To me, the December holiday rush is about the season of goodness. Some see it through a festival of light, others through a Nativity scene, others through the secular side of a Christmas tree, others through darkness of nature and Yule, and I’m sure other ways exist. Whatever the perspective, this is the season for joy, light, renewal, and hope.
I know that Christmas is a Christian holiday. Although I am a Christian, so my thoughts will cause some skin to crawl, but I also see this holiday time as the season of goodness that goes across humanity regardless of religion. A season of goodwill to all – l season of gratitude and appreciation of others – a season …. And at the head of the holiday parade is Santa Claus – the Spirit of Goodness.
Santa is for Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, Naturalists, Christians, and anyone and everyone else believing in a positive humanity. Yes, Santa is for everyone!
For me and to many others here, it’s Merry Christmas – but for others its’s Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, Happy Solstice (or Yule), or simply have a blessed holiday. In my final Christmas post in my little corner of the world, and being one believing the majority of the world is good, I wish everyone bountiful goodness during this holiday season with the greeting that suits them.
Below are some of my favorites for the season. For me, the gift of music for you is me. Whether you watch all or some, please let me know your favorites.
Christmas Canon (Trans Siberian Orchestra)
Silent Night (Placido Domingo and The Piano Guys)
As a ballroom dancer, I must include the light-hearted Christmas Waltz featuring a variety of clips from holiday movies.
In the spirit of the Winter Solstice, enjoy A Fire For You (John Boswell).
Ever since I saw this performed live, I love it – a Nigerian carol by the Morman Tabernacle Choir.
O Holy Night (piano solo with beautiful images of deep space).
Silent Night (Mannheim Steamroller – a long-time personal favorite arrangement featuring images of nature)
Welcome to the last OITS of 2019 … so I’ve included a few extras!
Thanks to everyone for participating in Weekend Concert Series saluting Broadway. It was maddening because it was the first time I’ve done something like that. Plus, it turned out not to be the best weekend for me in terms of timing. Nonetheless, everyone seemed to have a good time and I enjoyed listening to all the songs. The next concert will be after the first of the year, and the finale to the series.
Next concert: Tentatively Saturday 4 January – Duets – (Two performers not normally paired together)
With the December holidays upon us, I will abbreviate my posting schedule. Below is a probable schedule that is subject to change (Times are based on Eastern US).
(Sunday afternoon) 22 December) A beach walk
(Tuesday 24 Dec – or late 23rd) Christmas post
(Friday 27 Dec) A caption challenge for an image
(Sun 29 Dec) – A food review
(Tuesday 31 Dec) New Years post
(Thursday night 2 January) – Opinions in the Shorts
(Saturday 4 January) – Weekend Concert – Duets
We recently spent an afternoon at the Cincinnati Museum Center. We the Omnimax movies. Fortunately, for us, we saw two! After visiting the vert-well-done Apollo 11 exhibit, we went into the theater for the Apollo 11 movie. Interesting, no narration – just a story told through a string of actual film footage from the time. After the movie, we stayed in our seats for Superpower Dogs, an uplifting film about rescue dogs who work to save lives – and a must for dog lovers!
Readers may remember Fiona, the baby hippo that the Cincinnati Zoo cared from birth. Fiona, 29 pounds (13 kg) at birth, will have her 3rd birthday on January 2020. This 30-second video will make you smile.
Joe Barrow, the LSU quarterback not only won the Heisman Award (college football’s best player), he won the hearts of many. In his acceptance speech, he talked about the poverty of many people of Athens County Ohio. The nation has responded with well over $500K! But there is something lost in the story. Athens County is not an island. It’s one county in a region of 15 or so counties that are very poor – worse than Athens County – let alone additional counties in adjacent West Virginia and Kentucky. How do I know? I grew up one county south of Athens.
I admit, The Masked Singer is a fun show. Congratulations to The Fox – Wayne Brady.
Sadly, my Benevolent Impalers experienced the agony of defeat in the tournament semifinals. It was close, but my worthy opponent had an unexpected monster game from a player and big points from the New England defense against my hometown Bengals. Ouch!
I’m not a Trump supporter – never have, never will be. Then again, after he won the election, I was willing to give him a chance. To me, he has miserably failed – yet, I see impeachment as a sad day. Congress has not upheld its Constitutional obligation of oversight and the behaviors have been pathetic at best. I’m officially embarrassed to be an American.
If I was single, I would consider moving to another country. Yes, I am that embarrassed and concerned.
I truly believe the polls, pundits, politicians, and citizens that America is a divided nation – and possibly the most divided in my lifetime and beyond. Two strongly divided camps with shrinking common ground – each with vitrole for the other – each with disdain for moderates – each with drums beating fervently in the echo chamber – one explains, the other not listening. A divided nation with a president wearing a hat stating, “Keep America Great” – a statement reinforcing the division. A friend asked me, “How do we solve this problem?” My answer is simple. “Unless the collective of elected officials lead the change, we can’t. Otherwise, we will need a national emergency. I hope I don’t live long enough to see the next US Civil War.”
In a discussion about the current impeachment, a friend of mine (a self-proclaimed unbiased source) told me that he wasn’t sure if President Trump warranted an investigation, let alone impeachment – but President Obama should have been impeached.
For those who forgot and didn’t know, the impeachment is Obama’s fault.
Woman not as fun-loving and carefree as pom-pom on winter hat suggests
Hungover coworker a little too functional morning after holiday party not to be alcoholic
Boyfriend ready to take relationship to previous level
Man checking if chicken wings got hot enough in microwave like first responder searching for pulse
Mom holds knife to throat of dinner guest who offered to help with dishes
Hiker trapped for days under fallen boulder survives by cutting off own ponytail
Ant flees across state line carrying big crumb
The next weekend concert is approaching. Join us with The Guess Who +. The plus sign means the following artists will be accepted: The Guess Who, Burton Cummings, Chad Allen, Chad Allen and the Expressions, Brave Belt, and Bachman-Turner Overdrive (hopefully limited). Concert starts this Saturday at 1:00 AM (Eastern US).
California sadly burns again. Good luck and be safe.
Believe it or not, I have not good trips planned for the rest of 2019.
Our ushering duties allow us to see a wonderful play – The Lifespan of a Fact. Although from from esoteric, it engaged my cerebrum.
Cleaning out the blog closet has been fun … and I still have more to come!
Just heard this one. According to the Kentucky Bourbon Association, current bourbon inventory is at the level of 2 barrels for each Kentucky resident.
Baseball is officially over – congratulations to the Washington Nationals for winning and ending a 95 year draught … and let the record show that the Reds have gone more days without losing than all the teams that made the playoffs.
While wins by the away team are typically uncommon, many were amazed that the away team won all of the World Series games – but they also forget that unusually similar (but not the same) results happened in the most recent playoffs in professional hockey and basketball.
My fantasy football team sits at 6-2: one game out of first and tied for second (#3 seed). The Benevolent Impalers end the first round this weekend in a must-win against the #5 seed – but the team has scoring issues!
The way Republicans are protecting President Trump is a prime example of a politician’s party-first mantra. Then again, that mantra is not limited to one side of the aisle. I like this recent column by George Will.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) continually comparing the Democratic-led private hearings to what happens in Russia is more than pathetic. Given President Trump’s affinity for Russia, interesting that Rep. Scalise chose those words.
In their way of not defending President Trump, Republicans are relegated to focusing their anti-impeachment argument on the impeachment process that focuses on two key points: 1) their partisan base, and 2) public ignorance.
I continue to believe that people want elected officials to solve problems. While people complain about the collective (but not their representative), only 11% (48 of 435) elected to the House of Representatives are members of the bi-partisan Problem-Solvers Caucus.
ISIS member unsure whom to submit PTO request to
Drama queen waiter completely full of shit about plate being too hot to touch
Heroic Secret Service agent takes bull intended for president
Dad figures funeral just as good a time as any to try out new camera lens
Aggressive flagellate just going around whipping other single-celled organisms
Toddler standing up in shopping cart surveys grocery store like grizzled sea captain on whaling expedition
A candle is a small thing. But one candle can light another. And see how its own light increases, as a candle gives its flame to the other. You are such a light. Moshe Davis and Victor Ratner
Interfaith graphic by Justice St. Rain (Bahá’í Community) of Interfaith Resources
Such a short poem, yet so profound in many ways … and even better in the season of the lights. On the religious side of 2016, Christians and Jews have celebrations on December 24th – Christmas Eve and the first day of Hanukkah. Three days earlier was another day that provides spirituality for many – the Winter Solstice. Toss in the fact that Christmas also serves as a secular celebration for many, these days impact many.
To me, Santa Claus is a symbol that crosses all cultures – all people – simply because he is the symbol of goodness. After all, goodness across the world as it transcends religions, languages, cultures, skin colors, gender, ages, sexual orientations, and even politics.
As my regulars know well, I enjoy using videos in many of my posts. In the spirit of Santa’s goodness, thank you for all the joys you give me through your interaction here and for your posts. Even through all the craziness in the world, the good feed off each other.
Enjoy any or all of the music selections of the season that are below … but I appreciate knowing which you enjoyed … so stay as long as you wish.
For all who find peace and renewal through the Winter Solstice.
For all finding the light shining bright through the night.
For all who appreciate the music of the season done a different way A few weeks ago we heard – Little Drummer Boy done to the rhythms of Ravel’s Bolero.
For the many regulars here who enjoy The Piano Guys … (I had to include them.)
For all who appreciate the music of other cultures (This one has stuck with me ever since I saw this in person many years ago).
For the fans of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, who meld their words with the beauty of Pachelbel’s Canon.
For all who find awe and wonder in deep space with this classic.
For all attracted to one of the most beautiful natural lights of the season – the Aurora Borealis – and set to my favorite version of a classic tune of the season.
Whether it be Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Christmas, Happy Holidays or whatever greeting you prefer, I issue a greeting of your choosing for the season … plus Peace and Joy to all!
For many of the Explore posts I precede the video with reflective quotes that tie to the video – but not this time. Many readers here enjoy The Piano Guys. Although the music is theirs, the video is a tribute to their home.
Besides multiple occasions at the Salt Lake City airport, I’ve never been to Utah. It would seem to national parks like Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef would be quite the journey in itself … but I’m sure there is more to see. So, enjoy the music and visual tribute The Piano Guys give to the region they live and love – southern Utah.