Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thursday Thirteen

I'm linking up with Thursday Thirteen, which has actually been inactive for months, so I have also included a Mr. Linky here.  I'd love for you to spread the word that there is an active linky out here on the www now.

Thirteen of my Favorite Christmas Songs!
13.  Santa Claus is Coming to Town - My favorite version is by Bruce Springsteen.
12.  It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
11.  Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful
10.  It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - I like the way Andy Williams did this tune.
9.   Mary, Did You Know - Kenny Rogers and Wynona Judd do this song justice.
8.   It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
7.   I'll be Home for Christmas
6.  Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - the original version by Brenda Lee.
5.   Jingle Bell Rock - the original version by Bobby Helms is my favorite.
4.   White Christmas - Bing Crosby does it best.
3.   The Christmas Song - No one does it better than Nat King Cole.
2. Oh, Holy Night - There was a man in the choir when I was growing up who sang tenor, and when he sang this song, it gave me chills.
1.  And my favorite Christmas song of all time...
Sleigh Ride, preferably an instrumental version. Enjoy!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tuesday Randomness

How about some randomness today with Stacey Unocorked?

1.  I wonder how many people are actually offended by the words, "Merry Christmas."  I know a few people who are of other religions than Christianity, but I don't know if the word Christmas is offensive to them?  I wonder what the percentage is of those who have a problem with it.  The school district I worked in over 20 years ago was already succumbing to pressure.  We were not allowed to decorate our classrooms for any holiday (Halloween, Christmas, etc.).  Why does the majority cave in to the minority?  Or are Christians no longer the majority?

2.  I have not finished shopping.  It seems like everyone is harder to buy for this year except maybe one daughter.  Most of us have everything we need and most of what we want already.  But I love giving gifts!

3.  I also love my tree this year.  It's simple but beautiful.

4.  I also learned something from Pinterest that I love.  When you wrap a "biggish" present in red paper, put a black ribbon around the middle, then put a silver or gold "buckle" in the middle, it looks like Santa.  It's so cute and clever, not to mention, easy!

5.  My college kids are finished for the semester, but I have another 3 days.  It can't come soon enough!  Lots to do!

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Holiday Thursday Thirteen

Link up here for Thursday Thirteen!  Spread the Word!

I love the Christmas season!
 Have you ever wondered how some of our holiday traditions came about?

 1. Santa Claus - This holiday hero had his beginning in the 3rd century with a man named St. Nicholas who lived in Patara (present day Turkey). He made his debut in America in the 18th century. The name Santa Claus came from the Dutch nickname for St. Nicholas, Sinter Klass. There is actually a whole lot to the story of Santa Claus if you'd like to read it at the St. Nicholas Center website..

2. Twas the Night Before Christmas - This poem was written in 1822 by Clement Clarke Moore as a gift to his three daughters. It was called "An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas."

3. Rudolph - The most famous reindeer of them all! Robert L. May, a copywriter for Montgomery Ward (I remember that department store) wrote the story of Rudolph in 1939. The store sold over 2 1/2 million copies of the story. Years later, the story was written as a song recorded by Gene Autry and sold over 2 million copies. It has been translated into 25 languages.

 4. Christmas Trees - The Germans get the credit for the modern-day tradition of a decorated Christmas tree. It first became a popular thing to do in the 16th century among Christians.

 5. Wreaths - We have an evergreen wreath on our door right now. It provides a festive atmosphere at Christmas time. Long ago, people worshiped evergreen holly as a sign of eternal life.

 6. Stockings - In the days of the real St. Nicholas, it was said that he threw three coins down the chimney of three poor sisters. Each coin landed in a separate stocking that was hanging by the hearth to dry. Good fortune for everybody!
 7. Candy Canes - The first candy canes were actually sugar sticks that were bent to resemble the shape of a shepherd's crook. In 1670. the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral gave his young charges these sticks to keep them quiet during long ceremonies. What was he thinking? The red stripes and peppermint flavor weren't added until the early 1900's.

 8. Christmas Cards - The first Christmas greetings were written by boys who had to practice their writing skills, but Sir Henry Cole, director of London's Victoria and Albert Museum, is credited with the first actual Christmas card in 1843.

 9. The 12 Days of Christmas song - Apparently, Roman Catholics in England were forbidden from openly practicing their religion during the years 1558 to 1829, so the song was created with hidden meanings in order to teach their faith without being discovered. Go to the Catholic News Agency website for the hidden meanings.

 10. Gift-Giving - This custom most likely originated in ancient Rome and Northern Europe when people gave gifts during year-end celebrations. The exchanging of elaborate gifts began in the late 1800's.

 11. Red and Green Christmas Colors - Green symbolizes the hope for eternal life that Jesus brings. Red symbolizes the blood of Jesus and the sacrifice He made for mankind.

 12. Christmas Carols - Victorian England is credited with the revival of caroling which, for a long time, was repressed since Christmas was not a widely accepted holiday in England until Victoria came to the throne.

 13. The Nativity Scene - The story of Jesus' birth is recounted in the Bible in Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 2:1-20. But when did people begin creating the visual Nativity Scenes you see during the Christmas holidays? St.Francis of Assisi is credited with creating this scene as a way to share the Christian faith with those who could not read.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Thursday Thirteen

Hey all you bloggers!  Let's revive Thursday Thirteen.  The blog (which is actually the second Thursday 13 meme blog) has not been active since July.  Maybe third time is a charm!  Let's get it going again!

So, I offer, 13 possible Thursday 13 topics.

1.   13 places you would like to visit.
2.  13 of the best gifts you've ever received.
3.  13 things on your bucket list.
4.  13 of your favorite songs.
5.  13 of your favorite books.
6.  13 things you'd like to change about the world.
7.  13 things you never say to (fill in the blank) - could be your husband, your co-worker, a pregnant woman, whatever!
8.  13 places you never want to visit again.
9.  13 things that are near you right now.
10. 13 favorite movies.
11. 13 favorite songs (or holiday songs).
12. 13 memories about a person you love.
13.  13 foods you like.

The possibilities are endless!

What are you writing about this week?

Friday, November 28, 2014

It's Just My Opinion

Boy!  Black Friday has sure changed since I went out shopping in 2009.  Prior to that, I went in 2007.  I have always had good experiences, unlike some local shoppers today fighting over TV's at Walmart and purses at Dillards, and I have never seen things get so out of control like the shooting at Nordstrom's in Chicago.  I haven't braved the crowds in five years, and I'm just fine with that.  I don't need any big ticket items, and the amount of gifts I have to buy has dwindled.  I can get a lot of it online, which is the super-easiest way to shop!  Did you brave Black Friday?
What I did today instead was go to a movie.  My husband is not a huge movie fan, so when a family member tells him he will like a movie, he capitulates and takes me to the movies.  This doesn't happen often, maybe once a year or so.  I usually go to movies with my friends.

The thing is, I rarely like the movies that are recommended to him.  Snatch, Moonrise Kingdom, Inglourious BasterdsBurn After Reading, In Bruges, and The Grand Budapest Hotel, to name a few.  Oh Brother, Where Art Thou grew on me.  I didn't like it the first two times I saw it.

However, today's movie is not going to grow on me.  Have you heard of Birdman with Michael Keaton playing the lead?  I always think of Michael Keaton as Mr. Mom, a film that was popular the year I graduated high school.  That, and Beetlejuice, which was just creepy to me.  I know he played Batman, but I don't enjoy comic-book hero movies, either.  I like Emma Stone, who played his daughter, but I didn't like her character, or lack of character, actually.  The storyline was unimpressive, and parts of it were just weird.  Someone told us they laughed so hard, but I didn't think anything in it was funny.  It was actually quite depressing.  A washed up actor with a highly dysfunctional family and group of friends tries to write, direct, and star in a Broadway show.  In my opinion, it had no redeeming qualities.  It's just my opinion!

Next time, I am choosing the movie!  I still haven't seen Gone Girl, Mockingjay, The Judge, or Horrible Bosses 2.  I think I will enjoy those four.  What type of movies do you like?


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