Merry Christmas 2020 – From the Carroll Family!


Our church put out a call for video submissions for the Christmas Eve streaming service. Here is what we contributed.

I threw it together into one video and added some cheesy effects and titles.

This is…

  • The Christmas Carrolls performing “Away in a Manger”
  • Molly reading The First Christmas Night by Keith Christopher
  • Ian doing some prayers on the fly – take 1 & take 2. (We only sent take 2 to the church.)

Check out live & archived videos from the church here: https://www.facebook.com/hillschurchexport/live

Christmas Playlist 2020


I posted not too long ago about Christmas playlists on various platforms. Ultimately most of them are frustrating because you can’t just pick a song order without signing up for a “premium” account. I’m already subscribed to enough stuff.

I have other YouTube lists (Naughty & Nice), but I decided to pull some of my favorites and put them all on one:

Christmas 2020 πŸŽΆπŸ€˜πŸŽ…πŸŽΈπŸŽ„πŸŽ΅

What great ones am I missing? Drop them in the comments below!

While you’re on my YouTube Channel, don’t forget to watch, give a like, and drop a comment for “Jingle Bells” by the Christmas Carrolls! We have over 400 views already, it would be cool to hit 500 by Christmas! Please share it on your social media platform of choice.

The Christmas Carrolls: “Jingle Bells”


The kids & I apparently have a band called the Creepy Kittys. While we haven’t released any official music, we have already successfully completed a minute-long side project. Here’s “Jingle Bells” by The Christmas Carrolls.

We were going to go a more traditional route, but Molly insisted on a bit of punk rock energy. I also wanted to go right into the song, but Ian insisted on an introduction.

I hope you enjoyed this one, maybe I’ll get some more out of them as the holiday approaches!

For you guitar & gear nerds, this featured my acrylic Strat copy with the Green LED’s;

Christmas Playlists and Streaming Services


I am signed up for too many free streaming accounts. I like raucous punk and metal Christmas music in addition to some of the more straightforward poppy and traditional stuff. I wish that all of these songs were available across all platforms. I have some stuff from the wild west days of mp3 downloading that I can’t seem to find on any platforms.

Christmas Playlists | Spotify β€’ Amazon Music β€’ Pandora β€’ YouTube
Christmas Playlists | Spotify β€’ Amazon Music β€’ Pandora β€’ YouTube

I do need to work on refining the lists I have. The YouTubes ones are all over the place. I hardly use Pandora enough to thumbs up or down to get it where every song is a smash. Spotify and Amazon are the ones that are easy to use… but I wish I could add more content.

I do have the free accounts for all mentioned. I don’t feel like playing for a streaming service unless it can be complete. I heard Google Music was pretty awesome, until it just became the YouTube Music thing. I need to get my personal stuff all digitized someday too. Man, I miss just running WinAmp on a giant desktop.

What do you use to listen to Christmas music? What are your favorite songs, traditional, wild, overplayed, or obscure?

Here are mine:

Spotify | Christmas πŸ€˜πŸŽΈπŸŽ„

Amazon Music | Christmas

(WordPress doesn’t seem to want to embed the Amazon playlist.)

Pandora | Holiday Rock N’ Roll β˜ƒ

https://www.pandora.com/station/1758025359576278863

(WordPress won’t embed Pandora I guess, either.)

YouTube | Christmas Playlist – Nice

YouTube | Christmas Playlist – Nice

YouTube | β˜ƒ ♩♫♬β™ͺ Christmas Songs ♩♫♬β™ͺ β˜ƒ

The Family Decorating Game


For years, I have teased my wife about a habit I have noticed when we are setting out seasonal decorations. It happened at the apartment where we first cohabitated, it happens at our house now. It happened long before our children were in the picture. She cannot leave anything that I put in place stay where I put it. I put it on the left of a shelf, she moves it to the right. I put it on the wall-shelf, she puts it on the Victrola.

I had to go out for work in the afternoon today, but I set the kids on a path of chaos this morning before I left. My daughter was excited to put out fall decorations. I told her to watch because Mommy moves every decoration that I set out. Then a light bulb went off in my head.

I told her to get a white board for herself, and a white board for her brother, and mark down a point every time they set out a decoration and mommy moves it.

The winner gets to move one of the decorations that Mommy places!

Apparently shenanigans ensued while I was at work. I think it will be a new holiday/seasonal event.

Do you have someone in the house that moves decorations?

Do you have any fun decorating traditions?

Let us know in the comments.

Christmas YouTube Playlists – Naughty or Nice?


I have two playlists.

Which is better?

What would you add?

What am I missing?

What’s it like to be a parent? (a.k.a. The Great Christmas Tree Shenanigans of 2019) πŸŽ„


If you want to know what it’s like to be a parent, let me give you some insight.

Tonight we were putting up the Christmas tree. It is old & the top 3rd didn’t all completely light up last year. I did sort of attempt to fix the problem to no avail. Again this year with a replacement bulb to no avail.

Because the kids were excited, we continued to decorate. About 95% done, I remarked aloud (my mistake?) that we should get a new tree. So, everyone got out of their PJ’s into regular clothes and we ended up going to Home Depot. Excitement was off the charts.

At Home Depot, there were a bunch of great trees for all kinds of price ranges. All four of us finally settled on a tree that we liked. (It’s really cool… pre-lit, and can be all white or different colors!)

Looking for the tree on the shelf, of course they didn’t have one. Neither did any of the other local stores. We bought the floor model for a slight discount but the caveat was that there was no box.

The kids managed to bounce around the store with Christmas Spirit like Will Ferrell in Elf while sort of processing that this was the only tree if we wanted that tree.

Us purchasing the tree from the floor was apparently the most exciting thing we have ever done and we (well, half of us) danced to the checkout with 3 shopping carts in tow… the useless race car one because we can never not get it, and two regular orange carts, one with 2/3 of a tree and one with the remaining 1/3 & stand.

I had wanted to get a rubbermaid tote for it, but the ants in our pants had grown great in their numbers and were humming the chorus to “Ode to Joy.” We checked out and came home with the plan that we could continue the tree decoration process tomorrow.

So of course, once in the house, we promptly assembled & started to decorate the new tree while un-decorating the old tree. Oh the excitement was uncontainable!

Being that garbage collection was pushed back a day due to Thanksgiving, I wanted to put the old tree on the curb.

I told the kids to say goodbye to the old tree and Ian looked like I just told him we were going to skin and eat Butterscotch (our cat) after roasting her over an open flame. Once the crocodile tear rolled down his cheek, it set Molly into big sister sympathy tears mode.

We had talked before about getting a second tree for the dining room because it looks nice in that window from outside.

Guess who is going to try harder to fix that Christmas tree because he is a sucker for recently overjoyed and now crying children?

I’m glad they’re sensitive and sentimental, but wow.

Some of our favorite #ElfOnTheShelf setups this year…


The kids were really into Jovie-Belle, their Elf on the Shelf, this year.Β  These are a few of my favorites. Post your favorites in the comments! (I have a bunch on Pinterest too… some appropriate, some not at all.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t get crazy creative every night, but the kids really made a big deal about finding her every morning. Maybe next year we’ll get a second elf and have some more fun.

Posting #25XmasSongs – Part 2 πŸŽ…


Did you see part 1?Β  I quickly realized I like a vast odd selection of Christmas music.Β  There are so many I dig that didn’t make the cut, and I’m sure ones I forgot.Β  Throw me your favorites in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posting #25XmasSongs – Part 1 πŸŽ„


I have been trying to post a Christmas song per day since the beginning of December.Β  I think I make a new YouTube playlist every year.Β  (I must have set YouTube to tweet when I add videos to playlists way back… because it seems to be doing that with the stuff I’m adding.)

I enjoy some Christmas albums, but seem to have found a bunch of random songs that I like over the years.Β  Some traditional, some quite the opposite.Β  Here’s the first batch.Β  There is no rhyme or reason or favorite order or anything.

Post some of your favorite Winter Holiday songs in the comments.Β  Links to videos, album names, artists, etc.Β  Show me what you dig!

1. No Doubt – “Oi To the World”Β  (Vandals cover!)

2. MxPx – “Xmas Night of the Living Dead”

3. Willie Nelson – “Silent Night”

4. Run DMC – “Christmas in Hollis” (The A.K.A.’s do a neat cover too.)

5. Johnny Cash – “What Child Is This?”

6. RAMONES – “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”

7. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – “This Time of Year”

8. Bing Crosby & David Bowie – “Little Drummer Boy”

9. D.I. – “Mr. Grinch”

10. Laurie Berkner – “Santa’s Coming to My House Tonight”