minister (who shall remain nameless).
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
And So It Came . . .
minister (who shall remain nameless).
Friday, December 25, 2020
It's Christmas 2020 !
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Friday Funnies (Early)
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Holiday Movie Watching
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Monday, December 21, 2020
Decking the Halls
It was written during a heat wave: In July 1945, on one of the hottest days in southern CA heatwave, lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Jule Styne skipped a day at the beach and instead wrote a song that recalled winter when they were growing up (Cahn in NY and Styne in London).
The song's full title is in triplicate: The tune was originally released under its full title, Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow, which has been shortened over the years.
It went to No. 1 75 years ago: Singer Vaughn Monroe was the first person to record it in 1945 and it went to No. 1 on the Billboard charts in late January 1946.
This isn't the most familiar track: A 1966 cover done by Dean Martin is considered the classic version of this tune. After being played through decades of Christmas seasons, Martin’s version finally entered the Billboard Top 100 in 2018 — the first time in 49 years that one of his songs made the list.
An official music video debuted in 2019: Another milestone was in November 2019 when an official music video of the song was uploaded to YouTube. The animated version includes Martin crooning and celebrating with a cartoon cast of family and friends. They're in a cabin decked out with Christmas decorations, a tree and Santa Claus (not in the lyrics). The video was released by Universal Music Enterprises which previously did animated videos for classic holiday songs such as Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree (Brenda Lee) and Jingle Bells (Frank Sinatra).
It has a warm weather counterpart: Cahn and Styne also wrote The Things We Did Last Summer, a tune about warm weather nostalgia in which the singer relies on warm weather memories to get through a cold winter—a reversal of what led to Let It Snow. In 1946, this tune was a top 10 hit for Jo Stafford and a version by Frank Sinatra also charted that year. In 1962, Shelley Fabares had a hit cover on the pop charts. It's been recorded by many others including (ironically) Vaughn Monroe, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby and The Beach Boys.Hope you enjoyed seeing more holiday decor and reading about a favorite seasonal tune. This was a timely post as these ↓ window scenes were taken early today after a light snowfall ❄️ on Sunday. It was earlier than expected, a bit more than forecast, and lovely to see.
Friday, December 18, 2020
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Christmas Card Bird
Have your Christmas cards all been sent?
Speaking for myself, 2020 was a big year for card sending and I outdid my previous card tally this year (more on that later).
Do you know what the most popular bird is on most holiday cards? Those who send or receive
cards may already know this answer.
No surprise, it’s the male Northern Red Cardinal, christened the “Christmas Bird” for its spectacular red color. It's become the symbol of beauty and warmth of the holiday season. Cardinals are said to represent faith, hope, and love. The word “cardinal” comes from the Latin, cardo meaning “hinge or door." It’s thought that the bird was named as a representation of a door between the spirit world and the earth.
A glimpse of this colorful bird brings cheer, hope, and inspiration to many folks on a gray wintery day. And, in the midst of winter, this may be why its bright red plumage shows up on so many holiday decorations, wall decor, pillows, wrapping paper, ornaments and especially greeting cards. It’s a perennial favorite and who hasn’t seen images of a cardinal on a snow-covered tree, mailbox, Christmas tree, and even posed with a friendly snowman.
The association between cardinals and Christmas isn’t just because their scarlet feathers add color to otherwise dreary winter landscapes. While the origins of the cardinal’s affiliation with the holiday is uncertain, some have said that red is a universally-recognized Christmas color to symbolize the blood of Christ, shed to redeem mankind. And, for many, it’s a reminder to focus on faith and the hope and peace that it can bring.
And, red is also the color of Santa's suit, another perennial favorite.
Unlike many northern birds, cardinals don’t head south for the winter and can be spotted seen year round. They’re one of a handful of few birds seen during the holiday season, perhaps adding to their seasonal popularity. Not only is the cardinal one of the most common state birds, it’s also the official state bird of seven U.S. states — Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.The above photos were taken in our VA yard after one of our rare winter snowstorms. We had a picket fence which offered a great cardinal perch. (The male at the top right was taken separately and then added in when this image was used on a holiday card.) This North American bird was unknown in Europe until the 1600s. Many other parts of the world, Europe, the Holy Land and those outside the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. see this bird when it flies into their homes on holiday greetings. Experts have said the number of cardinals number is dropping here in the U.S. and that for over a century, cardinals have been expanding their range northward.Another image that was taken at our former VA home, when this male cardinal posed on a Nandina bush by the side of our home. This evergreen or semi-evergreen broadleaf shrub, produced red berries which showed off perfect in the snow.
Currently, folks in Ottawa, Canada, Bangor, ME and Niagara Falls, NY, are enjoying the sight of cardinals when many years ago they had little hope of seeing them in their backyards. The growing popularity of bird feeders is thought to be a factor in enabling the cardinal to endure harsh northern winters and now they've been seen from the Great Plains eastward across the U.S. and into southern Canada.
Despite the cardinal’s popularly on Christmas cards, it’s not featured on the most popular Christmas card. That honor goes to an image of three cherubic angels, two of whom are bowed in prayer. The third peers out from the card with baby blue eyes, her halo slightly tilted down.
The inside sentiment reads, God bless you, keep you and love you...at Christmastime and always. First published in 1977, this card is still part of the Hallmark card collection. To date it’s sold over 34 million copies. (We received this card in 2019 and it's displayed outside our apartment with other cards received in 2019, recycled for a second display.)
My personal card count this year was about 105 mailed out, mostly within the U.S and several sent abroad. An additional 25 cards were distributed to residents living here in the mill apts. Thankfully, no postage needed for these, just foot power to walk the floors.
According to Hallmark Cards (which should know) the theme of the top selling cards this year included sentiments of Wish we were together. The company's head marketing officer said 2020 sales showed the most popular cards included front wording, like It would be so nice to wish you a Merry Christmas in person. The inside reads, But even though I can’t, just know that I’m thinking of you – now and all through the year.”
I don’t know about all of you, but even without Hallmark saying so, sending a card can help feelings of isolation, especially now. Despite the popularity of text messages or e-cards, most people appreciate getting an actual card (holiday or not) and this Christmas more than ever.
Just so you all know, my offer to send a card to anyone who would like one mailed still stands, although it may arrive after the holiday. Regardless, send your info to the email address on the blog and I'll send one your way, and I always include a personal note.
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Four Years Ago . . .
Friday, December 11, 2020
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
It's Beginning to Look . . .
Seeing it, brings back memories of our friendship. Perhaps, you have similar memories of a holiday gift.
The Nativity set has its own special display place and holds memories as well. All of the main pieces in this set belonged to my late mother. The creche is from a formerly owned set that has since donated to a local thrift store. They told us it sold within a day.