On Virginia and Santa Claus

Interfaith graphic by Justice St. Rain (Bahá’í Community) of Interfaith Resources

Interfaith graphic by Justice St. Rain (Bahá’í Community) of Interfaith Resources

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Yes, Virginia, when I was your age, I believed in Santa – then I questioned – and then I did not believe for a long time – but I was older when I realized Santa Claus is real.

Yes, Virginia, we link Santa Claus to a Christian holiday, but because of Santa, many celebrate Christmas who aren’t Christians.

Yes, Virginia, Santa is important because he is a spirit for all of humanity. He’s not White, Black, Hispanic, or Asian … He may be all of those or whoever someone wants him to be because Santa is for everyone.

Yes, Virginia, we link Santa Claus to St. Nicholas (a Christian saint), but the gift of giving and kindness is important to not just to Christians, but to Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists, Agnostics, Secular Humanists, and all the religions of all the people throughout the big, wonderful world.

Yes, Virginia, some loudly complain about a war on Christmas, buy they do not give Santa much credit.

Yes, Virginia, in the spirit of Santa Claus, I want to give gifts to my readers and anyone who visits this post because I believe there are so many good people throughout the world – and kindness is something all of us have in common.

Yes, Virginia, I want anyone to take as many gifts under this tree as the they want – as long as they tell me in a comment – and they can return as often as they want for more! Yes Virginia, giving is important.

To my fellow Christian friends, Merry Christmas – and we also know what else we are celebrating – and that is important to us to remember.

To all, may the spirit kindness of the holiday season touch each of you … and thanks for all of your doses of Santa kindness that you deliver to my little corner of the world throughout the year and in the time to come.

Yes, Virginia, Santa is about Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All!

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Many of us are grown up now, but Michael Buble shares a Grown Up Christmas List through clips of classic movies about the holidays.

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This Bing Crosby classic song is a wonderful tradition.

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Lights are one of the joys of the season, so here’s a house serving as a background to an acoustic guitar version of The First Noel by Trans Siberian Orchestra

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Several years ago, Lynn (Composer in the Garden) wrote Father Time, and this is a good opportunity to share her spirit of the season.

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To many, handbells are a sound of the season. Here is a fast-paced version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen with interesting techniques that our choir is playing Christmas Eve. (Start at 1:15 in the video)

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Here’s some Christmas flavor from a local legend. Like her famous nephew George, the late Rosemary Clooney’s roots are Cincinnati. Her Christmas Mem’ries will rekindle your memories.

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I find Where Are You Christmas? by The Piano Guys to be special music that is fitting for this post.

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… and their Carol of the Bells is outstanding.

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For the dancers in the crowd, a spin around the floor to the Christmas Waltz promises to deliver smiles.

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A post like this must include on piece of humor, thus so cheers to the Star Trek spin on a holiday favorite.

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A Fire for You (John Boswell) delivers beautiful music to for the Winter Solstice and the season.

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The universe is a spectacular place, and its wonders continue to amaze me. Enjoy a trip through the universe through the Hubble telescope accompanied by a piano version of Oh Holy Night.

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Manheim Steamroller’s version of Silent Night is not only one of my favorite joys of the season, it is also very calming and accompanied by beautiful images.

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For those wanting to celebrate the sounds of Christmas through voices, Andrea Bocelli and Katherine Jenkins are wonderful together … and yes Virginia, I believe.

On a Time

Time can be a noun, verb or adjective – and combined with about one has an adverb.

Tim is a measurable period.

Time is a point or period when something occurs.

Time is a historical period.

Time are the conditions of the moment or a specific period.

Time is a prison sentence or military service.

Time is a rate of tempo and a rhythm.

Time is a series of repeated actions.

Time is a person’s experience at a specific event.

Time is a work requirement.

Time is a fixed duration of some sporting events.

Time is a period when something is in use.

Time is what Jim Croce put in a bottle.

Christmas time has both religious and secular meanings.  Although I’m Christian, during Christmas time I also see, and am grateful for, a genuine spirit coming from the heart of many that stretches across humanity. One this day, I give everyone Christmas in My Heart, a song written by a recent visitor to these page – Composer in the Garden (Lynn). Enjoy … and thank you Lynn.

An a Carol from Elsewhere

The amount of Christmas music that is available is overwhelming. Every year brings us new recordings from a variety of artists – and it seems that Canadian star Michael Buble is a big hit this year. Then again, many older recordings are obvious classics.

Traditional music like Silent Night is recorded is available throughout the word in a many languages. Then again, some wonderful music remains very regional. This is a Nigerian carol performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  We been fortunate to see this renown choir twice, and each time, this song impressed me. Enjoy.

On a Frantic Time

While some people find solace in hearing the melodies of the season, others are pulling their hair with hopes of completing their holiday-to-do list as the approaching deadline looms.  So on this day, this selection of music is perfect – it is a relatively new song of the season (yet one that people know the tune), and is frantically played on handbells.

Especially during the final minute, watch the musicians on the left side as they ring different bells with the same hand. Given that two bells are in one hand, the bells are positioned at right angles to each other so one rings while the other doesn’t. Therefore, the player turns their wrist 90 degrees to ring the other bell (while the other is silent). The player also has two others in the other hand, and remain calm.

Meanwhile, I post this soon after a two-hour handbell rehearsal.

On a Thought for Shopping

I made it through the first week of the project. As an outsider, it is never easy walking into an organization I don’t know to take on a project that is in progress, with a deadline, and about a topic that I know nothing about. Being a gluten for punishment, I’ll return next week. Meanwhile, sometime this weekend I need to reply to the comments here.

Since missing the regular edition of Opinions in the Shorts still bothers me, maybe a Saturday surprise for entertainment purposes is in order. Let’s face it – the malls and other major shopping areas will be crazy this weekend, which exactly why you won’t find me there. But for those considering a shopping trip, keep your eye open for someone who may be expressing holiday cheer through dance. Thanks to H.E. for discovering this video.

On the Gift of Music

Music comes in some many forms. Classical compositions differ between eras and composers. The rock music is diverse, as is all musical genres.

Sometimes music is creative. For instance, this past Monday’s post of look Mom, no hands bell ringing brings laughs and wonder. Nonetheless, playing bells without hands is an example of the human spirit.

This video is a gift to you – a gift of music. As a handbell player, I appreciate the talent of the Raleigh Ringers, who ring bells the traditional way – with their hands. Their skill gives me chills and I get exhausted just watching them ring ringing Trans Siberian Orchestra holiday classic.

For those that don’t know, playing two bells in one hand is a special skill … let alone at a fast pace. Ringers cross two bells are at right angles, and the ringer plays the correct bell by flicking their wrist at different right angles. Then add another pair of bells in the other hand. Watch the ringers on the left side. Enjoy.

Tomorrow, Christmas Eve, brings one more gift. Hope you come back.

On Holiday Music

The holiday season is full of music – some in the traditional sense and others putting a new twist to a timeless classic. I remember when Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas tunes came to the forefront, yet today, Trans Siberian Orchestra has replaced them. Then again, the availability of Christmas songs by a variety of artists is bountiful.

With the glories of modern media, the opportunities of more unique music – and here is one. This was done that weekend, and I’m sure will flourish across the web – that is why I’m linking this now.

Enjoy Atlanta’s North Point Community Church and their rendition of holiday classics using iPads and iPhones. After seeing it, here’s the list of the apps used. Enjoy!