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Today, December 2nd, is the first Sunday of Advent, the start of the season. This is usually the day we make an Advent wreath and light the first of the four candles, take down the boxes with Christmas decorations, and start playing Christmas MUSIC. (This year I'm a bit behind schedule, as today is also the first day since Hurricane Sandy that we have electricity, heat, and hot water back.)

In years gone by, too, by today we'd have made a run to what was called a "Tower Records store" to browse for an hour or so through the Christmas offerings to find a couple that looked interesting. As far as I'm concerned, one can never have too many Christmas CD's. The genres are virtually endless: hymns, traditional popular songs, novelty songs, choral, instrumental, individual artist, rock groups, Dixieland, gospel, country, Western, jazz, piano, bells, carols from around the world...

On this first official day of the season, before we'd get to other old favorites, we always played one album first: Joan Baez' Noel. And we always played this song first, the traditional Advent hymn "O Come, O Come, Emanuel." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wq3Tv3c20I

Have you any favorite Christmas songs? Bet we could come up with an interesting play list!

Update - November 30, 2014:

Today, November 30, is the 1st Sunday of Advent, 2014 - the official start of the Christmas season. I hope you'll again enjoy the music we collected - carols and songs covering *all* genres! I hope, too, you'll add to the list with personal favorites we've missed.

Feel free to include photos of your tree or decorations or share your own holiday traditions. Among ours, as stated above, was to start the season playing Joan Baez' Christmas album, beginning with O Come, O Come, Emanuel. I haven't made an Advent wreath yet, but hopefully soon it will look like this: http://gerardnadal.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/advent-wreath...

Tonight I'll also be bringing out our little Christmas pyramid. When the candles are lit, it slowly revolves, showing all sides of the scene.

So, now that "Christmas Is Coming," here's a new song I came across. (Did I mention I'm crazy about rounds?)


Update - December 14, 2014... "A Christmas Carol"

Today is the 3rd Sunday of Advent. Tonight I'll light three candles on the wreath.

In line with our family's annual Advent tradition, yesterday I read Charles Dickens'
A Christmas Carol. Dickens is such a great writer - so funny, too, with his understated British humour.

Long ago I read the story to my children... after making a fuss at my local Barnes & Noble that I was not leaving the store until they could come up with an *unabridged* version! Really, what they're doing to the classics, *cleaning them up* for today's politically correct "Milquetoast" ("timid, shrinking, apologetic") teachers and parents! Or "just" dumbing things down for listening audiences, whether an issue of vocabulary or attention span---

Lighten up, mdefarge. It's Christmas!
Okay, but--- Fine.

It wasn't actually our annual tradition to *read* the story. Each year we watched it, twice: first Mr. Magoo's hour-long version, then Mickey's shorter take. But I felt a bit guilty that my children only knew the "cartoon" versions, that is, until that year we did read it. I have to say, those writers and illustrators did a great job translating the story to the screen.

Feeling I'd done my parental duty in introducing my children to the original Dickens - both for their sake and my own (confirming that *my* children *did* pick up on Dickens' wit and *could* sit through it! :)), we went back to just watching the cartoons again. :)

FYI, you can read A Christmas Carol on line: http://www.stormfax.com/dickens.htm
Or you can join me, now, in watching our family's original versions.

Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol

Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol by SantaKlaws

Mickey's Christmas Carol

1983 - Mickey's Christmas Carol by theperminator

As Tiny Tim says, "God bless us. Every one!"

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Glad to know you're okay

I was a little worried there. I left a comment for someone I know you used to chat with some, but I didn't get a response. I then thought about maybe sending a note via your husband, at church, but I didn't want you to feel I was invading your privacy or anything. I just hoped it wasn't due to some health issue and that you were all right. You see, for various reasons I also ended up taking a hiatus. I didn't come back until some time in mid September, and I guess it was during that time that you'd left.

Anyway, what you wrote made me laugh. For one, it seems as if there was a bit of a parallel universe thing happening there. Second, that you said you wrote more than you intended. Well that certainly never happens to me. Ha, ha. Maybe it's a trait of all caring, intelligent, thoughtful, independent-minded, good-humoured, Ron Paul-supporting, animal-loving, truth-seeking, Christian believing mothers. :)

Okay, I'll probably end up right here proving how unnecessarily wordy I am ~ re a new interest of mine. I thought to tell you about it when you said you were now in the country and with some property. If you and/or your husband and children are at all inclined to garden, I hope you will check out *permaculture* (a.k.a. food forestry or natural farming). That's short for permanent culture, as in, once you get it going, it becomes *self-sustaining*. I discovered it here at the Daily Paul.

I happened to notice a comment that someone left on the post about Mexico banning GMO corn - which I was so happy about! - but a comment something like, "Maybe corn isn't the best staple crop, anyway." I thought that was kind of a downer thing to say and wondered where it was coming from. But by way of explanation, the person had embedded a video titled: "Restorative Agriculture." It was long, too! Frowning, I was thinking that it was a tad presumptuous to expect someone to listen to a presentation that was over two hours long, but I hit play. Within minutes I was HOOKED. bear, it's so amazing. I'm glad that permaculture is now catching on as a way to grow food, but I can't help but think of so many wasted years - going back to maybe biblical times, who knows - and so much unnecessary poverty and starvation.

I ended up first checking out Sepp Holzer's story - he's been practicing this type of farming/gardening the longest, at least in the West - how he discovered certain principles as a child, living in the Alps yet able to grow all sorts of nut trees, vegetables, fruits, and herbs, incl. things that *never* grew high in the mountains but were more associated with the Mediterranean! From there I watched a trailer and then the full two-hour documentary on his property today, after his working on it all these years (adding acreage, building ponds, trying out new things...). It's AMAZING. It's funny. His mountainside farm is huge, and I was wondering how large a crew it took to maintain it, glad that the question was asked of him. He said it basically took two people: him and his wife. (And they must be in their late sixties.) The work is virtually all just in *harvesting*. From there I checked out many different articles and video clips on line explaining the different aspects and how things work together. That's really the secret - how the different design elements and different plants work together synergistically.

Perhaps it's ironic that I felt such a strong desire to learn about this given that I'm not currently in a position to have a garden, myself. But for one, just on its own, it's so amazing to me it seems miraculous - such a perfect system that God created to supply our food needs. I find it so inspiring. These lush, healthy gardens are also beautiful to look at. Second, I have a friend with a country house whom I passed info on to, and she and her husband are going to incorporate some of the principles beginning this Spring. Maybe they were part of the reason I was led to find out about it! But third, at the DP things can get a bit heavy between depressing or angering news items, editorials filled with doom & gloom for the future, and some rather contentious discussions because of how divided members are on certain issues. Add in some difficult circumstances on the home front, and it can be a bit overwhelming! Whereas...

learning about permaculture was so uplifting and provides such hope for the future... for all. It's proven successful for people gardening on the scale of a tiny backyard up to commercial farms of many acres. And it's being done in all sorts of different environments, including up in the mountains where (ordinarily) few things grow. Also, in this one area in Africa, operating through the local school (if I recall correctly), in less than a year they've reversed a long-standing problem of malnutrition & related illnesses. And amazingly, they're even using these natural principles to reclaim areas of desert For me, learning about it was the *perfect antidote* to so much negativity. I really do believe it's the way of the future.

If you're interested, in this DP conversation between stillwater and me are the following: 1) the trailer to the documentary "Farming With Nature," about Sepp Holzer's place (it features a small plane flying over so you can see an aerial view of the mountain and surrounding landscape); 2) an impromptu and funny interview with SH talking about when he was a boy (it's in four short parts); and 3) the documentary itself, which is on line only in four 30-minute segments (each with a different title): http://www.dailypaul.com/72517/global-gardener-video-library... stillwater also has much, much more at her post "The Global Gardener." I also think the wikipedia entry gives a great overview, the section titled: "Theory." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture#Theory

Maybe you've been yawning that whole time, having regrets that you replied to my comment! :) I just find it so amazing I can't stop talking about it - whether for someone's use on their own property, or to pass on to others, or just to know about because it's so inspiring. As I said in some comment somewhere at the DP, no one can ever try to scare me with images of overpopulation and starvation. Yes, that could still be a sad reality if we continue with mono-cropping and genetic engineering and Monsanto's expensive, deadening pesticide-laden agricultural protocols vs. biodiversity and God's free, life-giving natural systems. But I now know, it doesn't have to be that way! It's just really irksome that governments around the world MUST have heard of this by now. There's simply no excuse that it's not being put into widescale practice. Okay, I think it's time to step down from the soapbox. http://wordservewatercooler.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/woma...

Well, I hope you're enjoying your new home. House moves, even in the same general area, can be a bit disconcerting. For you, I wonder if "the country" only means harsher winters. I still need to clear the snow off my car from this big storm that hit; it ended this morning, but I'm going to wait until it "warms up" tomorrow - a regular heat wave. It's supposed to reach in the low 20's!

I know what you mean about being addicted to the computer--- Oh, that's another reason I laughed. I don't know if you know of these two singers. I think you're a little young, and I'm not sure you were into their kind of music, anyway: Iggy Pop and Tom Waits. Anyway, there was this movie called Cigarettes & Coffee in which this film director (Jim Jarmusch) wrote about a dozen short fictional vignettes (unrelated) of people for one reason or another talking over coffee and a cigarette. Some of the clips are boring. But a couple are pretty funny. My two favorites include one where Tom Waits knows that Iggy Pop is in town - not that they're really friends, just fellow musicians - and so suggests that they meet for coffee at this place Tom Waits knows of - this dark and dingy kinda seedy place with some booths and a juke box.

There's a pack of cigarettes on the table, and Tom Waits asks Iggy if they're his. Iggy says, no, no way,, that he'd quit. Tom says, yeah, that he'd quit, too. When they realize that they'd both quit, they do a little bashing of smokers/smoking - the health issue, the dependence issue, the smell of smoke, etc., saying how glad they were that they weren't dependent on that anymore.

Then Tom says (and here's what reminded me of you re the computer :)) that the nice thing about quitting, getting over being addicted, was that you could then have a cigarette! He takes one from the pack and convinces Iggy that it's okay since they don't smoke anymore. lol Well, hopefully, for both of us, now that we're not addicted anymore, we'll be able to use the DP in moderation. :) And seriously, I'm glad I came back when I did, as who knows if and when I'd have otherwise learned of permaculture! http://www.permaculturebc.com/sites/default/files/Foto_4-3_0...

Well, bear, I was very glad to get your reply. It really made me smile. Oh yeah, I laughed at something else, your apology at asking me about my views on abortion after Hurricane Sandy; in the meantime, I felt so guilty for never getting back to you.

I'm glad you're back. Glad to hear you're fine. I've also thought about your sister. I hope her family is doing okay, too.

And, really, thank you again for that Christmas music! At first I was just listening via the computer - which totally worked for me, until one of my children rigged it to go through our speakers. Wow, it sounded terrific. (I have the greatest speakers!) (Um, greatest children, too!) That's what we played through dinner and opening our gifts.

Well, happy new year, bear, to you and all your loved ones! And P.S. If you ever leave the DP for good, feel free to contact me so we can stay in touch.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir


When today I noticed the title of this post, "How To Pickup a Stray Cat," I wondered if you really would have written up your successful experience with the wild cat that adopted you.

"...And so, after luring him with some tuna, I picked him up by his scruff, covered his eyes with my other hand..."

Um, not quite! http://www.dailypaul.com/266172/how-to-pickup-a-stray-cat

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Oh my goodness!!!

I was wondering if that cheetah was going to attack them...but he decided to just "nap." Can you imagine the feeling of those folks! Up close and personal! I sure am glad Honeysuckle didn't bring home a cheetah!

Kitty is home now. First thing "it" did was find the pet door and head straight for the garage...and I was going to let him finish his tuna. I guess I'll have to wait to see if he is brave enough to come back into the patio where he was hijacked!

Honeysuckle has been looking for him for 2 days now...yes, I let him spend 2 nights at the vet because I let them take his food away and keep him till he could go back outside...Seems I have more money than patience...not really, but the peace of mind was worth it.

Well, my dirty house is calling and I have decided to answer!

Hi, bear

Just wanted to wish you and your family a happy Christmas! P.S. I don't know if you saw my last entry of songs here, but if you've never heard it, I think you'd like Carol of the Birds. It's one of the most beautiful Christmas songs I've ever heard. And thanks again for *your* contribution here!

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Thank you for the Merry Christmas Shout Out!

I hope you had one as well. Thank you for the Bird Carol link. Did you have a white Christmas?

Amazingly, yes

On Christmas Eve (when we celebrate), I looked outside and out of the blue it was snowing - just in time. Everything was WHITE. Just a 1/16th of an inch dusting, but still! It was gone by Christmas Day, but we're supposed to get hit with a storm today. That's okay. There's plenty of leftovers if we get snowed in. It looks like your area will be getting snow, too. I imagine I know of someone hoping for some snow days. :)

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Yes, that one being the

Yes, that one being the youngest who loves to throw snowballs and play in the melting snow in his shorts...the oldest puts up with the snowball fights lol :)

I am glad ya'll had a white Christmas. I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year with a heavy dusting of Liberty!

How lovely. Perfect

to have on in the background at dinnertime. Thank you, bear. And I'm glad to know you were able to get the cat in the carrier w/o getting clawed to shreds.

Okay, bear. This is not for you. It's for kitty:

Btw, did you ever see the Snowman? If not, I think you and your children would love it. It's really special. There are no words, and it's animated in crayon. Below is the song Walking in the Air that gives a sense of it. (But if you plan to see it, I wouldn't show them that scene so that it comes as a surprise when it appears in the story. If you want to see it first, I just found it on line. It's under a half hour. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCEvL_hdN2A)

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Kitty Karol!

What a funny kitty carol!!!

I haven't watched snowmay clip yet. I have had a sickie at home...had to go pick him up from school Tues. went straight to doc. Doc thinks he is "coming down with something..." stomach flu maybe. He hasn't gotten sick but feels sick so he is home again today. No fever, just upset stomach and headache...Being a mom is so hard...He was getting dressed for school and started "gagging" slightly like he was going to get sick, so I told him he was staying home again. Seems to come and go.

Oh well, maybe tomorrow he'll feel good. It is hard to know what to do for him...so I am going to turn on the 3 hours of Christmas music and start clenaing!

I am sure we will enjoy the snowman. I'll try to find some "private" time to view :)

This will make you smile...

and it even mentions "Fa la la, la la la la", with a little MoTown twist...


Watch and dance... Like me, even though nobody should ever see me dance...

There's also a fun "making of" video to watch.

Tenth Avenue North is my new "favorite" band.

Wishing a very merry Christmas to all!

Yours in Liberty,


"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote..." ~ Ben Franklin

"The 'cost of freedom' is risk and responsibility..." ~ Me

THE Official Song of this post

I loved it! It sure did make me smile. Made me want to dance, too. Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la, with maybe a little MoTown twist... maybe a little funk. All I know is this, shovelhead. Suddenly I gotta hear these.

Soul Man http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7j2mzeyGZ8Y
Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTLfHo9QAnQ
It's Your Thing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMimqfJVedE

Thanks, and a merry Christmas to you, too!

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

2nd Sunday of Advent - Carols


Parade Of The Tin Soldiers (Handbell solo)

Carol of the Bells - Cast in Bronze (Carillon)

Walking in The Air - From The Snowman

Beautiful Star of Bethlehem - Patty Lovelace

O Tannenbaum - Lawrence Welk :)

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

For a good laugh...

Doug and Bob Mckenzie's 'Twelve days of Christmas'

"Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos!"- Homer Simpson

Cheech & Chong

I know that song from Dr. Demento's CD of Novelty Christmas songs, which has such classics as the Chipmunk Song and All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth. In fact, thanks for reminding me of what I bought that CD for, something I'd heard on the radio a long, long time ago and then never again.

Cheech & Chong - Santa Claus & His Old Lady

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Awesome fun! Here's another...

The Kinks - Father Christmas

"Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos!"- Homer Simpson

Glad you liked it.

As to the Kinks' song, um, it's just a tad cynical! If in a more overt way, it kinda mixes the sentiments of Greg Lake's I Believe in Father Christmas and Willy Nelson's Pretty Paper. Personally, I think I like the Kinks better when they're lazin' on a sunny afternoon... in the summertime... in the summertime... in the summertime. Even in Winter! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h1oRP7FfBw

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

If you had not figured it our by now

I was raised by wolves. Christmas was more like Festivas in the home I grew up in.. secular all the way..

Warning, some of these songs make make you feel ill:






I spent many Christmases in the mess hall of a ship and when my Dad became a base commander, my folks through huge Christmas base parties.. any reason to party... that's all it was.. Love and Love to party. Anyways, THANK YOU AMERICN TAXPAYERS for the Christmas parties.

How did you come to be so

active in the Church? Just asking.

“It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life.”
―Emmet Fox

Well (as in that's a deep subject)

When my father was out to sea, my Lala convinced my Mother that my infant brother and myself should be baptised.. there are pictures of us with my Maternal Grandmother, Aunt and Mother wearing their darling hats, grandmother in her mink.. a special occaision for the ladies.. and we looked so cute.. Father Kagen performed the sacrament. This pissed my father off royally.. and he let us know he felt very betrayed.. When he was out to sea, we would get a taste of Sunday school, and when he had shore duty, even as base commander living next door to the base Chaplin (Thank you God).. My Father was a man of the world..

Soo,, when he let my Mother go.. I was so horrified at what a monster he was.. and I mean classical kind,, where you can pity the monster, love the man and hate the sin.. but I decided it was time for me to learn about my baptism. I have all kinds of religious experience,, part of my rebellion, but also I had a very strong interest in truth, God, spirit.. maybe I'm a "star child".. I never really checked out my Catholicism.. so I began going to Church, and for about a year, I didn't learn much. When RICA started, I learned alot, and that got me into RENEW/Study the Catechism, and Generations of Faith, a program from doing global projects within the Church. And when I met the liyergical director because his music had been blown from his hands and I so happened to help pick it up, I wound up joining choir, not so much to sing, but to learn Mass.. I also enjot being a lecturer, mostly becasue I like reading the explainations in the margins in the workbook. Today is Father Sean's birthday.. I guess he's maybe 42. Hellava nice guy.

Father Michaelraj (which was great because of my Krishna experience, and teh horrors that stuck with me from that which he relieved) confirmed me a couple of years ago. Anyways.. I'm active in my Church and I really feel blessed to be part of the Catholic community.

Also.. Ron Paul takes some credit.. some where heard him say, about restoring the republic.. "if you want to keep your republic, you better start showing up, and if you want to keep your Church, you better begin going and participating. You have to be part of what you want to have and not take it for granted that it's always going to be there for you, that you are entitled somehow." I'm sure that's not exactly how he said it.. but like joining the GOP, it seemed, if the Catholic Church did not work out for me, then I would continue to search until I found my bliss, which I did in Church. GOP hasn't been so great by comparison, but the GOP is sick and really needs some help.. help it doesn't want.. but needs.

Church has helped me on many levels and in many ways.. This will be my first Christmas with both parents gone. Not like one is making out with his girlfriends all night waiting to see if he calls.. he didn't. So last year was my first Christmas with no folks, and this one is the second but now there's peace.

Thought of you

What an experience. Thanks for sharing the story, Granger, and I'm glad you found in the church what brings you joy. I heard this song before and thought of you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF70A6t4EiU

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Thank you

I searched for some actual Navy bands and shots to share with you, but found Canadian military, not American.. Armenian, but not American.. this is a interesting 10 min vid about military during Christmas.. three families, military families in Canadia.. What's even more interesting is it's from a Chaplin's perspective, and do in my family.. remove God, and put the Church as a maintence burdon and the Chaplin a loser (even if he was not). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsxUOUPnBfY

U.S.Navy Band :)


When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

I've seen many

Each base, and even ships had one kind of ensamble or another.. my favorite was the Navy Steel Band, which was under my Dad's command in New Orleans.. they were very polular.. could find nothing for Christmas.. shame William Tell Overture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGg4tPMt2UM

Please Come Home For Christmas

Yes, Granger, that was very interesting. It's something we (the rest of us) don't really think about. That last story was especially moving. I couldn't help but think of this song:

While this clip concerned deployment, in general, I imagine it can hit especially hard during holiday times - I mean, in the best of circumstances. Yours, it appears, weren't even that. And yet somehow you came through, maybe even part of what made you so strong. :)

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

What it did was make me anti-war

The wars took my Father away, even when we were overseas "with him", and I witnessed the massive mess the wars left behind, they never seemed to bother cleaning up, which they should be charged no different that a corporation closing a mill..

There was always this MSM picture of what we were to be and the reality of what we were, a family broken by war.

I rebelled and wanted to get as far away from the military as possible.. but it seems the military, in the name of protecting me, is just growing bigger and bigger.. everywhere I go, there they are.


You never cease to wow me, Granger.

Your convictions are as strong as your will and as sincere as your heart. You really do wow me.

“It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life.”
―Emmet Fox

Carol of the Bells - Callann Lane (Cali)


May our efforts in support of Congressman Ron Paul be blessed with supernatural success.

wolfe's picture

Fairytale of New York. My favorite Christmas song...


I prefer some of the later versions, but this is probably more tolerable for those who don't know who Shane McGowan is.

For those who already know who he is, I recommend this version:


The Philosophy Of Liberty -

Bleedin' bloody awesome!

a sentiment to the age.

Shane is one of those poetic types we'd all lovely see drowned by the docks...

Bless you my dear, and damn your bones!

Defeat the panda-industrial complex

I am dusk icon. anagram me.

Merry Christmas everyone

This song will blow you away:

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15