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Archive for December, 2012

Holiday Music

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Ok, maybe this is not politically correct, and some will disagree with me; but I have to say I love Christmas music.
I grew up during a time when all kids sang Christmas carols no matter what religion you were. It was part of the school music programs. In high school, I enjoyed chorus with my friends Barb, Judy, Gail and Sherry–and many of us are Jewish. We sang the songs you rarely hear today in schools–songs like “Gloria” (in Latin) and “Silent Night” as well as “Winter Wonderland” and modern Christmas music. The music was lovely and we enjoyed practicing and participating in vocal concerts.
One of my favorite memories of college was my sophomore year, when there was a sing along at our student center just before our holiday break; and my friend Janet and I belted out “The 12 Days of Christmas” along with dozens of other students. (I can still name all 12 gifts).
I enjoy listening to the music in my car and when I hear Burl Ive’s “Holly Jolly Christmas” on the radio that’s when I know the holiday season has begun!
Some of this music is so beautiful, and I think it’s a shame that in our striving to be politically correct, we have cut many of these songs from school programs. I don’t see why they can’t be included if you balance some religious songs out with modern holiday songs and songs about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and winter.
Last year on 101.5 I heard a song I never heard before–about lighting a single candle, sung by a school in a competition. Does anyone know the name of the song? I’d like to hear it again.
People of all religions go to museums and admire religious paintings because they are works of art. Why can’t we admire Christmas carols because they are works of art too–beautiful music that sounds good?
My favorite songs to sing when I was in chorus were “Go Tell it on the Mountain” (becuase of the harmony) and “The 12 Days of Christmas” (because it is FUN!). My favorite to sing along with in the car is “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”  And of course I love Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah song!
So do you think Christmas songs should be included in holiday programs? And what’s yoru favorite to sing along with or listen to?
Happy Holidays everyone!
Roni Denholtz

Lightsoflove

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The last time I blogged, we were bracing for Hurricane Sandy, and some people, who shall remain nameless, thought I was going a little overboard in my preparations.  I’ll say this–they later thanked me for stocking up on canned goods and water!   Anyway, I hope everyone fared well during the storm.  Aside from no power, minor damage, and a household of sick people, we made out okay.

Since I had been so prepared, my Nook was fully charged, and I had batteries in my book-light.   I read several books and I’m here to reveal some of my favorites.  First, I read The Witness by Nora Roberts.  It’s a romantic suspense of four hundred and eighty-eight pages.  The heroine witnesses an event that changes her life forever.  I have never read a book of Nora’s that I didn’t like, and this one was no exception.   Then I read a couple of more books that were mediocre until I dived into Lisa Scottoline’s Daddy’s Girl.  Lisa spoke at a New Jersey Romance Writers Conference a few years back and I had bought this book.  Since then, I have read others of hers that I truly enjoyed, but I must have forgotten about this one.  Anyway, Daddy’s Girl was the best thriller I’ve read in ages.  The main character, Nat, is a law professor who happens to visit a prison on the day a riot breaks out and someone dies.  She becomes suspect number one and spends most of the book trying to prove her innocence.  Loved it!

After the storm and all the devastation, I’m not sure what possessed me, but I started to purge and organize my house.  Maybe because so people lost everything, I decided my family has entire too much stuff.  So I attacked my To-Be-Read piles of books.  First, I pulled out several I knew I would probably never read.  In addition to some books I had already decided needed to be donated, I made a separate bag of other books and gave them to a friend.  She is an avid and quick reader, so I asked her to return to me any books that she designated spectacular-must-reads.

Next, I searched for holiday themed books and found three.  I read Holiday Hideout, a collection of novellas, the common thread being a rental cabin that seems to spark romances between couples.  Vicki Lewis Thompson wrote about Thanksgiving, Jill Shalvis, about Christmas, and Julie Kenner about New Year’s.  All were enjoyable, cute and sexy stories.

Now my immediate reading list plan includes the two holiday romances I found buried in my piles, Robin Carr’s Bring Me Home for Christmas and Lakeshore Christmas by Susan Wiggs, and newer titles Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom for my bookclub, Take Me Home by Nancy Herkness, and Jane Porter’s The Good Woman.  This novel is part of the Brennan Sisters Trilogy.

I’m so looking forward to reading all these selections under the twinkling lights of my Christmas tree.

Happy Holidays,

Elizabeth

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