Monday, November 29, 2004

Buy Nothing Christmas, and St. Nicholas

Stumbled across this:

Buy Nothing Christmas: Alternatives page

Already knew about this:

St. Nicholas Center: Discovering the truth about Santa Claus. Around the world: Saint Nicholas traditions in many countries. Celebrate: resources for families, churches and schools. For kids: games and stories and other fun things.


(FYI, personally I'm just recovering from the Thanksgiving mega-weekend and December just around the corner, but those sites are good.)

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Christmastime music at our house

I am a Christmastime music junkie, as dear husband will attest, but I hold off until after Thanksgiving unless something happens such as my husband pointing out the release of Barenaked Ladies' Barenaked for Christmas a week or so ago.

The first post-Thanksgiving Christmastime music to be played in our house was a dilemma. Some years I want to sing along, so it's the Penn State Glee Club's 1992 recording, P.S. Merry Christmas. Most years I really want to hear one of my favorite medieval Advent/Christmas recordings, and that was my intent this year. Yet, while pulling out my armload of Xmastime CDs and venerable cassette tapes I found myself humming "In Dulci Jubilo," so obviously I had to find that somewhere in my holiday collection.

I thought I was going to find it on A Renaissance Christmas, part of a boxed set from the Boston Camerata (with A Medieval Christmas and A Baroque Christmas). But no.

Now playing: Christmas with the Cambridge Singers, conducted by John Rutter. We finally got to "In Dulci Jubilo" and it's much too slow! C'mon, pick it up, step lively!

I will definitely switch to medieval Christmas music for Christmas CD No. 2 of the season. I'm missing my fix of Nova, Nova and Nowel, Owt of Your Slepe with obnoxiously fun krumhorns or whatever.

Here's a well-worn and -loved cassette that inaugurated the season for me for many years: Sing We Noel: Christmas Music from England and Early America, from the Boston Camerata. I still play it, but it's a bit slow in spots from stretched-out tape.

Later I'll probably cheer up my lovable humbug-Mr-Grinch husband with Christmas Island, by Leon Redbone. We also have Amy Grant, street musicians, hammered dulcimer, Glenn Miller band, Frank Sinatra et al., a Rounder label compilation, the Roches, the Miserable Offenders, and a bunch more.

A year or so ago I got Music for Little People's A Child's Celebration of Christmas for the kids to enjoy -- fun versions of Rudolf etc.

What Christmas music do you love to play? Did you add something different recently for some reason?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Advent, Christmas, Epiphany with kids

I updated my Web site, Faith at Home, to focus on Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.

If you want to get a kid-friendly nativity set, look up Advent wreath resources, or find a great new Advent calendar, check out the resources pages under Advent, Christmas, Epiphany. It has all of my favorite online resources!

Comic strip: Mom's Cancer

If you have a family member with cancer, go read this comic strip: Mom's Cancer. This is soooo good.

Lost or at least out of it

Looking back, I guess that epic Halloween post was a final blowout before taking an unexpected break from my blog!

I took a cybersabbatical. The election was somewhat all-consuming and I didn't want to go on about it here, so I didn't.

Now I have lots of stuff to blog about, but just want to say... I'm reminded that late fall and winter in Oklahoma can be awfully wet and cold. We were possibly going to have snow tonight, but now they've changed the low temp forecast so that's less likely -- we're just going to get tons of rain on top of the already sopping wet week we've had.

That's fine with me; I still need to get my tropical (ie, house) plants into the sunroom before it actually freezes around here. I'm stuck waiting on planting my new bulbs from Old House Gardens because they'll just rot, I think, in sodden soil. On the other hand, thanks to my dear husband I'm listening to bits of the new Barenaked Ladies Christmas CD on my handheld -- fun! I even broke my no-Christmas-music-before-Thanksgiving rule for this, heehee.

See ya sooner this time around!