Author Topic: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15  (Read 5864 times)

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Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« on: December 13, 2015, 12:56:36 PM »

Holiday Books and Bookstore
Starts on Tues. Dec. 15 through January 6, 2016


This discussion about reading books over the holidays is extended through the 12 Days of Christmas.

What book are you reading... a Christmas mystery, a children's story that is an annual must read, a humorous love story that ends well. The story is sure to be a compelling read so that your nearby hot chocolate will have time to cool.

Did you receive a book as a Christmas Gift or while shopping did you treat yourself to a book that you just could not pass? Have you started to read the book? Please, would you briefly tell us what it is about.

Do you have some books already lined up to read over the next 12 days of Christmas? Has anyone looked up what the symbolism is for each of the 12 days of Christmas?

Has your favorite book store changed their display - What new books are they featuring?  Their coffee shop...  is it a place you want to snuggle down for an hour or so as we entire the dead of winter when reading keeps us warm with stories and dreams. 

We want to hear about the books you plan on reading the next few weeks.

P.S. If you share photos (and we hope you do) PLEASE remember the maximum width is 400 pixels. If your photo is longer than wide, height max is 400 pixels - in keeping with a typical magazine or web page and the size our server can best handle.


Discussion Leaders: Barb St. Aubrey

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2015, 01:07:19 PM »
Welcome and please come help us celebrate these traditional holidays. We are also coming to the end of a great year of reading here on Senior Learn.

Boys in The Boat, Lady of Shalott, Emma, Kristin Lavransdatter; Books I,II and III, The Palace Thief, Our Wild Days (remembering our history), For Love of Lakes, Dead Wake, the Cellist of Sarajevo, The Adventures of Pinocchio –

What an amazing variety of reading and learning.

During the year we’ve shared ideas, friendship, our interests in each other’s values, our various choice of books, TV programs and movies, sewn some seeds for the future and remembered the contribution of those no longer with us.

Please, for the next couple of weeks share with us your joys and happenings – Some of us are no longer as active as we were and reading about the activities of old friends is a bit of cheer as well as, sharing with us the stories you’re reading – The bits and pieces we share on Senior Learn will make this season a time for celebration if only in our hearts

I know I am betwixt and between this year – Just could not face that long day spent in crowded airports and planes to visit my daughter and family. It is cold, cold there and now that the boys are young men the holiday time is centered around seeing their friends, who are delightful but I just needed a year to get back to what Christmas means to me.

Now that I made that decision, I am struggling to feel joyful as I hesitate and feel out of sync with what to do. For sure no tree – However, I’ve already let 3 holiday musical events go by so that maybe, where they sound great, I just need to get my house as I would like it and decide how I want to spend the day – or really that weekend – long Christmas weekend this year –

I did have one magical moment – Out late the other night, for my mail and to be sure nothing was left on the porch – In the middle of the front lawn a young and stately 10 point buck – he eyed me as I walked the length of the porch to the mailbox – nothing moved except his head slowly watching – a quiet night and this wondrous animal with that glorious rack reminding me of so many fantasy paintings where the racks are sketched as tangled tree limbs – all we needed was glitter falling from the heavens.

Ella Gibbons

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2015, 01:48:17 PM »
Barbara, I sense a bit of loneliness in your post.   We all feel it, as we grow older and memories of Christmases past flood us everywhere, wonderful memories, happy times.  And now we turn on TV, we go shopping, we see the "hoopla" of it all, the decorations and think we should be a little part of it all, but we are not.   

I didn't get my little decorated tree out of my storage unit in the basement this year; I can't even light a candle because I am on oxygen (parttime).  No Christmas cards either, people I knew are either dead or I've forgotten them (probably the latter as my memory is fading also).

We need a bit of humor here, methinks: 

In a small Southern town there was a "Nativity Scene" that showed   great skill and talent had gone into creating it. One small feature  bothered me. The three wise men were wearing firemen's helmets.  Totally unable to come up with a reason or explanation, I left.   At a "Quick Stop" on the edge of town, I asked the lady behind the counter about the helmets. She exploded into a rage, yelling at me, "You damn Yankees never do read the Bible!" I assured her that I did, but simply couldn't recall anything about firemen in the Bible. She jerked her Bible from behind the counter and ruffled through some pages, and finally jabbed her finger at a passage. Sticking it in my face she said
"See, it says right here,  'The three wise man came from afar.'"


(That doesn't apply to Texans, of course!!!

As a little girl climbed onto Santa's lap, Santa asked the usual, "And what would you like for Christmas?"
 The child stared at him open mouthed and horrified for a minute, then gasped: "Didn't you get my E-mail?"

"Signs of the Times"   !!!!!


BarbStAubrey

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2015, 03:18:44 PM »
Oh dear I guess it does sound lonely - I think it is attempting a new kind of Christmas and like you - no one is around - not sure what I am doing but bound and determined to make it meaningful - been reading my advent book and as so many years in the past I am reading the same sermons and they hit me with such a force of new understanding it is as if I never read them.

Was doing better and then yesterday had to go up and turn water on so the pipes do not dry out in my good friend's house who died this past Spring and her children are not yet ready to let go either - Thought I was fine but... so yes, a bit of humor and wonderment and good stories is what we need.

I have this not expensive sound system for probably 15 or more years now that takes 5 Cds and I have had my 3 advent Cds - one from France another Germany and another a Convent here in the states someplace - well decided today to change them out and make all 5 Christmas music.

I love Tchaikovsky - and that period of music, Antonín Dvořák is another favorite of mine - but back to Tchaikovsky I haven't seen a live performance of the Nutcracker since my grands were small boys and my son and Sally have gotten good seats for us to see the Nutcracker this Saturday - they drive up from just north of Houston - what a treat - nothing like seeing it live and the Austin Symphony plays the score which makes it really a glorious experience. 

And then caught up or not I have decided I must go down to the Blanton - the museum on the UT Campus - Thursday is free day and Thursday evening they are having a local choral group that have now quite a reputation for mostly medieval music which means one glorious voice, usually female that is accompanied by the sound of a choral group in a lower register - plus for the next couple of months they have the loan of the famous Bible from the Middle Ages - forgot its name but the illustrations is what it is all about and they are of knights and banners and chivalry - the display has 12 of the most important illustrations on display as well as illustrations from the universities collection of ancient Bibles - so the whole thing will be about our romanticized idea of a time in history without running water and meat on the table was from hunting not ranching.

Since I've been a prime member of Amazon since practically day one before there was an annual fee all sorts of extras are now offered - it seems because I own a kindle now once a month they offer me a free book - well this month it looks like a fun story - haven't started yet, but do not seem to be getting much done so I may as well make a fresh pot of coffee and read this fun story. I'll let you know what it is about and what happens.

Ella are you a member of Prime on Amazon? Are you reading anything special for Christmas? OK I'm off to read the story...     

nlhome

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2015, 01:43:59 PM »
I picked up a couple of Christmas mysteries to read during the season, but there's so much other stuff to do that reading time is limited. One book was Christmas Stalkings, a collection of short stories that Charlotte MacLeod put together. Those were fun.

I also bought books for everyone, except my daughter this year, because I couldn't find anything that seemed to fit her right now. Rather than a book, I got my son-in-law, who loves wood projects, a pile of issues of a handyman magazine from the 1980s, from when he was born, that I picked up at an estate sale. There are a lot of wood projects in them, and he'll enjoy just seeing how different (or the same) tools and techniques are now.

ginny

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2015, 05:04:48 PM »
The Wall Street Journal which I get on the Ipad today had a lovely article about the joy of rereading a cherished old book again just for the comfort involved.

This time of year I want to read Dickens again. I don't know why. I never do read him again,  and I don't know why I don't. I think it's the richness of his words or something that I miss. I'm trying to decide what to read again that I enjoyed a lot in the past.

It's been a couple of years since I read Christmas Crimes at Puzzel (spelled correctly) Manor and I have forgotten the answers to the little quizzes the author sets for the reader at the end of each chapter. To solve the mystery you have to solve the puzzles. Every time he's too smart for me, which tells you something,  as I've read it for years.  He doesn't give all the answers, either. Senility can be a wonderful thing. It's by  Simon Brett and involves a huge manor house, a snowfall, and a murder. I recommend it every chance I get.  Too clever by half, is Mr. Brett.  I love clever people.

I'm enjoying the audio book The 12 Labors of Hercules by Agatha Christie, which is read by Hugh Fraser. The man can do any accent and does David Suchet's Poirot perfectly. He should know how he sounds, he played Hastings in the TV series with Suchet.

 I think those two, the Brett, and the Fraser,  are my favorite do overs this holiday year.  The 12 Labors of Hercules is almost breathtakingly clever as Christie takes the myth and brings it into modern times with Poirot. Another extremely clever person.

Oh just give me a book and I'm happy. :)

But what do you all prefer to read at the holidays?


PatH

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2015, 07:57:43 PM »

Oh just give me a book and I'm happy. :)

That's the way my family feels about Christmas.  You ought to get at least one book, then everything is good.

When a daughter lived in Pasadena, I learned to love Vroman's Bookstore, a still flourishing independent store, one of those serendipitous places you find things you couldn't have looked for because you didn't know they existed.

One Christmas, there was a book just out that I would obviously have wanted, and my daughter and I were shopping there.  I was looking at lots of things, and she was dancing around trying to head me off from buying that book so she could buy it for me.  It was a close call, but I ended not buying the book, so she bought it for me.  We laughed a lot about it afterwards.

ginny

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2015, 10:50:35 AM »
Pat, I love that story!

Something very similar and dear happened to me,  too, as a child walking with my father down a Philadelphia street. I used to be allowed to go  into the city to have lunch with him, it all seemed very glamorous. The deferential waiters, the huge building where he worked, famous for its architecture.

Anyway one day we were walking down the street and here was an itinerant  street vendor with these little wind up  fuzzy dogs which yapped and ran about and sat up and of course I, spoiled rotten, had to have one,  just had to and he had all kinds of reasons why not, and so on it went. That Christmas guess what turned up under the tree? I have never forgotten that, and I don't know how he did it, because the street vendor was gone when we returned from lunch. "Sold out and went home," my father said.

On our annual  Christmas trip to Biltmore House last week,  with my son and his family we went to  a model train store in Asheville NC, so they could get some more track for their Christmas train and my grandson and I had picked out a great  puzzle of NYC,  (our living room formerly interesting   glass table now being  covered in puzzles in all stages of development), and he loves NYC after our trip there, and apparently  you could hear us all over the store exclaiming over it... Carrying that he  spotted this perfectly hideous purple plastic dragon, on a huge display of them, big ugly  thing and he really wanted it. I'm sure it has something to do with some current fad.


He first showed it to me in all its glory, and then he  ran off to get his mother  and dad to show them,  and I snapped into action, getting the woman wearing the Santa cap to ring it up fast. And hide it.  I did worry he would notice it was missing, and he did hesitate, but there were SO many just like it, he settled on one almost the same.   I could see my grandson returning excitedly from across the store with his mom, but the clerk could not get the bag open, it won't OPEN! She kept saying and fussing with it, the dragon exposed, as they grew closer and closer, and I frantically said, here he IS,  and she just disappeared behind the counter, just threw herself on the floor with the dragon and the bag and all. hahahaha It was so funny.

  Then he couldn't convince his mom or dad to buy the thing, essentially because I was indicating NO. They   couldn't understand why he wanted it, had never shown any interest,  and of course he was disappointed, and so his mom  told him she knew several people who wanted to give him something for Christmas and didn't know what, and she would tell them about it. . So that's where it rested. So the clerk and I had a good laugh, she was a great sport, and she said  this happens ALL the time.

I wonder if he'll remember it when he's old. :)

  Ho Ho Ho!

bellamarie

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2015, 11:31:57 AM »
Oh PatH., and Ginny your stories made me laugh and remember a cute little happening years ago in our home. 

My son who is now 40 yrs old, back when he was at the age of not sure if he wanted to still believe in Santa happened to be in my bedroom and spotted an orange sled under my bed.  The one he circled in a Toys R Us Christmas list ad.  He came down running into the kitchen where I was busy washing dishes (yes NO dishwasher at that time).  He exclaimed, "Mom you have to come see there is a big orange sled under your bed!"   Of course I was mortified, I hurriedly said, "Oh I think you want that sled so bad you are imagining it under my bed, how on earth could it ever be under my bed?"  My hubby was overhearing us and I turned my back to little Michael and quietly said to my hubby, "Go move that sled from under our bed."  He went upstairs moved the sled, came down and gave me a wink and a thumbs up.  Michael was insistent I MUST come with him to see the sled under my bed.  I said, "Okay let's go see that sled."  We went up to my bedroom, he ran to the bed, crouched down and said, "See Mom it's under here!".  I came over to kneel down and just before I got there he said, "Oh no, where did it go?"  I said, "I'm pretty sure you want that sled so badly you thought you saw it under here."  He looked very puzzled, looked again, and said, "I was so sure I saw that sled, maybe Santa came and took it so he can bring it to me on Christmas morning."  I said, "Yes, maybe that is what happened."  You can only imagine the joy in Michael's face on Christmas morning to see his orange sled under the tree.  He exclaimed, "I was right!  Santa did come and get the sled to bring to me!"  Oh what fun we shared each winter with that sled.  Needless to say, Michael continued to believe in Santa for a few more years after that year.

“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

bellamarie

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2015, 01:21:07 PM »
At this time of year I am a sucker for fictional, romantic Christmas stories.  I just finished The Gift by Nora Roberts which has two short stories in one book.  The first one is Home For Christmas and the second was is All I Want For Christmas.  They are just two feel good stories that will stay with me for a very long time.  I also just checked out two other Christmas books from the library by Susan Mallery called Christmas on 4th Street and Marry Me At Christmas.

Ginny your book called, Christmas Crimes at Puzzel Manor made me think of our visit to The Manor House at our local park.  A very wealthy family named Stranahan donated this wonderful huge early nineteenth century manor house to the park thirty years ago and each Christmas season volunteers decorate each room with a theme of their choice.  It is open to view for free for only one week.  This is actually the first year we have ever gone and as we walk through the door the greeter gives you a card with multiple questions of clues on it, for us to look and find items in the house throughout the many rooms.  We had tons of fun with our grandkids looking for the items.  As we toured the manor the ladies kept saying, "Please take lots of pictures and put them on Facebook."  Well, you don't have to tell me two the person of a million photos to snap pictures.  I think I have over two hundred!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOJak6V0qnw



                               
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2015, 01:49:37 PM »

Steph

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2015, 07:56:45 AM »
My Christmas treat is that I found a Christmas book by Wally Lamb.. Wishin and Hopin,, It is very funny indeed.. All about going to Catholic school, growing up in an ethnic neighborhood and that little girl in grade school, that was queen of everything. I laughed and enjoyed.
I have a courtyard house, just had it done in pavers. I also have a lit up fawn to put outside, but this year. He graces the courtyard and looks wonderful. I pat him every time I walk by and at night love to see the glitter. I went to Target and found a Dachshound in a sweater with lights, left off the tail in honor of my corgi and he stands on the porch and is all lit up for the neighbors each night. In the house, I have a tiny 2' tree with the branches that twinkle, added in the Disney Princesses that my granddaughter adored when young and boom.. Christmas. My granddaughter came by earlier this week on her way to pick up her boyfriend who is just out of basic training in the marines. She had never done a long trip alone and was a bit apprehensive, but she went off the next day and I got a joyous facebook message that she was in S.C. safe and sound and happy.. Hurray for young love,
Stephanie and assorted corgi

bellamarie

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2015, 02:00:30 PM »
Oh Steph, thank you for your post.  It is the simple things in life that make things so perfect!  Good for your granddaughter for having the courage to take the long trip.  You are a traveler yourself, so I am sure you have been her inspiration to attempt the apprehensive things in life.  My granddaughter is twenty years old and drove her first solo expressway to visit her boyfriend in Dearborn Heights, about 40 minutes away.  She was so proud of herself!  Yes indeed...Hurray for young love!!!
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

Steph

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2015, 09:21:28 AM »
Yes, Kaitlyn has told me over and over that my taking her to Europe after graduation has inspired her to want to travel and explore.. I am honored that she thinks I am brave ( although I know I am not particularly). We have a small taste of colder weather today , only going to last maybe two days, but it has been so hot and humid, it is welcomed.
Stephanie and assorted corgi

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2015, 10:05:12 AM »
Went shopping last night with a wreath on my list - do you know not only are there no wreathes to be had but the trees are all gone - no time today but I think Whole Foods may still have a swag or two and Lowes did have this evergreen kissing ball that I really do not want at that price just to pull apart so I have some fir stems for the mantle - I have loads and loads of rosemary and that may be my solution this year and I did see a small transplant of Holly that I may pick up and then plant in the yard.

bellamarie

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2015, 11:49:26 AM »
Barb, we have tons and tons of evergreen wreaths, grave blankets, and trees left at every place I go.  I visited my parents gravesite the other day and my sister usually supplies the grave blanket each year and we pitch in the cost.  No blanket was yet placed, so I told my other sister who I was with that we could just pick one up down the street from the cemetery.  She said, "Oh no, they are terribly expensive there."  I was shocked to hear this when I live in Toledo, Ohio just thirty minutes from my hometown of Monroe, Michigan where we were.  I could pick one up for around $60 dollars and they were $200 there.  I suppose I will wait to see if the other sister has one placed.  Don't want to overstep my position in the family. 

Well, I learned something new from you, did not know you could transplant holly in the yard!
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

Steph

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2015, 06:02:20 PM »
Besides my corgi, I had two more corgi here overnight . They two newcomers were startled to discover my corgi that lights up and shines.. A lot of gruff barking made that thing understand they meant business. Funny to watch
Stephanie and assorted corgi

PatH

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2015, 12:24:00 PM »
Steph, you gave me my morning laugh at the thought of a territorial fight with a lit-up corgi.

No decorations for me, as I'm traveling, but lots of loving family.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2015, 07:21:35 PM »
Such a perfectly wonderful Christmas story came to me from the weekly story sent by The Library of America - it is a delightful Louisa M. Alcott short story

https://loa-shared.s3.amazonaws.com/static/pdf/Alcott_Kates_Choice.pdf

bellamarie

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2015, 09:16:09 PM »
My daughter and her hubby came to visit from Florida for Thanksgiving and brought their dog.  My Shih Tzu went about as if he could ignore him and he wouldn't be there.  Their dog would bark at my Sammy as if to say, "Let's play."  It's so fun trying to know what animals think. 

Well I finally got the Dept. 56 Dickens village up and lit, both trees decorated, gifts all bought and wrapped, and cookies baked.  Today, I stayed in my pjs all day and tried to figure out my new Canon Power Shot 30x zoom with 20 megapixels with continuous shooting ability.  Can't wait to use it at my grandkids sports.   
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

Steph

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2015, 08:51:56 AM »
I will be home until Christmas Eve morning and then down at a sons for a few days.. I need to get in a few groceries, stay as far away as possible for any other type stores and generally do nothing gracefully. Cant stay in PJ's.. The neighbors might be frightened by the lady walking her dog in her  pj's.
Stephanie and assorted corgi

bellamarie

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2015, 11:15:36 AM »
My hubby walks our dog every day.  I should!  I think we are going to join the YMCA the first of the year so I can be more diligent in exercising.  I turned a spare bedroom into a beautiful work out room a few years ago and now it just collects dust.  Ughhh.... I am hoping for more motivation since I am now retired.

Our family goes to 5:30 p.m. Mass together, a tradition for over thirty years, then to our house for eating and opening presents.  My ten year old granddaughter Hayden will be singing a solo of The Friendly Beast, an Old English Christmas Carol.  One of my favorites our children's choir sings each year.

Enjoy!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cZm7RGlY2Y

Jesus our brother, kind and good
Was humbly born in a stable rude
And the friendly beasts around Him stood
Jesus our brother, kind and good.

"I," said the donkey, shaggy and brown,
"I carried His mother up hill and down;
I carried her safely to Bethlehem town."
"I," said the donkey, shaggy and brown.

"I," said the cow, all white and red
"I gave Him my manger for a bed;
I gave Him my hay to pillow His head."
"I," said the cow, all white and red.

"I," said the sheep with curly horn,
"I gave Him my wool for His blanket warm;
He wore my coat on Christmas morn."
"I," said the sheep with curly horn.

"I," said the dove from the rafters high,
"Cooed Him to sleep that He should not cry;
We cooed Him to sleep, my mate and I."
"I," said the dove from the rafters high.

"I," said the camel, yellow and black,
"Over the desert, upon my back,
I brought Him a gift in the Wise Men's pack."
"I," said the camel, yellow and black.

Thus every beast by some good spell
In the stable dark was glad to tell
Of the gift he gave Emmanuel,
The gift he gave Emmanuel.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Friendly_Beasts
"The Friendly Beasts" is a traditional Christmas song about the gifts that a donkey, cow, sheep, camel, and dove give to Jesus at the Nativity. The song seems to have originated in 12th-century France, set to the melody of the Latin song "Orientis Partibus".[1] The current English words were written by Robert Davis (1881-1950) in the 1920s.[2]
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

Steph

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2015, 08:56:31 AM »
Now that is a lovely carol.. Yes, I belong to a gym.. and put it in my appointment book just like any other appointment. Keeps me honest. I also have times when I keep saying I am not going to exercise, but then I saw, I will at least get dressed.. then I will get in the car and drive to the gym and then I will go to class and leave if I want... and bang.. the class is done and I feel better.. So go for it.
Stephanie and assorted corgi

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2015, 02:27:47 PM »
Have a few last minute errands and then my Christmas can begin - it is so warm that I had to turn the AC on during the night - I've all the windows open - no sounds so it seems strange, windows open and not a bird to be heard - with school out nothing from the school fields, I cannot even hear traffic - for sure tonight I need to get out and see the lights - they are spectacular this year.

Need to pick up a nice bottle of wine and the scallops - decided to have scallops followed by Potatoes dauphin that I will tuck in a few mushrooms and a chocolate something for desert - was going to do a mouse and decided to get something decorated to look Christmasy at the new Bakery nearby. And I have to get some paperwork to a RE office in town - that is it and then the music can play and I can sing out-loud - tonight I must read The Christmas Mouse by Miss Read -  tomorrow evening - Charlie Brown is on TV at 7: - Then Mass and a long Christmas walk on the big day...

Steph

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2015, 07:23:42 AM »
yum Scallops.. Potatoes. Sounds wonderful.I am leaving for my older sons.. I suspect something mexican is in my future since that seems to be the food of the year for them.
Stephanie and assorted corgi

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2015, 11:02:17 AM »
Steph maybe a plate full of enchiladas - this time of year every Mexican American household in Texas is making enchiladas - grandmas, moms whole families of sisters, cousins and nieces all making them and then proudly piling them on plates for the men... the other Mexican Christmas time goodie that I love is Bunuelos with honey.  Here the Bunuelos are made into a knot rather than flat.

This warm weather is a delight - I'm not all shoulder crunched with the cold - and did y'all see the moon last night - everything is bathed in the moonlight - I should wash up a bunch of sheets and hang them on the line to be bleached by the moonlight - nothing like it - there were even stars visible with such the bright moon - just beautiful.

Did drive through many of the neighborhood streets last night for about 20 minutes or so - and a few houses really went all out - amazing with blow ups or lights dripping from the Oaks - one house has a big old Oak that covers over half the street and instead of doing the trunk and main branches like so many he had the entire two limbs that go over the street lite - you could drive right under his light display - fun - and then another house did on their garage what I've been doing on the lower bushes since I cannot reach the trees - we sprinkle glow in the dark paint in droplets - has this soft glow that can only be seen maybe 30 to 40 yards away - Lady Bird Nature Center does this on their big Oaks but they have cranes and help to decorate.

I need to vacuum but our local classical music station is doing 9 lessons and hymns from Kings Collage in Cambridge UK and I am enjoying the short sermons between each Christmas Hymn.  Well onward to making it a lovely day...

rosemarykaye

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2015, 11:37:30 AM »
Well I am Home Alone as my husband and all three children have gone to visit my in-laws overnight in Cumbria (yes, flooded Cumbria). Of course I was supposed to be going too but I have had a dreadful cold and as the in-laws are both ill and have suppressed immune systems it would have been crazy for me to import my bugs. My children were not best pleased but I have to say I am enjoying the peace & quiet here after a week of family - it surprises me when I realise that only a few years ago there were 5 of us in the house all the time, plus dog + vats. Now there's normally just me, youngest daughter and same cats, and you do kind of get used to your space.

We decided this year that almost all of our presents would be bought in charity shops. Husband and I actually had two really enjoyable Saturdays looking for unusual stuff - such a change from feeling oppressed by all the mad consumerism in the city centre shops. Edinburgh has masses of charity shops and we found all sorts of amazing things - and even if people don't like them, the money has still gone to charity and you haven't spent that much really.  My favourite thing was a model Dutch windmill which mu husband absolutely loathes but I have proudly put it out on the landing with my pot plants - maybe the baby next door will enjoy it! I would post a photo but I can't work out how to do it - Ginny, advice please! I see the 'insert image' icon but how do you get the image loaded?

As for books - I bought a great one for my husband, though it would only appeal to those who have read Judith Kerr's iconic children's book (written in the 1960s) 'The Tiger Who Came To Tea' - this one is called 'The Teenager Who Came To Tea' and we think it's hilarious. This is it:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Teenager-Who-Came-Tea/dp/1472121767/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1451147674&sr=1-1&keywords=the+teenager+who+came+to+tea

So now I think I'm going to make a pot of tea and watch one of the films that only I enjoy.

Happy Boxing Day all, and thank you for all your wonderful friendship.

Rosemary


BarbStAubrey

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2015, 01:10:13 PM »
Hear ye - Hear ye...!!!

Our Holiday discussion is extended through the 12 Days of Christmas till January 6, 2016

Check it out - questions in the heading of Holiday Books and Bookstores are low key and have changed in keeping with our post-Christmas Day experience.



BarbStAubrey

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #28 on: December 26, 2015, 01:21:53 PM »
We do not have Boxing day however, I must say today has been such a relaxed and lovely day - this is the first Christmas in 20 years I have decided to spend the time at home and of course alone - Yesterday, I was trying so hard to make it a good day where as today the day is simply unfolding - same decorations are up, I'm still playing Christmas music - I've so many Cds of Christmas music I never did hear them all pre-Christmas when I tend to play the choral groups, and advent music along with the medieval and music from the likes of Bach, Mozart and of course Tchaikovsky where as today, I've been playing music from the Tenors, the Vienna Boys and my favorite Michael Ball, Josh Groban and Michael Crawford.

Here it is noon and I need to change - been in my red and white Pjs all morning long, drinking coffee and enjoying fresh grapefruit and Stollen.

ginny

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2015, 03:50:18 PM »
Happy 2nd Day of Christmas, Everybody!  Love that graphic, Barbara, I may need to copy it. I've always loved the 12 Days of Christmas Song.

Rosemary, you can do two things to have your photo posted. You can put it on photobucket (free) and they have all the easy instructions there, and an easy upload,  and give you the coding so  you can post it, or you can email it to me and I will send it back to you with the coding.

I'm trying to say it has to be uploaded to  another website  before it can display here.  Most people use photobucket.

I loved the idea of your inventive shopping, hope you feel better. and Barbara's Christmas  Musical activities, tho we don't have, as she said, Boxing Day here.  Happy Anyway!


JoanK

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #30 on: December 26, 2015, 04:57:30 PM »
I don't know where I was that I didn't get into this site earlier. It's delightful!

I'm still aglow, from the wonderful Christmas Eve I had. My family opens presents on Christmas Eve. that solves the "Which family to go to on Christmas" problem. Then on Christmas, my kids both went to their respective in-laws.

I was invited to both, but declined. Everyone felt so sorry for me being alone, people kept dropping by or calling all day. And I wound up eating two Christmas dinners since both kids brought me one. (of course, I couldn't turn down the second one and hurt my kids feelings!)

BARB and ROSEMARY: if I'd known you were alone, I'd have gotten on the computer and babbled at you. Maybe next year we could do an internet Christmas party for anyone alone. We used to do internet parties a lot.

rosemarykaye

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #31 on: December 26, 2015, 05:51:42 PM »
Joan, that would be great fun (and a lot less trouble than catering...)!

Sounds like you had a lovely few days. I have had a great one today - I started watching the DVD of the first series of Mad Men, which we somehow never watched when it was on TV - I'm already hooked. I also started a jigsaw puzzle I received as a Christmas present. I have the very last episode of Downton (the Christmas special) and the Christmas special of Call the Midwife recorded, but I thought I should be kind and save those to watch with Madeleine next week - then my mother called and told me all about Downton and (in her opinion) how 'silly' it was - but it got rave reviews so I will reserve judgement.

My Mum is 87 and I bought her (at her request) a Samsung Galaxy Tablet for Christmas. Now she is getting into a bit of a tizzy about working out how to use it - I think she's probably over-complicating matters, but as I live 500 miles from her, there's a limit to how much I can help. She does have a very good computer man who can be called upon to help, but she doesn't like to 'bother' him with every little query. I've now ordered her a book 'Samsung Tablets for Dummies' (don't worry, I asked her first, she's not offended!) but if anyone else has any suggestions for how she can get to grips with this thing, please share! She has had a desktop computer for years and is pretty good with that, but she does not have a smartphone, and I suppose the greatest similarities are between smartphones and tablets (not that I have a tablet) rather than desktops and tablets. I think she just needs a bit of confidence to play around with this thing and not worry about damaging it - I keep telling her she won't (damage it), and that you only find stuff out by trying all the options, but I know it's intimidating (I never came to terms with my MacBook and ended up passing it on to my elder daughter, so I can't claim the moral high ground...)

My cats, traumatised by all the extra people that have been in the house until today, stayed in bed till 4pm, got up, played about a bit and now (at 11pm) have snuggled down on the sofa. They like a quiet life!

Rosemary

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #32 on: December 26, 2015, 07:00:59 PM »
Joan why oh why did I think you celebrated Hanukkah - in fact I felt so bad that Jacquie Lawson did not offer a Hanukkah card to send and here you celebrate Christmas - please accept my warmest wishes -

The last time I was alone was about 20 years ago and the worst part was all the folks being nice and inviting me to dinner or their home for a couple of days - I feel so tense in those situations like I must perform in a certain way - I even put myself through some of that yesterday as I thought because of the new circumstance I had to be sure it was a great day doing things that gave meaning to the day - talked to my grands last evening, one after the other from both families - they are all so different - even the twins.

I remember those internet parties - where a few days before, each would volunteer what they would bring to the 'internet' dinner.

Rosemary, the Midwife Christmas was on here and I actually had it on the TV when the family calls started - however, for the bit I did see I think the special was a repeat - maybe not but there was something very familiar - now I get it mixed up with the characters and story line of Home Fires

Rosemary I have a tablet and it is so different than the main computer - my smart phone never was 'smart' except near a wifi that I only had available at the Board or at home and if I was home why in the world would I use the Tablet when I had the computer all set up exactly as I preferred with even a larger screen. 

I too purchased the Dummies book for the tablet and for the smart phone but there is nothing like having someone to show you and even then, if you do not use what you just learn several times quickly after being shown it is as if you start all over again. I keep thinking I will get busy and really get into both the book and the devise but there always seems to be something more important. I still think my best bet is going to be to hire the boy next door who is only in 9th grade but he can show me so much better than if I attempt again to figure things out using a book. I understand I can get my kindle books on the tablet and if nothing else it would be worthwhile having a bigger screen to read from rather than the small kindle.

Now the gift that absolutely delights me - yes, showing my historical time - decided that everywhere I turn it has all changed so that I feel like I am constantly traveling to a new destination till I realized I am traveling in time and the new destination is a remodel or tear-down rebuilt in a new time so that the older destinations are as much a memory as if I did travel to some foreign location - anyhow, my favorite gift was from the son and daughter-in-law - it was to be a gift card from Amazon but we ended up picking out part of the gift together. I love pens - so I have a new colorful Kate Spade pen that arrived 2 days before Christmas but I waited and opened it on Christmas...


And so, as many of you that would like a hand written note just email to me your mailing address - it would be fun to get something in the mail - my good friend who passed this past April, every morning after breakfast Charlotte pulled out her cards and notepaper and wrote at least 3 notes and sent a couple of cards to those she knew or those who she believed needed a kind word and then of course there were those in office either here in Texas or in Washington who she thought needed to be straightened out - no long tirade but a short verse about Justice was her usual - anyhow she kept an active daily correspondence that is not usual with email and facebook messaging - It was special to receive one of her cards or notes.  Do not think I could match her dedication but a note sent once in a while would be neat.

So just email your mailing address and my pen will have a lively workout - augere@ix.netcom.com

ginny

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #33 on: December 27, 2015, 09:43:51 AM »
I would post a photo but I can't work out how to do it - Ginny, advice please! I see the 'insert image' icon but how do you get the image loaded?

Rosemary, did you see my answer to you in post #29?  Let me know if you need help. We'd all like to see it.

Barbara, what a pretty pen.  That reminds me of Deems who loved fountain pens. The art of writing is about to disappear, I think. I know I can barely write a thank you note any more (but I do) and it be legible. I don't write in hand as they used to say, much.

I have a Florentine "hand" as they used to call it, very fancy looking, nobody at all can read it. I should print like an elementary school child instead. When I was in elementary school a girl moved to our school from Florence Italy and we were learning cursive, the  Palmer Method, that nasty looking Q, I never will forget it, made no sense to look like a 2 to me. Anyway she had been taught a different method of cursive and I was entranced and did IT instead. Poor little shy me, that's the one thing I stood up for, I was going to write that script.  It evolved into a backhand with interesting florid f's and capital  letters,  I still use the caps and the f's, I love that f, in lowercase and caps.

Well the response I have gotten over the years goes like this: "that's so beautiful, but I can't read it." hahahaa  You could say anything.

That (and the 3rd Day of Christmas) reminds me of those gone before. I had an aunt who loved to write letters, but nobody at all could read her thoughts. She knew it, but she continued like I do to write indecipherable notes. It was a family legend and great fun, it really WAS, to try to figure out what she said. Hilarious. I guess that's why I don't try (well to be honest, I now DO try but I think it's hopeless). Better to type in my case regardless of what the Manners people say.

Also, Bellamarie, I did want to comment on that gorgeous home you toured and I was so glad you took children, what a lovely memory for them. Reminds me of Callanwolde, the "Coca Cola heirs mansion"  in Atlanta    which used to  hire decorators to demonstrate their skill ...was it a competition? It's a fine arts center now, hires out for weddings, etc. What a beautiful place IT is, but it had a real feeling of home under all the fancy decorations, which I loved.

Your taking children, however, was the thing to do.


bellamarie

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #34 on: December 27, 2015, 03:19:48 PM »
Well, my hustle, and bustle has slowed to a snail's crawl, with me barely making Mass today from being so terribly overtired from all the Christmas festivities.  I was so over excited the night of Christmas Eve that after all the kids and grandkids left around 9:00 p.m. I sat and had just one more glass of wine to settle me in for the night, only to not be able to go to sleep til the wee hours of the morning.  Needless to say, Christmas day was up and at em and didn't get home until 9:00 p.m. which by then I was over exhausted!!!  I am ready to have a day in my pjs kinda day tomorrow.  I dropped in to see your posts and all I can say is I am enjoying every single one of them.  Oh what a wonderful cozy feeling I get reading how you all spent your special celebrations and now hearing of just that one special gift you received.  As for me....I must say the gift that touched me the most besides my beautiful granddaughter Hayden singing at Christmas Eve Mass, and sweet Zak and Zoey going up to the altar to listen to Fr. Ring tell the small children about the birth of Jesus, was a gorgeous beaded bracelet my precious seven year old grandson Zak gave to me which he bought at the school gift buying event they had.  Mind you, I have a Pandora bracelet I have been adding to which I love, but this little beaded bracelet sparkles and puts Pandora to shame.  My sweet Zak was diagnosed on the Autism spectrum this past year, he and I have this special bond since his birth, and I have always noticed he was sensitive to certain things, and needed more calming, one on one time, and extra hugs and reassurance even as a baby, so this diagnosis was not so surprising to me.  He displayed many symptoms of his father (my son Mike) who was diagnosed in his late twenties with anxiety disorder, which all through his years I knew, but never realized could be treated.  So....Zak's special bracelet meant the world to me and I will wear it proudly and each time I glance at it I am reminded of the many colors and differences we all have in our lives, which make up the beauty of this world.

Barb, I love your pen.  Ginny, keep writing in any form your heart so desires because I believe we capture our true self through our handwriting be it Delean printing, cursive, or your Florentine which sounds beautiful even if you can't decipher it.  I still send out Christmas letters with each Christmas card.  I have resorted to typing with a word processing program, but every year I hesitate and want to discontinue the letter my hubby encourages me to keep going.  I get so many compliments from family and friends after they receive their card and letter, so I suppose my hubby is right about people still like to see letters written.  Yet, I am sure I will hesitate again next year. 

Ginny the pic of  Callanwolde, the "Coca Cola heirs mansion, is gorgeous!  I am glad we shared The Manor House with all the kids and grandkids.  Although there was no Santa like our usual trip to Winter Wonderland, so my hubby and I took the two littles Zak & Zoey on Tuesday to the mall Santa.  Another story to share at another time.  Just know it involved tears and laughter.

Rosemary, I did a Downton Abbey marathon last year and now an anxiously awaiting for the final season to begin.  I've been watching interviews of the cast members talking about how they feel about the show ending.  Seems they are in agreement it is time.  I was devastated when I came to the season of Mary & Matthew finally getting married and having a son, only to see what came next.  Oh, I still can't even bear talking about it.  How emotionally attached I allow myself to get in characters....as you all well know when we read and discuss our books, especially "Emma."

Steph, I like your steps to successful workouts!  I may give it a try in 2016.   

Okay enough for now, we are thinking of catching a movie in the theaters today, possible Daddy's Home or something a bit more serious like "The Big Short" with Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale.

Ciao for now~
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

Steph

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2015, 09:12:57 AM »
We have moved so much in our lives that I love Christmas letters and photos. That way I get to see what they are like now.. Today is a gym day,,,, so I will reluctantly put down food and off to the gym..
Stephanie and assorted corgi

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2015, 11:36:04 AM »
the mystery of the Midwife Christmas show - it appears we finally saw last night this year's Christmas show and on Christmas Eve they ran an older Christmas show - which explains my confusion thinking the show was one I had already seen - this year's was wonderful - what a difference a year makes in that the storyline of the lesbian nurses seems even less of an issue than when their love affair was first featured - oh and the journey and story wrapped abound Sister Monica Joan was done so well - the opposite of birth and yet so fitting a storyline in this Christmas special.

In one way I have had my Christmas and I'm ready to move on and in another way the weather is now quite cold for us and I just do not want to move - it looks like the heavy cloud cover we have been living under for the past week is breaking up so that with some sun, regardless if it is cold will urge me into the out-of-doors.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #37 on: December 28, 2015, 11:43:38 AM »
Good heavens - here I thought it would be fun to look up the symbolism for each of the gifts for the 12 days of Christmas - I had no idea but it is a subversive song used during the English Reformation when Henry the VIII and later his daughter Elizabeth came down hard on Catholics - it seems the song was written during that time in history as a song of lessons for children to learn some of the basics of the Catholic Religion. Who knew...

Here is a link that explains each of the day's symbols as they represent a lesson

http://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/352/key_to_the_twelve_days_of_christmas.html

bellamarie

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #38 on: December 28, 2015, 11:02:30 PM »
Barb, I heard of this about the 12 Days of Christmas many years ago.  It's funny you mention this song, I said to my hubby this is the first Christmas season listening to the radio constantly, not once did I hear this song.   
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Holiday Books and Bookstores ~ Dec. 15-31 ~ OPENING Dec. 15
« Reply #39 on: December 28, 2015, 11:24:09 PM »
I think whatever songs were made popular by the albums of that year are what we end up hearing on the radio and on TV - I've become so selective about both - 85% of my TV watching is KLRU which is our PBS station and for radio it is KMFA which is the classical music station from Austin that is all classical versus the one out of Waco and the other from A&M in Collage Station, which both include Big Band music and Folks Music - not Country and so tuned in to those stations I do not know the singers and albums of the year.

There is a national broadcast of news and interviews NPR but I have never been able to easily find it turning the dial - I do like Austin City Limits that includes country and a variety of new performers - I can watch that on Friday and Saturday nights on KLRU -

All to say the 12 Days... I wonder if part of the reason its not heard is that it takes a long time to get through all 12 days and maybe it is longer than the time they allocate these days for a song on the radio -

For me the idea it was a Catholic lesson book for kids was the huge shock - certainly the way the song is performed when it is sung on TV seems anything but - most of the time it just comes across as silly ditty.