THS Teachers “Sing” Their Love for Christmas Music


Pablo Estua Carrillo, Staff Writer

As the season of winter arrives, the most wonderful time of the year—Christmas—takes over for the last few weeks of the year. With the holiday season occupying our minds, people are decorating their houses, wearing festive clothing, and—most importantly—listening to Christmas music. This annually recurring tradition capitalizes on this joyous season of giving. It brings holiday spirit to everywhere it’s broadcasted, bringing jubilant smiles to people’s faces and serving as a distraction from the frigid temperatures. Each year, the selection of this music genre expands as artists release new festive songs, composed with their own modern styles, electrifying the perpetually-played classics that have marked our Christmas holidays. While newer music may appeal to the younger generations, many others return faithfully to listen to their traditional carols every year. All in all, no matter the song or genre, one group of people who especially admire Christmas music are the teachers at Tenafly High School. 

To start off, esteemed biology teacher, Mr. Angus, expressed his preference for the song “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby. Based on his choice of song, it’s clear to say that Mr. Angus likes to spend the holidays with the lovely traditional Christmas carols. “White Christmas” is one of the all-time classics, and definitely one of the fan favorites, as it has led the holiday celebrations since the mid-20th century. In addition, Crosby is one of the most listened to and most known Christmas singers, having produced several other classics that have also prevailed over the holidays through the years. 

Next, similarly to Mr. Angus, Tenafly’s very own Teacher of the Year and admired English teacher, Mr. Whitehead, also revealed his interest in the long-established Christmas carols. In particular, his favorites include “Winter Wonderland,” “Sleigh Ride,” and “Silent Night.” These songs are tied to a very special, cherished family tradition. He and his family changed the lyrics of the songs to make them about his beloved dog, Gussie. During the holidays, they sing with their newly-made words, combining their love for Gussie and the original music. This is an absolutely unique and heart-warming tradition. 

As for another admirer of the holidays, one of THS’s most experienced world language teachers, Mrs. Kim, articulated her love of an uncommon but still tremendously successful artist—Celine Dion. Her preferred Christmas song from the artist’s repertoire is “O, Holy Night,” another long-standing carol. Although Dion is not an artist typically known for her Christmas songs, her holiday tunes are just as good if not more deserving of praise. She even has an entire album dedicated to the holidays: “These are Special Times.” As not many listeners know about it, the album is like a hidden present under the Christmas tree that lights up your face when you notice its presence. In addition to “O, Holy Night,” Mrs. Kim also likes to listen to the popular choices of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Last Christmas.” 

The fourth Christmas music enthusiast is our school’s widely-known mathematics teacher, Mr. Moreng. During this celebrated season, he enjoys turning on one of the most popular Christmas songs, “All I Want For Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey, and a song by the hugely-acclaimed Andy Williams, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Unlike many others, these favorites imply that Mr. Moreng prefers to mix his selection of songs with the various styles from this popular genre during his listening sessions. Combining these two great songs from opposite eras, Mr. Moreng appreciates the monumental evolution that Christmas music has undergone from the 1950s and 1960s to our current times.

Last but not least, THS’s musical arts teacher, Mr. Millar, has a particularly unique preference in Christmas music that he relishes during this month: the soundtrack of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” From this selection of Christmas music, he favors the traditional song “O Christmas Tree”/“O Tannenbaum.” This particular piece has several different versions as various famous artists have performed it with their own spin. This song, too, has a long history of percolating our Christmas festivities with its jazzy and relaxing tunes, appealing to our ears and filling celebrations with the holiday spirit. 

I give a special thanks to these Tenafly High School teachers for their widely-appreciated contributions. While many of us may have specific preferences in our Christmas music tastes, this genre of festive music brings a feeling of togetherness and united delight as we celebrate the holiday season. Happy holidays to all!