Elias Family Letter - 2000

Didn't write a letter this year,
but emailed all our friends a link to our Christmas Songbook.

Hope to put this page together with pictures and tales of our life in 2000 in the next week or so.  For now, here is the Elias Family gift for our musician friends...

According to popular legend, on December 24th, 1818, a poor Austrian priest with a broken church organ scrambled to the home of a local musician/teacher to ask the composer to arrange simple guitar music for a poem he wrote to be performed the following evening.  Other accounts would tell of the priest wanting to create a piece of music able to bridge the gap between the traditional church music and the popular folk music.  As the two men, accompanied by choir and acoustic guitar, stood in front of the main altar in St. Nicholas Church and sang "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!" for the first time, they could hardly imagine that Joseph Mohr's poem and Franz Gruber's music would touch the lives of billions, being translated into over 300 languages.

Chris still fondly remembers when she was 8 years old and  had the privilege of singing 3 verses of "Silent Night" IN GERMAN with the T. L. Heaton public school choir in Fresno, California, in 1965.  The repeated sentiment "Jesus, Lord at thy birth", is what our family feels is the true heart of Christmas.

Our family also wishes that the music of Christmas would be shared with all, so as a present to our casual and sophisticated musician friends this year, we have assembled a group of our favorite 75 Christmas songs.  Hoping not to steal royalties from any deserving composers or lyricists, we  have not included the written music of potentially copyrighted songs.  The songs are arranged with simple chords for us simple musicians to strum, plunk, and toot along with.  Download our Christmas Songbook by right mouse clicking and saving either the MS Word DOC or a dinky unformatted text file.  Download a Word reader here.  Sorry, Mac users, I could not find a Word reader for Apple and other universal formats were too large due to the graphics.  Try the Text file.  I finally got a "passable" but BIG (3 MB) version in PDF - but the graphics are still a little pixilated (sorry).

Here are places I used for lyrics, etc.