Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Eve Eve

Thank The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come It's Friday!

"Do I really need to go over all of this with you again this year? Seriously?"

Christmas Cheer


On of my favorite things about the Christmas season is
the many opportunities it affords sentimental types like me to experience heart-tugging moments in
the unlikeliest of ways...

Under normal circumstances, nothing Ezekiel Elliott does on a football field should put
a smile on my face. He plays for a team I despise, and furthermore went to a university 
I despise as well. And yet, in a game this past Sunday against Tampa Bay, he did just that by hopping into a huge Salvation Army kettle after scoring a touchdown.

In true No Fun League fashion, the officials called a "celebration" penalty on the Cowboys, and everyone expected killjoy Roger Goodell to levy a fine within a day or two as well. That Goodell decided against doing so demonstrates that even the biggest horse's ass can occasionally have a moment of clarity. I also loved Salvation Army's perfect response to a reporter who criticized their using Twitter to publicize Elliott's joyful stunt.

The best part of the whole story is that Elliott, who had pledged to match any fine with a contribution to SA, made the donation anyway. And Salvation Army itself has reported a huge spike in "red kettle" donations over the past few days.

"I just love a good Christmas story!"

Me too, old friend, me too...


Rose Red at approximately 8:00 CST

There are just two days left until Christmas, and so far the weather hasn't been that bad.

We got a bit of snow overnight, but it should melt off by afternoon, so now we just have to hope Winter Storm Europa doesn't have anything worse in store for the weekend...

"Why do you care? We're not going anywhere, are we?"

No, but people I am fond of will be traveling for Christmas, and I want them to be safe...

Christmas Literature

On December 23, 1823 the Christmas poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" was published in the Troy, New York Sentinel newspaper.
It had been sent to the paper anonymously
by friends of college professor Clement Clarke Moore, who did not publicly acknowledge authorship of the poem until 1837.

Although there is now some dispute about Moore's authorship claim, there is no disputing the impact the poem has had on American popular culture. It is arguably the best-known American poem ever written.

Christmas Miracle

Today is a sacred day for folks like my best friend Skip who are fans
of the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was
on December 23, 1972 in a playoff game at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh that Steelers running back Franco Harris scored the game-winning touchdown on the play that came to be known as
The Immaculate Reception.

It is one of the most famous plays in NFL history, and since it was the hated Oakland Raiders who were on the losing end of it I can celebrate right along with Skip (even though Harris probably didn't make a legal catch).

"Wow! You know you're going to pay a price for that remark, don't you?"

He knows I'm just yanking his chain...


From the pen of Chip Bok, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

There are some Christmas songs that I can enjoy when they are performed in a variety of musical styles, but there are a few for which only the most traditional sort of performance will do. I'm sure it is largely due to my first becoming acquainted with those songs in Catholic elementary school choir classes, but a few of the more popular Christmas hymns and carols just don't sound quite right to me unless they are performed much as they might have been when first heard hundreds of years ago.

"O Holy Night" is on that short list. My favorite versions of that religious carol are the ones done in respectful, strictly traditional style, preferably by female singers and choral ensembles. Possibly my favorite of all time is the version done a few years ago by the popular Irish performing ensemble Celtic Woman.

In the fall of 2006 the group released their second album and DVD, Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration. Filmed before a live audience, the ensemble was joined for the DVD performance by a full choir and orchestra as they performed a panoply of Christmas favorites both secular and sacred.

For me the highlights of the show were the sacred material like "Panis Angelicus" and "O Come, All Ye Faithful," as well as explicitly Irish songs like "Christmas Pipes" and "Don Oíche Úd I Mbeithil (That Night in Bethlehem)."

The group's debut album had held the No. 1 spot on the Billboard World Music chart for 81 straight weeks until this recording bumped it to No. 2. The album reached No. 5 on the Top Holiday Albums chart and peaked at No. 35 on the Billboard 200. Shortly after its release the group became a worldwide touring phenomenon, which they remain to this day despite personnel changes.

Today's send-off is their soaring, angelic performance of "O Holy Night." Enjoy...

No comments:

Post a Comment