Category Archives: Holiday

Christmas Carols: Silent Night

Christmas Carols: Silent Night

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night” ~Luke 2:8 Unlike most Christmas carols, the origins of Silent Night are rooted in well-established facts AND steeped in dramatized legend. The Facts: Father Joseph Mohr (1792-1848), a young priest in the parish church at Oberndorf (a village on the… Continue Reading

More Than One Way to Cook a Turkey

More Than One Way to Cook a Turkey

In the United States, turkey as a holiday dinner meat is associated most strongly with Thanksgiving. However, Christmas runs a close second. In my family tradition, glazed ham with fresh cloves has forever been our dinner choice, turkey the special treat for Thanksgiving. Whether choosing turkey for either or both important feasting holidays, the bird… Continue Reading

Christmas Menu for 1660

Christmas Menu for 1660

The earliest published Christmas menu dates from 1660, the year of Charles II’s restoration to the throne. The Accomplisht Cook was written by Robert May, an English chef who trained in France and cooked for nobility throughout his life. This remarkable document includes a section titled “A bill of fare for Christmas Day and how to set… Continue Reading

Have a Pentatonix Christmas

Have a Pentatonix Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone! Most years I share live performance videos which are my favorites. Topping the list in the contemporary recording artist list is the acapella group Pentatonix. Personally, I think they are phenomenally talented and their harmonizing never fails to elicit goosebumps and send chills up my spine. My favorite Pentatonix performance is Mary,… Continue Reading

Christmas Carols: O Holy Night

Christmas Carols: O Holy Night

According to history, in Roquemaure, a small town in southern France, at the end of the year 1843, the parish church organ had been renovated. To celebrate the event, the priest asked town wine merchant and poet Placide Cappeau to write a Christmas poem, even though the latter never showed an interest in religion. Cappeau obliged, titling… Continue Reading

Christmas Movies For the 2019 Season, and a look at the question: What makes a movie a “Christmas movie”?

Christmas Movies For the 2019 Season, and a look at the question: What makes a movie a “Christmas movie”?

In the decades since folks in Hollywood began making movies, a certain number have been specific for the Christmas season. Up until the recent two or three decades, defining a “Christmas” movie was relatively straight forward. It had to be set during the holiday season, of course, usually involved some sort of magic (ie-Santa), was… Continue Reading

Handel, composer of “Messiah”

Handel, composer of “Messiah”

In 1741 George Frideric Handel wrote Messiah, his greatest musical creation, at the age of 56 in a single wild writing jag lasting 24 days. According to Newman Flower’s George Frideric Handel: His Personality and His Times: “He (Handel) completed the first part in seven days, the second part in nine days, the third part… Continue Reading

Christmas Carols: O Little Town of Bethlehem

Christmas Carols: O Little Town of Bethlehem

  “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me One who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” ~Micah 5:2 Phillip Brooks (1835-1893) was a preacher of excellence within the Episcopal Church. He held a Doctorate of… Continue Reading

Happy US Independence Day 2017

Happy US Independence Day 2017

July 4, 1776 was the historic day when the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence. Every year, Americans rejoice and celebrate Independence Day with great fanfare. Amidst colorful parades, flag hoisting ceremonies, and barbecue parties, Americans remember the suffering their forefathers endured to win them precious freedom. “Since the signing of the Declaration of Independence 241 years… Continue Reading