traditions? Is there a particular cookie that you always eat first? Is there a certain tie that you wear every year to the Christmas Eve service? To spark a return to the eternal debate: do you open your presents on Christmas Eve, Christmas morning, or Christmas afternoon?

While I have a variety of traditions that others might share, I also have a few odd ones. One that might be familiar to musicians is a certain set of songs that I listen to in the car on Christmas Eve while driving in to church for the worship service.

The first song is the one above, Angels, from the Realms of Glory. A lesser known hymn, listening to this particular version gets me energized up for the service. This arrangement is from Christmas at Luther 2008, and I haven't been able to find another recording or any other information about it.

I generally try to avoid listening to it or other particularly loud or big songs earlier in the day. For one, it helps me relax my voice so that I don't oversing and blow out my vocal cords. It also helps me hold back my energy for the services, so that I can sing with joy.

There's no big takeaway or grand philosophical statement. I just wanted to share one of my favorite Christmas songs with you, so that we'll both be ready for the worship service. What traditions do you have that help you get ready to rejoice?
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