We are celebrating Christmas each day for the next week with short stories and memories about the Christmas season. Today we want to wish you a “holly, jolly Christmas.”

When you hear someone wish a “holly, jolly Christmas,” your mind probably jumps straight to Burl Ives. After all, he made the song famous, singing it on his own hit record and in the TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Many people assume Ives wrote the song himself. The truth is, the song was written by a little-known artist named Johnny Marks.

You’ve probably never heard of Johnny Marks, but you have heard his music. Marks wrote “Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas,” but he wrote several other popular Christmas songs, including, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Run, Run Rudolph,” and, yes, the old standby “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (written along with his brother-in-law Robert L. May who created the character of Rudolph for Montgomery Ward).

Gene Autry, Brenda Lee, Burl Ives, and others have gotten a lot of credit for the songs down through the years, but the man who made the songs possible was Johnny Marks.

Christmas can be that way at times. We get so caught up in the festivities and the hustle and bustle that we forget what it is we are actually celebrating. Christmas is a fun time of year with a lot of fun traditions, but none of it would be possible without Jesus. After all, the birth of Christ is what we are pausing to celebrate. Without Him, all the traditions, the songs, and the celebrations really don’t amount to much.

We really appreciate your strong support through the years. You have been a good friend to Education Alliance. Without you, we wouldn’t be here, either.

From all of us at Education Alliance, have “a holly, jolly Christmas this year.”

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