Saturday, December 31, 2016

Today And Tomorrow: Is This DUMB, Or What?

We've always pretty much hated New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
But for a long time we couldn't quite figure out why. 
Now, we finally get it: They're downright innocuous. 
Here then, in no particular order are the Ten Big Reason why the New Year's "holiday" is dumb, dumb, dumb:

1) There is absolutely no significant historical meaning to the day.

2) How many bowl games can you watch, anyway?

3) The day celebrates not the beginning of anything but rather the end -- the end of the joyous holiday season. 

4) The Tournament of Roses Parade and other New Year's spectacles are all pretty much the same year-after-year.

5) You know it's true: Nobody keeps New Year's resolutions.

6) Celebrating the passing of time is like celebrating the inexorable march to your own death.

7) After Christmas, no other holiday on the immediate horizon can compete. You don't really get excited over Valentine's Day or St. Paddy's Day, do you?

8) By January 1 you're completely stuffed and don't even wanna look at food. You're facing the grueling regimen of a diet.

9) All you have to look forward to are the two bleakest months of the year: January and February (and March ain't much better).

10) It'll take you weeks to get used to writing 2017 and you may still be thinking 2016 even in April.

The bottom line: New Year's Day is just another day on the calendar!

The Year's Ten Most Popular Books

They say these are the ten most popular reads of the year.
This list was complied by Click here for a much more complete list.







4. Truly Madly Guilty

3. When Breath Becomes Air

2. Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)


Top Ten National News Stories of 2016

With a little help from US News (and some strategic alterations) here are our choices for the year's really BIG national news stories, starting from number 10 and working up to numero uno:

10. Syrian refugee crisis and its impact on America.

9. The resurgence of populism.

8. The GOP holds the House and Senate.

7. The Orlando massacre.

6. The rise of social media and the continuing decline of old media.

5. The death of Antonin Scalia and the Supreme Court vacancy.

4. Violence against the police.

3. The Clinton scandals -- the e-mails, the FBI and the Clinton Foundation.

2. US foreign policy relations breakdowns, particularly with Russia and Israel. New crises.

Unquestionably, one of the biggest political stories in 70 years or more.

The Year's Ten Top Broadway Shows!

This year's best of Broadway?
Well, be forewarned: The Broadway season does not follow the calendar year. Instead it runs from the fall of one year to the start of summer the following year, like a school calendar.
Anyway, polled its followers on this one and here's what they came up with:

10. Holiday Inn

9. Cats (revival)

8. Bright Star

7. Tuck Everlasting

6. Shuffle Along

5. The Great Comet

4. She Loves Me

3. Falsettos (revival)

2. Waitress


For more, all about Broadway, don't miss!

The Year's Ten Best Movies!

So, let's march from number 10 to numero uno.
Caveat: This isn't our list. It's a list compiled by lifelong movie critic Rex Reed, a man who's truly passionate about movies. For the most part, we trust Rex. OK, here goes:

10. La La Land

9. Denial

8. Jackie

7. Captain Fantastic

6. Fences

5. Lion

4. The Light Between Oceans

3. Hacksaw Ridge

2. Hell or High Water

Rex says: "The details, the observations, the nuances, the revelations—they all add up to a masterful narrative structure and a beautifully textured reality I cannot praise highly enough."

You'll NEVER Guess These New Year's Resolutions!

No, you won't guess them because we don't have any. None!
We've never made New Year's resolutions.
And we won't be making one this year either.
Because they're stupid.
Think about it: A resolution (promise) is a Big Deal. And when you make it with the entire year ahead of you, well -- that's a long haul.
Plus, January and February are just dreadful months and an awful time to have to keep your resolution.
For example, suppose you resolved to watch your diet. What the hell is there to do during the dreary months of January and February except eat? And now you've gone and prevented yourself from eating. How are you gonna enjoy those Super Bowl parties or that Valentine's dinner with your sweetheart? And what about those l-o-n-g winter days when you want a cheesesteak or a pizza? Don't tell me you're gonna deprive yourself.
Suppose you resolve to work out more and get more exercise.
You'll have to run on a treadmill or somesuch. What's more stupid than that? You're indoors, you're runnin, you're sweatin and you ain't goin nowhere. Then you're all perspired and running toward your car in the frigid weather. That's a quick way to get pneumonia. Why would you want to do that?
But people go ahead and make these dumb resolutions anyway.
And 99% of the time these resolutions are not kept.
Remember this: When you make a promise, that promise is gonna weigh on you. It's only gonna make you do the opposite because you're gonna be thinkin about the promise all the time.
"Don't eat."
Whoa -- Did someone say "Eat?" Eat. Eat. Eat. Eat!
Ya see what I mean?
When you make a resolution, you're your own worst enemy. You're fighting yourself.
Here's the one way to approach this year and every year: Don't get too carried away on any front. Try to live fully but moderately. Avoid excess whenever you can.
Yeah, you can go overboard once in awhile but don't make it a habit, OK?
Be sensible. Use your noggin.
Then, you won't have to worry and you won't have to make resolutions.
You'll be fine.
Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Oh, The Awful Irony Of It All!

Yeah, They're ALL Working On It . . .

. . . but in the end it will be HIS speech, his words and his voice. Believe it!

Hey, Do You Remember 'Mr. New Year's Eve?'

Dick Clark died of a massive heart attack in April, 2012.
The host of American Bandstand who later succeeded Guy Lombardo as "Mr. New Year's Eve" was 82. But he always looked decades younger. He was the timeless teenager.
Clark's legacy lives on through so many TV shows and innovations that he pioneered.
Dick Clark got his start in Philadelphia and was once as much a part of the fabric of the city as a Mummer's string band or a soft pretzel. It all began when he landed a gig as a DJ at WFIL in Philadelphia in 1952, spinning records for a show he called "Dick Clark's Caravan of Music." There he broke into the big time, hosting Bandstand, an afternoon dance show for teenagers. The show was such a hit locally that lines wrapped around the old WFIL-TV studio as teenagers waited to get in for the live, late-afternoon broadcasts.
When the show went national things really started to take off.
Within five years, the whole country was watching as ABC presented "American Bandstand" and Clark introduced the nation to some of the biggest rock 'n roll acts (and songs) ever.
The show was never quite the same after it moved to Hollywood in 1963 but Clark continued to succeed and rake in the dough as he became a hugely successful TV producer. His "Dick Clark Productions" became a veritable license to print money.
"Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" on ABC became a Dec. 31 tradition, with Clark hosting the festivities for more than three decades, introducing the entertainment acts and, of course, counting down to midnight as the ball dropped in New York's Times Square.
In 2004 Clark suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and barely able to speak. Courageously, he continued to appear on the annual countdown.
He was a shrewd businessman, a consummate showman and an American success story.

Revealed: How They Intimidate Others!

A Donald Trump supporter shows how he was verbally attacked by his anti-Trump neighbors because he was wearing one of the president-elect's T-shirts, which says "Build The Wall."
The video was taken in the common area of his apartment building in California.

They Oughta Be Ashamed Of Themselves . . .

. . . and they probably would be, IF they had any shame at all, which they don't.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Diverse Faith Leaders Ready For Big Event!

Today, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced six faith leaders who will participate in the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Michael Pence.

“Since the first inaugural ceremony, our leaders have paid tribute to the blessings of liberty that have been bestowed upon our country and its people,” said PIC Chairman Tom Barrack. “I am pleased to announce that a diverse set of faith leaders will offer readings and prayers at the swearing-in of President-elect Trump and honor the vital role religious faith plays in our multicultural, vibrant nation.”

Those offering readings and giving the invocation at the ceremony are His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, Reverend Dr. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and Pastor Paula White of New Destiny Christian Center.

Additionally, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Reverend Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse and The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and Bishop Wayne T. Jackson of Great Faith Ministries International will offer readings and give the benediction.

On Saturday, January 21st, the National Prayer Service will be held at Washington National Cathedral and will include representatives of all religious faiths for a time of prayer and fellowship. Further details about this event will be released in the coming weeks.‎

Well, Let's Not Mince Words About THIS!

Kerrys and Obama's words show that may be against Israel. Diamond and Silk have something to say about their uncertainty.

The Simple Truth About What Happened . . .

Certainly, Donald Trump's stunning November victory has to be the biggest story of the year.
His election is the most earth-shattering political upset since Truman defeated Dewey in 1948. And Trump campaigned in a Trumanesque manner. Like Truman, he spoke the language of real people. Like Truman, he reached out to everyday Americans. Like Truman, he was not afraid to cajole, provoke and challenge conventional wisdom peddled by the mainstream media. And like Truman, Trump was given to using salty language.
Both men showed a mischievous side and enjoyed a good laugh as well.
Yes, Harry Truman was dismissed by elites as crude, brusque, ill-informed and culturally illiterate.
The Man from Missouri was seen as a small town wannabe not worthy of any high office much less
the presidency. The powers-that-be viewed him as an impulsive pretender, an inconsequential obstruction that they simply needed to get beyond.
Donald Trump, a master builder, promised to Make America Great Again. Truman, a shrewd poker player, promised A Fair Deal for everybody.
They were both grossly underestimated (something which did not seem to bother either man) and they both defied the odds and triumphed.
Plus, Truman wasn't idealogical and neither is Trump. Pragmatism is yet another thing they share.
Why didn't Hillary Clinton succeed?
Well, of course, she not likable as a public person. She may be quite a likable person in her everyday dealings but on the Big Stage, she comes off as rehearsed and artificial. She seems out of her league. There's just something unnatural, often downright awkward and ill-at-ease, about the way she approaches public life.
She's not very funny. She's not very engaging. She's not very open or spontaneous.
No, she wasn't as aloof as the imperious Thomas E. Dewey (Truman's hapless opponent) but, alongside Trump she seemed to stiffen and/or cringe. She simply wasn't a match for him.
Watching Hillary Clinton during the debates, we often thought she would have made a great policy wonk, backstage advisor or leader of one of those Washington think tanks. After all, she was quite happy when she worked for the Children's Defense Fund inside the beltway. That seemed to be her natural domain. She's comfortable around bureaucrats and functionaries.
But she had an overarching need to feel she was making a positive difference in some dimension, within some niche. She could have stayed with that, left it at that. She would have had quite a nice career for herself, receiving well-earned praise and deserved honors while enjoying the fruits of her labor.
But she got mixed up with Bubba and was hopelessly drawn into his raucous, reckless, trashy and ultimately destructive vortex.
A real argument could be made that Hillary was too thoughtful, too detail-oriented and probably too sensitive for Bubbaland. What a wild and precarious ride it turned out to be for this intense, WASPy woman from the midwest who was raised as a conservative Republican.
Why did she stay with him?
Why did she hang on?
The crowds screamed "Put her in jail!" But the truth is that Hillary already seemed trapped in a prison of her own making.
Why didn't she leave when she had the chance, or chances for that matter? There were many moments when she could have simply walked away and defined herself, unencumbered by such an immature, egotistical and ruinous mate.
Well, that's a question that will be studied endlessly. 
Was it the aphrodisiac of power that urged her on?
Was it some deep seated insecurity on her part that made her feel she could not do it without him?
Was it the notion that in succeeding in this one last, ultimate quest she would not only prove herself to him but maybe even supersede him in some way?
Or was it (dare we say) simply love, as distorted as that may seem?
It's a conundrum that we'll leave for history to ponder.

OMG! Another Major 2016 Death - Shocker!

OK, Now THIS Is Really Scary, Right?

It's Almost Official Now, Get Used To It!

C-SPAN has officially enshrined this portrait in its gallery of presidents.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

So Incredibly Poignant Now, It's Hard To Believe!

One More Time, They Will Appear Together Again

Bright Lights, a new documentary featuring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds talking about their lives in the spotlight as mother and daughter will air next year on HBO.

Clips From The Life Of A Hollywood Legend!

Singin in the Rain, 1952

Mother, 1996

Tammy and the Bachelor, 1957

The Unsinkable Molly Brown, 1964

One Of Hollywood's True Legends Is Gone!

In a word, she was irrepressible.

No matter what, you could not keep her down.

She suffered mightily over many years -- through divorces, family troubles, personal setbacks, mismanaged finances, ill-advised endeavors and outright flops.

But nothing -- nothing -- could hold her back.

She made lifelong troupers look like coddled infants. She could hold her own singing with Sinatra, dancing with Astaire, acting with Oscar winners, mugging with Ball and Burnett and mimicking with the likes of Rich Little.

She was Debbie Reynolds.

To generations, her name was synonymous with grit, determination, hoopla, chutzpah, hazzah and sheer, sensational, sparkling, razzle-dazzle show business.

Debbie Reynolds, the woman who was Tammy, Molly Brown and Mother all rolled into one, has died.

She died earlier today of a stroke just one day after the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher from a heart attack.

One of the last of the old Hollywood gang, one of the final products of the vaulted studio system that made Hollywood the entertainment capital of the world, Debbie Reynolds epitomized an American can-do spirit that played well from Peoria to Persia, from Paris to Poughkeepsie. Everybody loved her.

You might say that Debbie Reynolds was destined to be a star and a legend.

But she created herself out of the whole cloth of fearless will.

Debbie was rushed to a hospital shortly after 1 PM today when someone at the Beverly Hills home of her son, Todd, called 911 to report a possible stroke. It's been said that Debbie and Todd were making funeral plans for Carrie.

Debbie famously divorced Eddie Fisher in 1959 after his affair with Elizabeth Taylor. She then married two more times in 1960 and 1984.

She played iconic roles in "Tammy and the Bachelor" and "The Unsinkable Molly Brown". The former sealed her reputation while the later won her an Oscar nomination.

Carrie's relationship with Debbie was the focus of Carrie's semi-autobiographical book, "Postcards from the Edge," which was later adapted for the big screen.

Debbie's survived by her son Todd, who has reportedly said: "She's with Carrie now"

There will never be another like her!

You Need To Watch, Listen To The Whole Thing!

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responds to what he calls Secretary of State John Kerry's 'skewed' speech defending the U.S. move allowing the UN to condemn Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories.

Tributes To A Princess Begin To Pour In

A message from Debbie Reynolds: 
Thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter. I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop. 
Carrie's Mother 

They Lied; But We Still Wish They'd Go . . .

Itv Was True Then . . . It Remains True Now . . .

THE Most Important Single Message Right Now!

You Deserve To Know The Truth About THIS . . .

Decide-As-You-Go Gender Identity? Huh?

Liberalism Trumps Science, Common Sense When It Suits The Ideological Goal

Americans traditionally prided themselves on being a rational, liberty-loving people, much unlike our cousins across the Atlantic who spent much of the 19th and 20th centuries bathing in blood spilled in the name of partisanship and ideology. What makes some of our present day cultural trends so perilous - and Donald Trump so attractive, even to…

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

He's Got Just One More BIG Gift For You!

Our 'Princess' Is Now Gone Forever . . . .

America doesn't have royalty. It's not in our DNA.
But Hollywood, the Dream Factory, has its own kind of royalty.
And, there was a young lady who not only had movie royalty in her bloodline but who also played a princess on the big screen. She really was a sort of all-too-human royalty.
She was Carrie Fisher, now dead at the age of 60 after suffering a massive heart attack aboard an airplane just a few days ago.
Carrie Frances Fisher (October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016) was  the star-crossed daughter of the legendary actress and entertainer Debbie Reynolds and the 1950s Philadelphia-born crooner Eddie Fisher.
Carrie Fisher was an American actress, screenwriter, author, producer, and speaker. 
She was remarkably creative and simply exuded talent.
She was known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films. Fisher was also known for her semi-autobiographical novels, including Postcards from the Edge, and the screenplay for the film of the same name, as well as her autobiographical one-woman play, and its nonfiction book, Wishful Drinking, based on the show. Her other film roles included Shampoo (1975), The Blues Brothers (1980), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), The 'Burbs (1989), and When Harry Met Sally... (1989).
Fisher publicly discussed her diagnosis of bipolar disorder and her addictions to cocaine and prescription medication, including an appearance on ABC's 20/20 and The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive with Stephen Fry for the BBC. She said that her drug use was a form of self-medication, using pain medication such as Percodan to "dial down" the manic aspect of her bipolar disorder. "Drugs made me feel normal," she explained to Psychology Today in 2001. "They contained me."
She discussed her 2008 memoir Wishful Drinking and various topics in it with Matt Lauer on NBC's Today that same year, and also revealed that she would have turned down the role of Princess Leia had she realized it would give her the celebrity status that made her parents' lives difficult. This interview was followed by a similar appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on December 12, 2008, where she discussed her electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments. At one point, she received ECT every six weeks to "blow apart the cement" in her brain. In 2014, she told The Telegraph that she was no longer receiving the treatment.
Fisher revealed in another interview that she took cocaine during the filming of The Empire Strikes Back. "Slowly, I realized I was doing a bit more drugs than other people and losing my choice in the matter," she noted. In 1985, after months of sobriety, she accidentally overdosed on a combination of prescription medication and sleeping pills. She was rushed to the hospital, creating the turn of events that led to much of the material in her novel and screenplay, Postcards from the Edge. Asked why she didn't take on the role of her story's protagonist, named Suzanne, in the film version, Fisher remarked, "I've already played Suzanne."
In 2016, Harvard College gave Fisher its Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism, noting that "her forthright activism and outspokenness about addiction, mental illness, and agnosticism have advanced public discourse on these issues with creativity and empathy."
Fisher described herself as an "enthusiastic agnostic who would be happy to be shown that there is a God". She was raised Protestant, but often attended Jewish services, the faith of her father, with Orthodox friends. She was a spokesperson for Jenny Craig, Inc. weight loss television ads that aired in January 2011.
Inasmuch as there is no natural genetic successor to Hollywood royalty, there is no one -- absolutely no one -- who can or will replace Carrie Fisher.
She was inimitable.
May she rest in peace.

OK, So Just Think About This For A Moment . . .

And Now, A Fond 'Farewell' To All! Adieu!

The list of notables who passed on in 2016 is long and full of fondly-remembered talents, heroes and even one or two tyrants.
No question about it, there are some true giants in this collection.
Here, in no particular order (and still incomplete) we remember those who left us:






















































Must Read Letter Is As Crisp Today As Ever!

In 1990, singer George Michael (who passed away this Christmas) complained about the pitfalls and the burden of fame.
George Michael was an extraordinary talent to who fame came at a relatively early age. Obviously, it was difficult for him to cope with it all, not just then but pretty much throughout his life.
But we still like this letter that the great Frank Sinatra wrote to Michael 26 years ago in which Sinatra  chastised while expressing a healthy dose of respect for his fellow song stylist. And, we absolutely love the last line.
RIP, Frank Sinatra and George Michael.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Oh, My! They Can't Even Give It Away!

And Now The Official Schedule Is Rereleased . . .

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) has released the schedule of official events for the 58th Presidential Inauguration. The official portion of the inaugural will begin with the President-elect and Vice President-elect laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery, continue with a welcome concert on Thursday, January 19th, and end with the National Prayer Service on Saturday, January 21st. The inaugural will carry the message of President-elect Trump’s historic campaign, “Make America Great Again!”

“President-elect Trump is committed to unifying our country as we once again celebrate the foundation of our American system and the peaceful transfer of power,” said PIC Chairman Tom Barrack. “The 2017 inaugural celebrations will reflect President-elect Trump’s eagerness to get to work in order to make our country safer and stronger.”

The Committee also released an extensive schedule of inaugural events to be held over a five day span starting Tuesday, including several dinners honoring the President-elect, Vice-President-elect, and cabinet secretaries, a concert celebrating the American people, the swearing-in, the inaugural parade, two inaugural balls and a ball saluting our armed forces and first responders.

Many of the ticketed events will be available to the general public, and information can be found at the PIC website at for those interested in obtaining tickets. Media credentialing information for inaugural events is available at

Members of the media and the public will be notified of any updates and/or changes to the schedule of events.

58th Presidential Inaugural Schedule of Events

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Wreath Laying Ceremony

Arlington National Cemetery

Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration

Lincoln Memorial

Ticket required for special viewing areas.

No ticket required for general public viewing areas.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Inaugural Swearing-in Ceremony

US Capitol

Inaugural Parade

Pennsylvania Avenue

Ticket required for special viewing areas.

No ticket required for general public viewing areas.

Inaugural Balls

Ticket required – limited availability.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

National Prayer Service

Washington National Cathedral

A Terrible, Terrible, 'Nasty' Betrayal Of A Friend

The ONE Organization That Will REALLY Matter!

Especially in light of last week's events, the Republican Jewish Coalition is now more important than ever.
Beginning January 20, you can bet that this extraordinary group will be front and center and playing a key role ion all that follows. Bravo!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Here's Another One We Just HAD To Post!

One Thing We Should NEVER Forget!

Ho, Ho, Ho! Get Ready, America . . . .

Get ready, America . . . 
Christmas is BACK, in a very big way!

A True Christmas Story - How The Magic Endures!

It's Christmas, a joyous time of the year.
And I see dead people.

They are all around me and they are here to celebrate Christmas with me.
I turn on the TV and Jimmy Stewart is racing down Main Street in Bedford Falls hoping to escape the confines of a small town but knowing that he never will.
And Alastair Sim, the quintessential Scrooge, is grimacing in the classic black-and-white version of everyone's favorite Christmas tale.
And in living color I still see Judy Garland and Bing Crosby and Perry Como and Dinah Shore and Andy Williams singing Christmas songs. Judy's still full of pathos as she tenderly sings Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
Jack Benny is here too and so is Lucy in a tender episode that ends with two Santas where there should be only one. One of the Santas is clearly Fred (William Frawley) but who's that other guy?
And when I turn on the radio. I hear Christmas carols by Luciano Pavarotti and Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra and Mahalia Jackson and Mario Lanza.
On You Tube I watch President Reagan deliver a Christmas message from the White House. The President is warm and reassuring and he speaks confidently of faith in God and our Judeo-Christian heritage.

My mind tumbles back to the gritty, industrial city that I grew up in -- a riverfront city that didn't realize back then that its glory days were already behind it. It's a bleak, damp, gray December day but I'm warm and secure in the confines of my father's old Plymouth as we rush from place to place through narrow city streets marked by row houses and the occasional corner store.
We don't speak very much but I'm so happy to be with him. He's making lots of stops, picking up small treats and gifts from a variety of friends and businesspeople for whom he may have done odd jobs during the year. Whatever he manages to gather will help to make our Christmas a bit happier.
Even in the run up to Christmas, he's a tough negotiator. He barters with merchants and grocers. as he tries to select just the right provisions for our Christmas feast.
He maneuvers through and around streets, neighborhoods and landmarks with the swiftness of a true native.
His energy fills the room wherever he goes. He's not a big guy but he makes a huge impact. And I know that as long as I'm by his side, no harm can come to me.

On Christmas eve aunts, uncles, cousins and neighbors come and go as the all-night feast of the fishes drifts into the wee hours of Christmas day.
On Christmas morning the uncles begin their ritual home visitations, gathering more participants as they move from house to house. Loud, boisterous and well-lubricated, they pass out silver dollars to the children. These will be accepted as treasured tokens and saved in a safe place.
Through it all I see my mother, full of wry wit, optimism and just a the right perspective on the whole panoply. She's got a sharp eye and she's a great mimic as she jokes about people, places and personalities.
If you press her, she may even remember some of the people from her own earlier Christmases but she'd rather dwell in the present. She's very much about her own family, right here, right now.
Of course, now I understand why she took that approach.

As you get older, this is what happens.
Christmas isn't totally joyous. It isn't always candy canes and sugar plums.
So many Christmas memories; so many Christmases past.
Christmas in your heart means Christmas with those who have passed on, as loved ones never leave you since love is eternal.
Christmas with dead people is bittersweet.

Not to worry, though.
The memories are good. And the sights, sounds and glad tidings live within me.
Plus, at this time of year all of these people seem to come alive once again -- alive in a very special way. They are with me. They are part of me. And I treasure them.
And I suppose that's one of the lessons of Christmas: Let all the people and the events and the memories of the Christmases past deepen and enrich your understanding of this wonderful holiday. Savor it all.
Bring them along with you. Let them walk by your side. Be strengthened by their presence and pass on what you know, who you are, how you feel, what you have learned.
And be proud, strong and tender -- especially for the children who watch you more closely now than at any other time of the year.
In that way, you'll keep the true spirit of Christmas.

This Christmas story has appeared each year on the Dan Cirucci Blog as our gift to you!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The REAL Meaning Of Those Magical Colors

Where do the colors of Christmas come from? 
Red, green and gold symbolize the three teachings of Christ.
Here's the way it breaks down:
Red symbolizes the blood of Jesus when he was crucified. Red also symbolizes love and it is a bright color, which also means joy. 
Green is the color of holly plants which maintain their color even in severe winters, In Christianity it is believed that the color green signifies the eternal life of Jesus. The green of the Christmas tree represents immortality. 
Gold is said to be the color of giving. The third king who came on the birth of Christ, gave gold as a gift. The use of the gold color in Christmas depicts the coming of the magi. Christ was God's gift to humanity for a better life. 
Red, green, gold: Sacrifice, love and joy, eternal life, charity.
BTW: A friend has also informed me that "Xmas" really is a proper way to express Christmas because the "X' signifies Christ. Many feel that the "X" stands for the cross and that of course means Christ. I've also heard that "Xmas" was used during times of religious persecution and/or in nations that didn't permit Christian worship or worship of any kind. "Xmas," I'm told, was used as a sort of code.

Don't EVER Forget Them - Especially NOW!

Twenty-Five Great Reasons To LOVE Christmas!

Caravaggio's Nativity.

In recent years Christmas has gotten a bum rap.
It's become cheapened, materialized, even defamed. And too many people have tried to secularize the holiday as well. They've wanted to take the "Christmas" out of December 25.
Perhaps the greatest horror is that Halloween has grown in popularity and, but some accounts, now seems to rival Christmas.
But Christmas has a stubborn way of re-emerging -- not just because we need it but because it really is deeply meaningful. Still, we must all do our part to continue to refocus on Christmas and nurture this glorious celebration.
With that in mind, here are our 25 Reasons To Love Christmas:

1) The Nativity. Mary, Joseph and the Christ child. The true meaning of the day and the rightful center of our focus.

2) Fresh Christmas greens. Fragrant, vivid and constant, evergreens help us look forward to the seasons ahead.

3) Christmas trees. A link to the natural world that we enhance during the Christmas season. But it really doesn't matter whether your tree is natural are not. It's the sentiment that counts!

4) Angels we have heard on high. To quote Chekov: "We shall find peace. We shall hear angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds."

5) Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and all the other great books and stories about Christmas.

6) Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life" and all the other classic Christmas movies that have become treasured traditions. 

7) Christmas lights. From the ones in your window or on your lawn to the department store spectacles, they all shine brightly and send a shimmering message of hope.

8) Snow. Or at least the thought of snow. It's the one time of the year that many of us can tolerate the white stiff. And ooohhh, those snowflakes! 

9) Silent Night and all the other Christmas carols as well as more modern, popular Christmas songs. 

10) Christmas around the world. Joyeux Noel. Feliz Navidad. Buon Natale. Mele Kalikimaka. God Jul. 

11) Christmas with our troops. Let's not forget them as they protect us while everyone else celebrates. 

12) Christmas Eve. A night for reflection and high anticipation. 

13) The march of the wooden soldiers and all those other wonderful Christmas toys. 

14) Jingle Bells. The sound of these festive bells is the sound of Christmas calling.

15) Christmas morning. The fulfillment of wonder. 

16) Christmas scents: Gingerbread, evergreens, panettone, roast turkey, sugar 'n spice. 

17) Mistletoe. Still a great excuse for kissing, IF you need one. 

18) The Italian Seven Fishes Feast. If you haven't enjoyed it, you haven't known Christmas Eve. 

19) Christmas cookies. The sweetest annual indulgence. 

20) Family. As much as we sometimes complain, we're grateful for all of them, right? 

21) Country Christmas. If you haven't been to Nashville or Branson at Christmas, well . . . . 

22) Silver Bells. Especially the ones that the Salvation Army rings. Have you given this year? 

23) Christmas excess. C'mon, it only happens once a year. 

24) Christmas candy. You can always start your diet on January 2. 

25) Christmas in your heart. Treasure it!

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