May 30, 2020

Christmas Brunch, December 21, 2019

Hello, friends. Ready for a Christmas Brunch?

Let’s take a break from politics and divisiveness and focus on Christmas. We will start with some silly stuff, give a few lists, pose a couple discussion questions, and then conclude with Madonnas from around the world.

No photo description available.

 

THE TWELVE THANK-YOU NOTES OF CHRISTMAS

Dec 25
My dearest darling Edward,
What a wonderful surprise has just greeted me! That sweet partridge, in that lovely little pear-tree; what an enchanting, romantic, poetic present! Bless you, and thank you.
Your deeply loving Emily

Dec 26
Beloved Edward,
The two turtle-doves arrived this morning, and are cooing away in the pear-tree as I write.  I’m so touched and grateful! With undying love, as always, Emily

Dec 27
My darling Edward,
You do think of the most original presents! Whoever thought of sending anybody three French hens? Do they really come all the way from France? It’s a pity we have no chicken coops, but I expect we’ll find some. Anyway, thank you so much; they’re lovely.
Your devoted Emily

Dec 28
Dearest Edward,
What a surprise! Four calling birds arrived this morning.  They are very sweet, even if they do call rather loudly–they make telephoning almost impossible–but I expect they’ll calm down when they get used to their new home.  Anyway, I’m very grateful, of course, I am.
Love from Emily

Dec 29
Dearest Edward,
The mailman has just delivered five most beautiful gold rings, one for each finger, and all fitting perfectly! A really lovely present! Lovelier, in a way, than birds, which do take rather a lot of looking after. The four that arrived yesterday are still making a terrible row, and I’m afraid none of us got much sleep last night. Mother says she wants to use the rings to “wring” their necks. Mother has such a sense of humor. This time she’s only joking, I think, but I do know what she means.  Still, I love the rings.
Bless you, Emily

Dec 30
Dear Edward,
Whatever I expected to find when I opened the front door this morning, it certainly wasn’t six socking great geese laying eggs all over the porch. Frankly, I rather hoped that you had stopped sending me birds. We have no room for them, and they’ve already ruined the croquet lawn. I know you meant well, but let’s call a halt, shall we?
Love,  Emily

Dec 31
Edward,
I thought I said NO MORE BIRDS. This morning I woke up to find no more than seven swans, all trying to get into our tiny goldfish pond. I’d rather not think what’s happened to the goldfish. The whole house seems to be full of birds, to say nothing of what they leave behind them, so please, please, stop!
Your Emily

Jan 1
Frankly, I prefer the birds. What am I to do with eight milkmaids? And their cows! Is this some kind of joke? If so, I’m afraid I don’t find it very amusing.
Emily

Jan 2
Look here, Edward,
This has gone far enough. You say you’re sending me nine ladies dancing. All I can say is, judging from the way they dance, they’re certainly not ladies. The village just isn’t accustomed to seeing a regiment of shameless viragos, with nothing on but their lipstick, cavorting round the green, and it’s Mother and I who get the blame. If you value our friendship, which I do (less and less), kindly stop this ridiculous behavior at once!
Emily

Jan 3
As I write this letter, ten disgusting old men are prancing up and down all over what used to be the garden, before the geese and the swans and the cows got at it.  And several of them, I have just noticed, are taking inexcusable liberties with the milkmaids. Meanwhile, the neighbors are trying to have us evicted. I shall never speak to you again.
Emily

Jan 4
This is the last straw! You know I detest bagpipes! The place has now become something between a menagerie and a madhouse, and a man from the council has just declared it unfit for habitation. At least Mother has been spared this last outrage; they took her away yesterday afternoon in an ambulance. I hope you’re satisfied.

Jan 5
Sir,
Our client, Miss Emily Wilbraham, instructs me to inform you that with the arrival on her premises at 7:30 this morning of the entire percussion section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and several of their friends, she has no course left open to her but to seek an injunction to prevent you importuning her further. I am making arrangements for the return of much-assorted livestock.
I am, Sir, yours faithfully,
G.  Creep
Attorney at law

Christmas, of course, is a time of tradition. What were your most and least favorite growing up? For me, the worst, by far, was the sacred tradition of serving oyster stew on Christmas Eve. I’m still traumatized. Let’s get this straight: Oysters look like the flu. And oyster stew is just congealed chunks of flu floating in a vat of warm milk.  Which leads us to…

Five Worst Christmas Traditions:

  1. Elf on the Shelf. If it isn’t creepy enough that Santa knows when we’re sleeping and when we’re awake, now he sends an elf to live in our house for a whole month and spy on us?
  2. White, silver or pink Christmas Trees. A tree should look like it grew in a forest on planet Earth, not in a Dr. Seuss book.
  3. Christmas Family Newsletter. Look, we’re glad you had a good year but we don’t have the time or interest in reading a two page, single-spaced essay about how you kid is on the honor roll again, you got new aluminium siding or that the hemorrhoid surgery went well. And we don’t need to see pictures of any of those things.
  4. Inflatable yard ornaments. A Santa or reindeer on your front lawn is weird enough, but if it’s blown up like a Macy’s Thanksgiving parade float, you’ve officially gone too far. Where’s my BB gun?
  5. Mall Santas. If there’s a fat bearded guy at the mall inviting children to sit on his lap, that’s somebody you should be reporting to the authorities, not lining up to visit.
  6. Green Bean Casserole. What is this dish … really? Canned soup, canned fried onions and canned beans. This is a culinary holiday tradition? Why? A holdover from the Depression? Campbell’s Soup propaganda? Brainwashing from the ‘50’s when canned products were actually served without irony? Whatever the reason, please stop. We’ve moved on. Fresh fruit and vegetable are easily accessible. Vintage is nice with old clothes and furniture, not so much with food.

Christmas is also known for its music. In fact, it is really the ONLY holiday known for its music. It’s like the other holidays aren’t even trying. Just for the sake of giving us something to argue over in the comments, here are a few totally objective, factual and indisputable lists.

Five Best Christmas Carols:

  1. Joy to the World
  2. O Come, O Come Emmanuel
  3. Angels we have Heard on High
  4. The Dream Isaiah Saw
  5. O Holy Night

Five Best Secular Christmas Songs:

  1. Christmas Time is Here
  2. Silver Bells
  3. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  4. O Tannenbaum
  5. Do You Hear What I Hear

Five “OK” Christmas Songs that are played WAY too often

  1. All I want for Christmas is You
  2. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas
  3. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  4. Here Comes Santa Claus
  5. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire)

Five Terrible, crappy, obnoxious and stupid Christmas “songs” that defile the very concept of music and make me wish a rabid cockroach had eaten my ear drums:

  1. Last Christmas
  2. Santa Baby
  3. Christmas Shoes
  4. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause
  5. Wonderful Christmas Time

 

And movies. Why not go there too?

Five Best Holiday Movies

  1. It’s a Wonderful Life
  2. The Santa Clause
  3. Elf
  4. A Charlie Brown Christmas (best soundtrack)
  5. Die Hard

Five Worst Holiday Movies:

  1. Random Hallmark Holiday Movie
  2. Random Hallmark Holiday Movie
  3. Random Hallmark Holiday Movie
  4. Random Hallmark Holiday Movie
  5. Whatever this is:

So, the pump is primed for a few discussion questions;

  1. What is your favorite or least favorite holiday music?
  2. What is your favorite or least favorite Christmas carol or song?
  3. Do you have a favorite childhood Christmas memory?
  4. Best gift you have ever given or received?
  5. How has the meaning of Christmas changed for you over the years?

 

Finally, Christmas is a time of beauty, for it celebrates the most wondrous, beautiful truth of all: that God is love, and has come for us. One way to enjoy the beauty [as well as the universality] of this is by seeing how the central image of the incarnation, Madonna and Child, have been portrayed across time and place:

File:Virgin salus populi romani.jpg

6th century Roman icon

Sandro Botticelli, The Virgin and Child (The Madonna of the Book), 1480

File:Gerard David - The rest on the flight into Egypt (National Gallery of Art).jpg

Gerard David – The rest on the flight into Egypt, 1510

image

by John Giuliani, Seminole (Native American) culture

 

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Virgin of the Lilies, 1889

image

Henri Matisse (“Virgin and Child on Starry Ground,” 1950-51)

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by Tsolak Shahinyan, Ukraine

 

image

Marc Chagall, 1942

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Jen Delyth, Wales

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Salvador Dali, 1959

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from Thailand, by Sawai Chinnawong

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from India, by Jyoti Sahi (“The Dalit Madonna,” 2007)

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from Democratic Republic of Congo, by Augustin Tshipamba (2002)

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by Adry Del Rodo, Mexico (2005)

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from Cameroon, by Jesus Mafa artist

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“Our Lady of Peking, China” painted By John Lu Hung Nien (1914)

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from Bali, by Nyoman Darsane (“The Chosen One”)

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by Ismael Saincilus, Haiti

 

Wolfgang Lettl – Madonna (1975)

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by Alessandra Cimatoribus, Italy

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USA, by Christina Saj: “Virgin and Child Enthroned”

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and child

Artist Unknown

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from Ireland, by Parker Fitzgerald (drawing) and Brittany Richardson (coloring):

image

by Shiloh Sophia McCloud “Listening for the Divine Instruction”, USA

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from Inuit culture of Canada, by Nori Peter (titled “Northern Lullaby”).

Well, that’s it for this week. I truly hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

Comments

  1. “Do you hear what I hear”–not secular

    • At this point, what Christmas Carol is not secular, at least practically?

      • thatotherjean says

        Among my favorite Christmas songs us “Mary’s Boy Child” sung by Harry Belafonte. Just about my least favorite, has to be “Santa Baby,” sung by anybody.

      • thatotherjean says

        My first attempt at this comment disappeared into cyberspace, or possibly into a filter, so I’ll try again:

        One of my favorite Christmas songs is Harry Belafonte’s version of “Mary’s Boy Child,” and my least favorite is anybody’s version of “Santa, Baby.”

        We have two Christmas traditions: First, going to a local theater in December to see an excellent one-man show of “A Christmas Carol.” This is our 9th year, and it’s still wonderful. Also, there are two shows on TV that we try to find and watch: the cartoon version read by Boris Karloff of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          “Santa Baby” (Eartha Kitt cover) normally wins every poll for “WORST HOLIDAY SONG EVER”.

          Though with me, “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is close second. For whatever reason, that song just depresses me.

          That “cartoon version” of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is a classic from Warner Bros’ animation master Chuck Jones (also known for all those Warner Bros cartoons which originated in the Fifties and Sixties, best-known of which are Pepe LePew and Roadrunner).

  2. Great lists! One of my favorite carols is “In the Bleak Midwinter”

  3. Merry Christmas, I read this site often and consider it a gift from gracious and thoughtful people. I have always enjoyed the Christmas season and all its aspects .. Stand up reindeer joke to add to the good one at the beginning , “Donner, where is the rest of the party”. Just flashed into my head , perhaps I should have kept it there. Anyway God Bless us all and Joy to the World, The Lord has Come. Thanks to all the contributors.

  4. Susan Dumbrell says

    Four states burning.
    Catastrophic, massive Bush Fires rage. Lives and property lost.
    Canada, New Zealand and US firefighters fly in to assist our weary firefighters.
    I ask you to find and view our Aust news sites and spare a thought for those whose lives are impacted.
    Pray for rain.
    Not much joy for this Christmas.
    Susan

    • Awful stuff to hear about and read about. Praying.

    • oh Susan, how terrible

      are you okay?

      • Susan, CNN is broadcasting about the fires in Australia . . . the pictures are horrible, we are praying for all of you, please stay safe and keep us informed if you can

    • I pray for you and your country, Susan.

    • Susan, the fires are so terrible. Always an article about them in the news I read. Hopefully rain will soon come.
      We have a son and his family who live in a suburb of Sydney.

      Love to you.

    • “Various people wandered up to us and said “great day for it!” and “beautiful weather” without irony.

      *How could they say that?* The sun was (there was only one word for it) demonic, a burning red eye in a thick smoky sky. The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House were out there … somewhere, obscured in a brown haze.

      We stood near the pool, eating tiny food, drinking wine from large balloon glasses while ash flew from the sky, some of it landing in my drink…

      The end of this year makes me wonder how much during the years prior we have been engaged in unintentional acts of disassociation and dissonance. Maybe we had to, to survive the barrage of nonstop news…

      It’s no wonder the hot illegal drug of 2019 – ketamine – is an anaesthetic, numbing your body and making you feel separate from your environment.

      People disappear, aptly, into the k-hole, the chemical equivalent of our political situation. “Like you’re watching your own life happen instead of living it,” said New York magazine, calling it “the party drug for the end of the world”.

      But 2019 was in many ways, for many of us, Year Zero. It was the year many of us stopped disassociating, woke up and realised the party is over.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/19/2019-wasnt-just-protests-and-fleabag-it-was-the-year-a-climate-truth-bomb-dropped

      • “Two thousand zero zero, party over oops out of time….” — The artist formerly known as.

        • So, he was only 20 years off. :-/

          • That’s pretty close in geological time.

            I’m afraid Susan and her country are experiencing a proleptic preview of what we all can expect in the not too distant future.

    • thatotherjean says

      You and your country are in my thoughts and prayers, Susan. I’m so sorry this is happening to you all. Is there anything practical that Americans can do to help?

  5. Dear Susan,

    praying for you all there in Australia. May God grant you relief soon.

    Dana

    • Susan Dumbrell says

      Hi Dana,
      I know you understand the distress Australia feels knowing the wild fires which swept your State last Summer.
      Thank you for your reply.
      Susan

  6. I absolutely hate, hate, hate the song “No Place Like Home for the Holidays.”

    It’s so banal!! It brings to mind stale bread, fruitcake and awkward extended family “celebrations.”

    Why did someone waste their time and write it?

    • David Greene says

      I don’t see how “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” failed to make the Naughty List.

      • country and western ‘hymn’? well, maybe not . . . writer of those lyrics must have too much of ‘papa’s special holiday elixir’ from Mayberry’s old Morrison sisters, who run a still to make their ‘papa’s old ‘recipe’

        loved those old shows . . . . but I agree ‘grandma and the reindeer’ must have been the result of alcoholic joy juice

      • Or this classic…

        https://youtu.be/t039p6xqutU

        • yikes its Weird Al

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Worse yet, I remember a Christian AM station of the time who actually used that song as a leadup to a Christmas altar call appeal. Not all that unusual during the Late Cold War, but still pretty warped.

      • I didn’t care for “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” when it first came out in the 1980’s, but it’s kind of grown on me over the years.

        On the other hand, I would move “All I Want for Christmas is You” from the OK to the terrible list. I simply don’t care for that song.

      • The reggae show on WERU-FM today was doing Christmas carols and songs. I especially liked “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” in reggae, and I don’t even like that song.

      • thatotherjean says

        Oh, ugh. It should be. It’s right at the top of the list of “Christmas Songs I Never Want to Hear Again.”

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          I assume you never listened to Dr Demento.
          That’s where I first heard the song in question, in one of his annual Holiday Specials. (And New Years was always the countdown of the top 50 (25 outside of Los Angeles) novelty songs of the year.

    • Imagine Odysseus singing “No Place Like Home for the Holidays” as he made his way back from the Trojan War. Homer, meet Hallmark.

      • If it was Hallmark, Odysseus would be a single dad with the cutest little girl. He would meet a successful single woman about to marry a snobby rich guy. She would help Odysseus with something trivial (or meet in her antique store – probably while Odysseus looks for a new sword or something), fall in love with him, and leave the snobby rich guy at the altar. They only have one plot, Christmas time or now – just different characters.

        • I was thinking of Hallmark greeting cards, rather than the Hallmark channel. Either way, Hallmark majors in the bathetic, formulaic, and trite. But greeting cards in general, especially Christmas cards, are too wordy, flowery, overstated, and, worst of all, egocentric — they are almost invariably about how wonderful the card recipient makes the card giver feel!

  7. Five “OK” Christmas Songs that are played WAY too often…

    You should’ve had “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” on that list. My wife and I were in a store last week and they must’ve had the “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” playlist going, because we heard three straight renditions of it. I almost ran from the store screaming in horror.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      This year, I have had that song inflicted on me in so many places I sing back Rich Buhler’s filk of it:

      “You better not shot,
      You better not cry,
      You better not pout,
      I’m telling you why:
      SANTA CLAUS IS DEAD.”
      (badda bing!)

      Also, listening to Dr Demento for years helps your perspective on the subject.

  8. OK…so this kind of wraps up Christmas music and childhood memory:

    The year I was born the choir of Guildford Cathedral and a small orchestra recorded an LP. One side of it was taken up by a piece called Carol Symphony, written in 1927 by Victor Hely-Hutchinson; the other side comprised Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols, plus four other carols sung unaccompanied. I think my dad bought his copy in late 1969. Mum still has that vinyl LP.

    For years the tradition was that in the middle of the evening of Christmas Eve, out would come The Record. As the first notes of the Hely-Hutchinson rang out, that, definitively, was where Christmas began. Though our approach to Christmas changed (we didn’t do church much at first, but in the 1970s and 1980s we went carol singing and also started to do midnight services), The Record was a constant. When it was remastered onto CD not long after I left home, I acquired a copy, and it became part of my adopted family’s traditions too – even as in the last few years I have walked away from church.

    One of the unaccompanied carols made a particular impact. Bethlehem Down, I later found, had been written by Peter Warlock and Bruce Blunt to win a competition, with the expectation that the winnings would be spent on a massive drinking session. And yet it’s an absolutely exquisite setting, which prefigures the Passion memorably – one of those living proofs of grace abounding to those who least “deserved” it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKtTFIkP9ck

    Oh… and I also submit this as a Christmas song, because it was written on Christmas Eve (my version of the Die Hard exemption as a Christmas movie)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu6BT3_Fj0Y

  9. the Madonna and Child pictures are WONDERFUL, thank you!!!

    this hymn comes to mind, from Canada . . . the Huron Carol

    https://youtu.be/3D-m-PwKVsM

  10. And a wonder filled Christmas to you and yours Daniel J.

  11. “*White*, silver or pink Christmas Trees. A tree should look like it grew in a forest on planet Earth, not in a Dr. Seuss book.”

    Shots fired. You take that back! 😛

  12. Steve Newell says

    We have a 1950’s vintage aluminum Christmas tree that we put old ornaments from the 1950. We then have a rotating light with blue, green, red and orange disk that lights the tree.

    It’s in the kitchen and when our friends see the tree, they love it.

    • The kitchen?

      • Steve Newell says

        Yep. We have a 1950’s vintage kitchen table with chrome legs and an off white Formica top and red padded chrome cheers. It works.

    • My family had one just like that in the early 60’s.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        I remember those!
        It was a Sixties thing; our neighbors always used aluminium tree with rotating spotlight, except the only ornaments they used on it were identical red spherical ones.

        Wait… In his high school days, my old Dungeonmaster wrote a lot of amateur space opera; he described one of his AWAP aliens as “crystalline christmas trees”. I wonder if THAT was the inspiration; he’s about the right age…

    • I don’t recall my family having one of those, but my parents got an artificial tree from Grant’s in the early 1970’s and used it for some years. I left home for college later in the same decade. One time I came home for spring break and my assignment was to remove the decorations from the tree and put it in the attic. By then it was already Lent. So artificial trees had their disadvantages as well as their advantages.

  13. Why do singers think they need to do a Christmas album covering the ‘classics’? Every year somebody talks about how excited they are about the release of their new Christmas album like it’s going to change the world. Can anyone ever do ‘White Christmas’ or ‘Silver Bells’ better than Bing Crosby? Or any Christmas song better than Andy Williams? Does the world really need Justin Bieber singing ‘Little Drummer Boy’?

  14. Whose your favorite singer for your favorite Christmas songs? Some songs will always be associated with particular people. White Christmas belongs to Bing Crosby, A Christmas Song belongs to Nat King Cole. Personally I don’t think anyone has ever done a better job singing O Holy Night than Josh Groban. Beautiful Star of Bethlehem is best sung by the Judds. Can’t think of any others off the top of my head.

  15. Have truer words ever been spoken than:

    “I am, Sir, yours faithfully,” by so many Creeps.

  16. “O Come O Come Emmanuel” is not a Christmas hymn. It is an Advent hymn. (In related news, anything about the three wise men is an Epiphany hymn.)

    Best five Christmas hymns, in no particular order:

    Adeste Fidelis
    Silent Night
    Lo A Rose Is Blooming
    Hark The Herald Angels Sing
    Angels We Have Heard On High

  17. no cloud in the sky,
    just dark morning and starlight —
    the end of autumn

  18. rhymeswithplague says

    Daniel, those are not Madonna’s from around the world. They are Madonnas from around the world. Do you see the difference?

    If grammatically questionable Christmas Brunches come, can the apostrophe police be far behind?

    I absolutely despise “Little Drummer Boy” but I love “In the Bleak Midwinter” even though its imagery is northern European, not eastern Mediterranean.

  19. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Elf on the Shelf. If it isn’t creepy enough that Santa knows when we’re sleeping and when we’re awake, now he sends an elf to live in our house for a whole month and spy on us?

    You can always sic Krampus in the Korner on them.
    That’s what he’s there for.

  20. Re: Madonna pictures, I’ve loved this one since I found it some years ago… José y María a modern nativity. It’s fun looking at all the stuff in the window of the convenience store while José tries to find an inn with some room in it for his very pregnant wife.

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/217654076/jose-y-maria-modern-day-nativity-poster

  21. There is something so beautiful about the simplicity and starkness of this version of ‘What Child Is This?’

    https://youtu.be/qPRFk8sLIPw?list=RDqPRFk8sLIPw

  22. Favorite Christmas album is Bruce Cockburn’s “Christmas”. So many pop singer Christmas albums come across as cynical money-grabs. Bruce’s sounds like an intimate gathering of friends around the fireplace. Eclectic mix of song styles and origins that convey a genuine affection for the holiday and its meaning.

  23. Favorite songs: O Holy Night, and Gesu Bambino by Pietro Yon (“When blossoms flowered ‘mid the snows…).

    Best memory: Christmas Midnight Mass, and real tinsel (you know, made out of tin, not plastic) on the tree.

    Not a fan of any icon, or portrait, without faces. Most of the gallery are very lovely. Shiloh Sophia McCloud is a friend; she came into the Orthodox Church in my parish and was a member for several years before she relocated. She was drawn to Orthodoxy because of the honor paid to Mary, the Mother of God.

    Merry Christmas!
    Christ is Born! – Glorify Him!

    Dana

  24. Of all the Madonnas (pics up-top) I think the one from Cameroon is the most fetching.
    Almost like a Vermeer, and yet not…

  25. Maravillosas las pinturas.
    Gracias por este arduo trabajo.
    Agradecida

  26. Burro (Mule) says

    The kids have both gotten jobs in this last month, so our transportation situation has been extremely ad-hoc. It’s been hard to get to the Greek Church for Divine Liturgy on Sunday mornings (both kids need both cars) but fortunately our church has the custom of serving Divine Liturgy every day during Advent in their beautiful little diocesan chapel.

    On the way back from Liturgy I wanted to hear some Christmas music, and what was playing on the K-JOY radio was mall-pap that didn’t sit well with me. They play some of the good stuff mentioned above (Crosby, Pavarotti, Sinatra, Nat King Cole) but it’s mixed in with wretched CCM excess. The NPR station that sometimes plays classical Christmas music (Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio”; Vaughan Williams “Hodie”) was deeply enmeshed in politics. No peace there.

    I switched to You Tube Music on my phone and found just what I needed; Jethro Tull’s Christmas Album. I didn’t even know he was still alive, although to be honest I’m kind of late to the party; the album was released in 2003. Good mix of the pagan Yule, the traditional Wassail-style Christmas, and the modern alienated SA disorder.

    I will never get to the point of appreciating the Wolfgang Lettle (“ugliness will save the world”) or Christina Saj (“abstraction will save the world”) Maddonas but all the others were deeply affecting, especially the Senegalese and Inuit, and Jose and Maria outside the Check Cashing store.

    Merry Christmas. May its light never be extinguished.

  27. Burro (Mule) says

    Ach, moderated.

  28. My wife’s favorite carol is God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. She’s a jazz fan and this carol lends itself well to jazz.

    Here’s Mr. Bean conducting the Salvation Army Band and transforming the tune:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xzkm-kbx2T4

  29. thatotherjean says

    Happy Holidays, everybody: Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, and any that I might have missed.

  30. If it’s not too late…

    Best holiday movie ever-

    A CHRISTMAS CAROL 1951 with the unequaled Alastair Sim as Scrooge. (Although George C Scott was pretty good too.)

  31. senecagriggs says

    It’s Monday as I write this. Kudos to fellow I-monkers – there was ZERO comments about politics Saturday. That’s awesome.