Driving Notes

The Official Blog of WNZR's Afternoon Drive


christmas gift exchange

Mystery Monday!

Today Todd and I gave you some chances to win with our Mystery Monday Question and a Christmas Gift Exchange!

Here is today’s Mystery Question:

Can you name two out of the top five most popular Christmas songs? 

  1. Jingle Bells – 45
  2. White Christmas – 16
  3. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – 8
  4. O Holy Night – 7
  5. Silver Bells – 6
  6. We Wish You a Merry Christmas – 5
  7. Silent Night – 4
  8. Jingle Bell Rock – 3
  9. Joy to the world – 1
  10. All I Want for Christmas is You – 1

Congratulations to Jana from Utica who guessed Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and won that $5 gift card to Troyer’s of Apple Valley!

Here are the fun facts that we shared about these Christmas songs:

  • “White Christmas” is the top-selling Christmas song of all time. The song was written by Irving Berlin, a Russian Jewish immigrant who also wrote “God Bless America.”
  • The song “Jingle Bells” was written in the 1850s for a Unitarian church by James Lord Pierpont, but it wasn’t written for Christmas. It was originally written for Thanksgiving and called “One Horse Open Sleigh”.
  • “Silent Night” is one of the most recognizable songs at Christmas Mass and on a radio playing non-stop holiday music. (While most people recognize the lyrics “Silent Night, Holy Night, all is calm, all is bright,” the original lyrics are “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht, alles schlaft, einsam wacht.”) The song was originally written in German in 1816 by Father Joseph Mohr, a Catholic priest in Austria. Two years later, it was set to music by Franz Gruber. It was translated into English by John Freeman Young of Manhattan’s Trinity Church.
  • Silver Bells, written in 1950 by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. The original title? “Tinkle Bells.” The title was changed when Livingston’s wife told him about the double meaning of tinkle. 

We also played the WNZR Christmas Gift Exchange! Congratulations and thanks to Karen from Mount Vernon who played the WNZR Christmas Gift Exchange with us and won a gift from under our tree! If you want more information, click HERE.

Thanks for checking out our blog!

– Hannah and Todd

Who Knew Wednesday

Today Todd and I talked about a somewhat mysterious Christmas Carol, The 12 days of Christmas!

Here is what we talked about:

What are the 12 days of Christmas?

The 12 days of Christmas is the period that in Christian theology marks the span between the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi, the three wise men. It begins on December 25  and runs through January 6. The four weeks preceding Christmas are collectively known as Advent, which begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on December 24.

The history of the carol is somewhat murky. The earliest known version first appeared in a 1780 children’s book called Mirth With-out Mischief.  Some historians think the song could be French in origin, but most agree it was designed as a “memory and forfeits” game, in which singers tested their recall of the lyrics and had to award their opponents a “forfeit” — a kiss or a favor of some kind — if they made a mistake.

Many variations of the lyrics have existed at different points. Some mention “bears a-baiting” or “ships a-sailing”; some name the singer’s mother as the gift giver instead of their true love. Early versions list four “colly” birds, an archaic term meaning black as coal (blackbirds, in other words). And some people theorize that the five gold rings actually refer to the markings of a ring-necked pheasant, which would align with the bird motif of the early verses.

In any case, the song most of us are familiar with today comes from an English composer named Frederic Austin; in 1909, he set the melody and lyrics (including changing “colly” to “calling”) and added as his own flourish the drawn-out cadence of “five go-old rings.”

The song is not a coded primer on Christianity

A popular theory that’s made the internet rounds is that the lyrics to “The 12 Days of Christmas” are coded references to Christianity; it posits that the song was written to help Christians learn and pass on the tenets of their faith while avoiding persecution. Under that theory, the various gifts break down as follows, as the myth-debunking website Snopes explained:

2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments

3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues

4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists

5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the “Pentateuch,” which gives the history of man’s fall from grace.

6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation

7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments

8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes

9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit

10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments

11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles

12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed

The partridge in the pear tree, naturally, represents Jesus Christ.

If you want some more information on the 12 days of Christmas, like how much it would cost to buy all of these items, click HERE. 

We played the WNZR Christmas gift exchange and had two lucky people pick a present from under our tree! Click HERE if you want to know more.

Here was today’s Trivia question:

Question: What Christmas decoration was originally made from strands of silver?

Answer: Tinsel
Congratulations to John from Utica who guessed right and won a $5 gift card to Troyer’s of Apple Valley!
Thanks for checking out our blog!
-Hannah and Todd

Artist News Day Game Time Tuesday

Today Todd and I had a jammed packed Afternoon Drive for you and plenty of chances to win!

Here is the Artist News that we shared today:

News Boys and Michal W. Smith Join Forces for the Surrounded and Untied Tour


Not only did we play the WNZR Christmas Gift Exchange once, but twice! Congratulations to Kristina from Fredricktown and Cheryl from Danville who played the WNZR Christmas Gift Exchange and got some pretty awesome gifts from under our tree here at WNZR! If you want more information on The WNZR Christmas Gift Exchange, click HERE.

Here are today’s Song Poetry lyrics:

Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet
You have every failure God, and You’ll have every victory.

Congratulations to Lori from Brinkhaven who correctly guessed that our song was “You Say” by Lauren Daigle! She won that $5 Gift Card to Troyer’s Apple Valley!

Thanks so much for listen and checking out our blog!

-Hannah and Todd


Mystery Monday

Today Joe and I talked about so much on the Afternoon Drive! We started out with our Mystery Monday question…

Christmas Theme:  Name one gift you should never get someone for Christmas. 

Here are the Answers! 

1. Underwear – 34

2. Vacuum cleaner/ cleaning supplies – 13

3. Fruitcake -11

4. Socks – 10

5. Weight loss item– 9

6. Coal – 7

7. Clothes/lingerie – 6

8. Personal Hygiene items – 5

9. Appliances – 4

Congratulations to Anna from Mount Vernon who guessed the TOP TWO questions and won that $5 gift card to Troyer’s of Apple Valley!!

We also shared with you some things that you SHOULD get your loved ones for Christmas!

HERE is the link to the baskets we talked about it.

HERE the hairdryer candle trick!

Congratulations to Pam from Fredericktown and Kim from Mount Vernon who won in the Christmas Gift Exchange! Click HERE for more information.

We also talk to Paul McNeal about some of the special games happening this week at MVNU! Click HERE to hear that interview!

Thanks so much for listening and checking out our blog!

-Hannah and Joe

Oh What Fun! – Christmas Who-Knew!

The 25th is RIGHT around the corner, and time is ticking to bake those last recipes, put together some crafts, watch those favorite movies and enjoy the sights and sounds of this Christmas season! Today, we talked about some of the best ways to spend your time leading up to the big day!

The badge of Pinterest Mom? Yeah.
I wear that with PRIDE.

Check out some family fun crafts below…
Candy Cane Pipe-Cleaner
Rudolph Candy Bars
Snowman Door Decor!
Pinecone Christmas Trees
Paper Plate Elves
Christmas Slime!

What’s Christmas without the food, am I right?
Melted Snowmen Bark
Snowmen on a Stick
Peppermint Oreo Truffles
Pull Apart Bread Christmas Tree
Grinch Cookies
Shortbread Bites
Cranberry Crock-Pot Meatballs

WNZR’s favorite part of Christmas?
The music. Of Course.
Here’s a playlist of the best 30 Christmas songs
Here’s 12 straight hours of Christmas music!
annnnnd here’s 8 hours of fire to listen to them by!

Here’s my favorite Christmas song.
Here’s Joe’s favorite Christmas song.

And what’s Christmas without enjoying some of the things that you can only enjoy at Christmas time!? Well here’s some of the things we think you should do this season!
A bucket-list (Stocking list) of sorts!
– Make a gingerbread house
– Bake and decorate cookies
– Decorate the tree
– Drive around the town and see the lights
– Go sledding (Snow provided)
– Build a snowman (snow provided)
– Drink hot cocoa
– Listen to Christmas music by the fire (fake or real)
– Sing your favorite Christmas carol for all to hear
– Watch your favorite Christmas movie
– Eat stuffing or scalloped potatoes (The homemade, crockpot kind)
– Sit quietly with no lights except the tree and drink hot chocolate
– Christmas Eve candlelight service at Church
– Pie & coffee & talking
– Participate in a Christmas Gift Exchange

Our Christmas Word of the Day today was…
This is the feast of the nativity of Jesus Christ

Middle English yol, from Old English geōl; akin to Old Norse jōl,
a pagan midwinter festival

First Known Use: before 12th century

Thanks for listening!


A Tuesday Filled with Games!

Welcome to the 12 Days of Christmas, ladies and gentlemen!
We love giving you chances to win, and we did that today here on the Afternoon Drive!

It’s Game Time Tuesday so we played some games!
For song poetry today we gave the lyrics to a familiar Christmas song!
Here are the lyrics…

“Oh how they pound,
Raising the sound,
O’er hill and dale,
Telling their tale.”

That’s the lyrics to ‘Carol of the Bells’!
Congrats to Rochelle from Mt. Vernon!
She’s taking home that $5 from Troyer’s of Apple Valley!

My suggestion for the lyrics were as follows…
“Ding, dong, ding, dong”
But Joe said no, so maybe next time.

We also exchanged some gifts today for the WNZR Christmas Gift Exchange!
Congrats to Robin from Mt. Vernon!
She won a gift certificate for a dozen carnations from Flowers for You!
and also congrats to
They won

We also like to do a little uplifting news for your Tuesdays!
Here’s a story about Tyler Perry! In the midst of the hustle and bustle of this life and the sadness that comes with day to day. Check out what he clings to in these times!

Image result for partridge
Partridges are medium-sized non-migratory gamebirds, with a wide native distribution throughout the Old World, including Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa.

A famous reference to the partridge is in the Christmas carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. The first gift listed is “a partridge in a pear tree”, and these words end each verse. Since partridges are unlikely to be seen in pear-trees (they are ground-nesting birds) it has been suggested that the text “in a pear tree” is a corruption of the French “une perdrix“.

There is a huge theory behind this and it’s really neat.
The partridge is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who comes to us on the first day of Christmas. He is fittingly represented as a partridge, a bird which will feign injury in order to draw predators to itself and away from its young. By offering Himself on the Cross, “He hath delivered me from the snare of the hunters. He will overshadow thee with His shoulders: and under His wings thou shalt trust.” (Psalms 90:4)
The pear tree is the Cross itself. When King David wished to free his people from the scourge of the Philistines, the Lord told him that the moment would come “when thou shalt hear the sound of one going in the tops of the pear trees, then shalt thou join battle: for then will the Lord go out before thy face to strike the army of the Philistines.” (II Kings 5:24)”
Neato, right?

Also! A partridge in a pear tree costs $209.99.
That’s just one. But if you got all 12 of them… it would cost $2,519.88
With that cost, that makes up 1.6% of the total cost of the gifts.
The most expensive gift? The Seven Swans a Swimming.
For 1 of them… $1,875.
For 7 of them… it’s $13,125.00.
If you want the 42 times they’re mentioned in the song? Well…
That’ll run you $78,750!
That’s 50% of the total cost for all of the 12 days of Christmas, for every time they’re mentioned. That’s 364 gifts for $156,507.88.

Thanks for listening!

Blog Exclusive NZ Top 10! 12/15

In the midst of the 12 Days of Christmas here on WNZR, we still need to have the NZ Top 10, right? Rather than deprive the masses of the top 10 songs in Christian radio, why not make it blog exclusive, yeah?
Here it is!

10. Hard Love – NeedToBreathe Ft. Lauren Daigle
15th week on – 2nd week at #10

9. Messiah – Francesca Battistelli (NEW!)
Previously #23 on the charts, now #9

8. The Gospel – Ryan Stevenson
16th week on – down 3 spots from last week

7. O Come to the Altar – Elevation Worship
21st week on – down 3 spots from last week

6. O’ Lord – Lauren Daigle
4th week on – 2nd week at #6

5. Control – Tenth Avenue North
5th week on – peak week @ #5 – up 4 from last week

4. Your Love Defends Me – Matt Maher
6th week on – peak week @ #4 – up 4 from last week

3. Word of Life – Jeremy Camp
9th week on – 2nd week @ #3

2. Broken Things – Matthew West
18th week on – 7th week @ #2

1. Old Church Choir – Zach Williams
20th week on – 14th week @ #1

Thanks for listening to WNZR! Have a great weekend!

Praying for Family

This week, as we continue our series inspired by the Kendrick brothers’ book. The Battle Plan for Prayer, we’re focusing on how to do pray for family.

So how do we engage in praying for the ones we love?

If you are married, you start with your wife or your husband. Your marriage is to be a real-life application of the gospel to your children, friends and everyone else who knows you.

Ephesians 5:25 reminds husbands to “love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Wives, in verse 22, are asked to support and honor the leadership of their husbands as they would honor the Lord.

What this all means is that we run to Christ for love, joy and peace, then take all of that and pour it into our marriages.  We pray for each other, asking for God to direct when disagreements happen, which they inevitably will.  When that happens, we should be committed to listening respectfully, confessing openly and extending patience and kindness. We should be hard to offend and quick to forgive!

The example we are setting in our marriages is too valuable to let the voices of other people become more important than our spouse’s voice.

We can also pray that our spouse is devoted to Christ, surrendered to following His Word and His lordship. We can pray that each of our spouse’s relationships are marked by love and unselfishness, especially the ones that are strained.  We can pray for peace, healing and restoration where things are broken.

We can pray that God would keep our spouse clearly aware of God’s desires, knowing how to handle each day’s decisions. We can pray that God keeps us, as their partner, attuned to their needs so we can be a voice of clarity in their lives.

We can pray David’s prayer in Psalm 20:4 for our spouses: “May He give you what your heart desires and fulfill your whole purpose.”

The Lord will guide our marriages as we are more specific in our praying for them.

Satan is in the business of causing confusion in our families, so we must pray against that.

The enemy also wants to confuse our kids, distract them, apply unneeded pressure to them and doubt their sense of worth and identity.

Our role as a parent is to stand in the gap of these areas, listening to our children and knowing the condition of their hearts.  Praying with our kids, with our arms around them and then praying for them even when they are not physically with us.

We are to intercede for our children in prayer for their protection, their friendships, their character and their ability to stand up to temptation.  Our children may not realize the level of spiritual opposition to claim their eyes and their interests.  Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

But WE KNOW the level of opposition. We’ve felt it. So…defend your kids in prayer. Claim God’s promises of victory in their lives. Pray for God’s spirit to go ahead of them wherever they may be. That they may draw others to Him.

If your kids are older, then pray that they will remain faithful to God in their generation, love him and keep His commands, like it talks about in Deuteronomy 7:9. Oh, and all of this also applies to our grandchildren!

Alex and Stephen share in this chapter that the Psalmist was thinking about multiple generations when he wrote:

“so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
 Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.”

Just like we’ve shared throughout this series, we can ask God to ‘unlock’ the Word so that we can pray specifically for our family and future generations.

The battle plan for prayer for your family is simply awaiting your dedicated attention to it!  To make it a priority…to make your family a prayer target.  Prayer is the most effective investment we can make along with all the other ones, like love, time, physical and emotional support, sweat equity and financial generosity.

Today’s prayer:

Lord, I bring my family before you today – their needs, struggles, their goals, their concerns, their present and their future.  These loved ones of mine are actually yours, Lord, and you have graciously shared them with me. Help me to best express my gratitude to you by never failing to pray for them, to seek your will for them, and to ask for your wisdom as I relate in love and loyalty towards them.

Give me discernment as to their physical and spiritual needs in each season, and help me faithfully lift them up to you in faith, love and in the power of the Holy Spirit. May many generations be blessed because of my prayers.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Our Christmas Gift Exchange winners are Jeff from Mount Vernon and Brenda from Fredericktown – congratulations!

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Hannah

Who Knew? – Christmas Songs!

Today on Who Knew Wednesday we shared some background on Christmas carols, hymns and songs.

ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH – today’s version by Casting Crowns

The lyrics were written in 1862 by James Chadwick, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle in the Northern Province of England. It was inspired by a French song that follows the storyline of the ‘angels in the countryside’ singing to the shepherds.

‘Gloria in excelsis deo’ is Latin for ‘glory to God in the highest.’

Popular artists to record the song include: the Carpenters, Chris Tomlin, Mercy Me, Josh Groban, the Brian Setzer Orchestra and Sixpence None the Richer.

CHRISTMAS TIME IS HERE – today’s version by Erin O’Donnell

Most people recognize this song from the TV special ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas,’ which features the version by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.  It was released in 1965.  A second version of the song features vocals from children at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in San Rafael, California.

TV historians note that the song and program made its debut on CBS Television on December 9, 1965. In the special, Charlie Brown finds himself depressed during the holiday season. Lucy suggests he direct a neighborhood Christmas play, but his best efforts are ignored and mocked by his peers. After Linus tells Charlie Brown about the true meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown cheers up, and the Peanuts gang unites to celebrate the Christmas season.

In casting the characters, the producers hired child actors. The program’s soundtrack was also different: it featured a jazz score by pianist Guaraldi. Since there was no laugh track, the tone, pacing, music, and animation led both the producers and network to think the project would be a disaster preceding its broadcast.

BUT…A Charlie Brown Christmas received high ratings and acclaim from critics. It has since been honored with both an Emmy and Peabody Award.

JOY TO THE WORLD – today’s version by Avalon

This carol or hymn was written and published in 1719 by English writer Issac Watts. It is based mostly on Psalm 96: 11-12:

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
    let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
    let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.

It is the most published Christmas hymn in North America.

The origin of the music normally is credited to a tune called “Antioch’ and to George Frederick Handel since it resembles some choruses in the Messiah.

HOW GREAT OUR JOY – today’s version by Phillips, Craig and Dean

The origin of the text for “How Great Our Joy” is not known, but  The New Oxford Book of Carols says it may date back to as early as 1500 AD in Germany. In 1623, the tune was modernized and given an echo setting, where one group or individual repeats the lines of another. There is speculation that the song may have been designed for a Christmas play in which the shepherds’ lines were followed by an off-stage echo.

The first two stanzas of the song were translated by American born Theodore Baker (1851-1934) who studied music in Germany, and the tune is based on an arrangement by Hu­go Jüngst (1853-1923). In the U.S., we generally only sing between 2 and 4 of the original 9 stanzas:

While by my sheep, I watched at night
Glad tiding brought an angel bright

“For you,” he said, “this blessed morn
In Bethlehem a child is born.”

“Go where he lies within a stall
The infant Redeemer of us all.”

There in the stall he sleeping lay;
There by his side I longed to stay.

Sweetly he gazed into my face:
I in his hands my heart did place

Gently I kissed his tiny feet,
Which to my lips were honey-sweet.

Then to my home I made my way:
Yet still that Child with me did stay

Within my arms that Child did rest:
Oh! how my heart with love was blest.

Close shall I guard this darling Boy,
Thus shall my heart be filled with joy.

today’s winners: Kristina from Fredericktown and Jessica from Mount Vernon!

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Hannah

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