Friday, December 12, 2014

Advent Calendar Day 12

So did you all enjoy yesterday's fabulous coda? ;-D  No? But seriously there will be a coda in that spot shortly. I am now done with my holiday shopping. Round of applause please?

I caint heah you.

I CAINT HEAH YOU!

I am feeling happy today -- and even better, I am conscious and mindful that I am happy. In addition to finishing up the trial (and errors) that is Christmas and holiday shopping, I am starting a new non-fiction project next year (too early to discuss) and making other plans and devising strategies. This is that time of year. I'm on vacation but I'm not really on vacation. I have audio files to listen to, covers for translations to arrange, ads to run, etc. It never stops once you become your own publisher.

The other thing I did yesterday was sign up for two services that I think will improve the quality of life around Chez Lanyon. One is Farmbox Direct. And the other is Blue Apron. I think they will both result in us eating healthier and more delicious foods. I guess they probably are a little bit pricey but I look at it two ways: what is the point of working all the time, if we can't afford some quality of life improvements around this joint? And two, if we are eating smarter and healthier, it is worth every penny.

If you have your health, you have everything. One of my grandmothers used to always say that. When you're kid, it's highly amusing. As you get older, you realize there is something to it.

Anyway. That was yesterday. Today IT'S RAINING. It's pouring. My old man is snoring. I am happy. It is going to be a day of sitting in front of the fire and writing codas or listening to audio files. Haven't quite determined which yet. I have a birthday party to go to this evening. I am starting to unwind a little -- and there are still technically three weeks to go before I am back to work on Winter Kill.

 Today, I thought we could perhaps share our favorite holiday play lists.

Here's the one L.B., Harper, and Joanna (and me) came up with for the Comfort and Joy anthology. Do you have a Christmas or winter holiday play list? Do you have a favorite Christmas song?

PLAY LIST:
"It's beginning to look a lot my Christmas" by Michael Buble  (Joanna Chambers)
"Brothers and Sisters" by Twin Atlantic (Harper Fox)
"Nothing Like You and I" by the Perishers (LB Gregg
"Baby, It's Cold" by Dean Martin (Josh Lanyon)
"Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle" by Friar Alessandro (Josh)
"White Winter Hymnal" by Fleet Foxes (Joanna)
 "Stay for a While" by Nikhil Korula Band (Lisa)
The opening of Bach's Christmas Oratorio (Harper)


The giveaway today will be three print books from my print book catalog -- meaning one print book each to three lucky commenters. Remember you can contact me for your winnings through my website contact page.

You're still welcome to comment even if you already own everything in my catalog. I really do enjoy reading your comments. The one on holiday traditions and the impromptu storywriting were fantastic.

62 comments:

  1. I'm sorry, did you say you were done with holiday shopping. WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU! Shopping is done on the 24th, everyone knows that.
    Ok, I am done too. Don't tell anyone.
    I love Christmas songs! And I am glad you are happy. Enjoy your healthy eating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Danka, darlink! I am a little surprised myself. This is not the pattern of recent years. Although once upon a time I was that person who was done by Thanksgiving.

      Delete
  2. I tend to go for the old stuff. Dean Martin, is there anything prettier than his Silver Bells? Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby. Those are the songs that I grew up with and that still rouse my Christmas spirit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? And two hundred years ago, I bet they were saying, "That Franz Xaver Gruber, now THAT guy knows how to write a Christmas carol..."

      Delete
  3. Wow!! I can't actually believe you're done with your Christmas shopping. I didn't start mine!! And I am hosting Christmas too!! *cries hysterically*

    Enjoy your day!! And thanks for sharing that playlist. I am in the middle of reading The Comfort and Joy Anthology...still 2 to go!
    Read yours and the LB Gregg one and I adored both!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are hosting Christmas, you better get moving!!!

      Delete
    2. I KNOW!!

      At least I already have the Christmas Tree! :)

      Delete
  4. I've finished my shopping too, but now to write the cards! ( yes, I still do paper cards) Christmas music is something very personal for me. Mostly the older tunes, and Old English carols are favorites. Did you know trick or treating at Halloween and carolers singing at your door at Christmas both come from the same tradition of the very young and the poor begging for handouts between All Saints Day and Christmas? Two paths in the woods going in different directions. I think of Halloween every time I hear, Here We Come A Wassiling. Lol. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh but I love the old paper cards. I don't want that tradition to die out. I mean, yes, perhaps not ecologically sound, but...given all the other unsound ecological things going on, it just seems weird to draw the line at Christmas cards. :-D

      As for the young and the very poor, I take those rascals out for lunch and a movie every year. What more do they want? Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?! ;-D

      Delete
  5. Meant to say, my friend loves Farmbox Direct. She says while it's a little pricey, it cuts down on trips to the store and buying junk she doesn't need. She's actually saved money in the last 6 mos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly what I'm hoping. We have a very bad habit of eating junk food when there is nothing healthy right at hand. So my plan is to make sure we have healthy food right at hand all the time.

      Delete
  6. Carol of the Bells- by just about anyone
    Winter Wonderland- Chicago Gay Men's Chorus
    For Unto Us a Child is Born- CSO Chorus

    I'm done with my shopping too Josh. I only shop online at stores that have in in store pick up. they do all the work, I do the picking up and then take them home and wrap them. Cards are done and this weekend the cookie dough will be made and frozen until I need to bake. the only thing left to do is to brave the Polish store for the fixings of the traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Doing it this way leaves room for relaxing and the specialty wines... break out the Madeira and the Claret.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doing it this way leaves room for relaxing and the specialty wines... break out the Madeira and the Claret.

      I love that moment. The heavy lifting is over and it's time for a little quiet personal holiday tradition. :-)

      Delete
  7. I pretty much stick my tablet on the Peaceful Christmas station on Pandora, and let it go. Well, until I have to remind it that I'm still listening, but that's a small price to pay. By the way, I just finished the Comfort and Joy Anthology last night, and it was lovely! Will definitely be a new tradition to read that every year. Thank you for all the wonderful work you do, it means so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! You're so kind to say so.

      (And I'm so happy you loved the anthology!)

      Delete
  8. I love Carol of the Bells, but one song reminds me of Christmas no matter when I hear it and it isn't a Christmas song - I Hear the Bells by Mike Doughty

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nearly done with Christmas shopping and most of the cards are written too, so I guess I'm in pretty good shape. I love Christmas music. My Christmas playlist has about 90 songs on it, but I definitely like the older songs best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As usual I am behind on cards. Ack. But it's either codas or cards, so...I can always send the cards late. ;-)

      Delete
  10. My favorite Christmas song is: "Pero mira cómo beben los peces en el río" (Look how they drink the fish in the river). I guess it's not well known outside of Spain, so leave a link if anyone wants to hear it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM35pZpZRhQ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I had not heard of that song. I love it when people leave youtube links. :-)

      Delete
  11. I usually prefer the more traditional holiday songs (Nat King Cole, Bing, Clooney), but my husband prefers more modern or uptempo songs. We usually end up listening to the remixed version of the classics, which we both enjoy. I've really been enjoying the advent posts, Josh! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good compromise! The SO and I are a little more divided in our tastes. My only real rule is I don't want the news on during the holidays. I can't take the gloating over death and disaster this time of year.

      Delete
  12. So, you finished with shopping? Well, I haven't started mine yet so....that's where I am. In all honesty, I love shopping and I know what and where to buy the gifts so it won't be too bad (I hope).
    The Winter Kill is next? YES! I love the cover and I"m really looking forward to the book :-) !
    As for the music, I'm very much into Michael Buble. He sets the holiday mode for me. With all the respect for all those who came before him and sang those song originally. I must say I also love what Tony and Lady Gaga did in Cheek to cheek. Very old school. Add some Amy Winehouse and I'm good to go :-)!

    Goge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Winter Kill is next up.

      I have to say I finally broke down and listened to Michael Buble, and he's pretty darned good!

      Delete
  13. We had a Christmas record growing up that was my favorite. I wish I could find it. It had such classics as:

    O Holy Night by Johnny Mathis
    Do You Hear What I Hear? by Bobby Vinton
    Silver Bells by Kate Smith
    Jingle Bell Rock by Brenda Lee
    Santo Natale by Patti Page
    God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Julie Andrews
    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Burl Ives

    And so many others. These days I love:

    O Holy Night by Josh Groban
    The Christmas Canon by The Trans-Siberian Orchestra
    Hark the Herald Angels Sing by Amy Grant

    And so many others. I love Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had a record like that, Steve. I found a copy a few years ago on Ebay and bought it for one of my sisters. Check Ebay!

      Delete
  14. My all time favourite is The Fairytale of New York, with the Pogues and Kirsty McColl.

    Plus O Helga Natt ( Oh Holy Night) by anyone really, but my first memory of it is sung by Swedish opera singer Jussi Bjørling, on a scratchy record.

    When I grew up, my parents had a record with Christmas songs by Mahalia Jackson. That rich, warm voice sounds like Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That Fairytale of New York is a great song, Anne.

      Yes, Mahalia Jackson means Christmas to me!

      Delete
  15. I was done with my holiday shopping the week before Thanksgiving. There are a few things I have to hear as they are tradition.
    Elvis
    Mahalia Jackson
    and..
    this is embarrassing...
    The Partridge Family Christmas album
    -Andy Slayde

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL You know, I was browsing for new music the other day and I saw that Partridge Family album and wondered if it was any good...

      Delete
    2. lol not sure about good but it is a tradition for me :)

      -Andy

      Delete
  16. My favourite Christmas Album is probably still the Ally Mc Beal Chrstmas Album, I listen to that one every year to begin the Holiday season. And after reading "The Dickens with Love" for the first timeI got the Holiday Harmony album from America and listen to it every Christmas day. My two favourite songs are Last Christmas from Wham and Baby it´s cold outside in the Glee Version with Chris Colfer and Darren Criss.
    I listen to Christmas music every year from the 1. Advent until the actual Holidays and I absolutely love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Ally McBeal Christmas album! That has to be an heirloom by now. :-D

      I love that Dickens is part of your holiday tradition.

      I listen to Christmas music from Thanksgiving until January 1. Once the new year begins I'm in a different state of mind.

      Delete
  17. So you've finished your shopping? Lucky you! I haven't started mine yet. I am a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to Xmas shopping but... Anyhow, my favourite Christmas song is Last Christmas by Wham. I know, I know: Recognising it turns me into a philistine, but I cannot deny it. It makes me smile every time I hear it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL

      I don't think judgments can be made on Christmas music. To admit to a fondness for it is to admit one has a cultural soft spot. ;-D NO JUDGMENTS HERE.

      Delete
  18. Snap!
    Done, wrapped, gettingthe tree this weekend so I have something to put over them!

    Song list:
    Merry Christmas Everybody, Slade
    Grandma Got Run over by A Reindeer
    baby its Cold Outside, Rod & Dolly
    Santa Baby, Kylie
    Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Bruce
    Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
    Its Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas
    Jingle Bell Rock

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look at you! Ms Efficiency in Action! I like it! :-D

      Delete
  19. Hm. My Christmas playlist is certainly long.

    I love Jose Mari Chan's (a local artist here in the Philippines) Christmas Collection:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kblGCWRu1bI

    I especially love his own version of Do You Hear What I Hear? and Mary's Boy Child. Then there's Christmas in Our Hearts that he sang with his daughter Elizabeth Chan:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVw0wcLTOoE

    Jackie Evancho's version of Silent Night

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGjByOI9Iqw

    and O Holy Night:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_Q7AFys6bA

    Jackson 5: Especially Give Love On Christmas Day, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoToJ62e4fo&list=PLC114E25C79990F0F&index=3

    Enya Adeste Fideles:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xqJ1pBD98c

    There are more, but I'm stopping here... lol.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, but I love this. And YouTube links to everything! Thank you.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for reading my post. :) I hope you'll listen to some of them. My playlist is certainly long, no kidding haha. Filipinos love music. Come September 1, you'll hear Christmas songs over the radio already, and children will go caroling although they're more likely to come singing at your door on November. <3

      Delete
  20. Holiday playlist? Hmmm

    Hanukkah Blessings (Stephen Page/Barenaked Ladies - heck, the whole Barenaked for the Holidays album gets a lot of play at our house)
    Santa Baby (Eartha Kitt, of course)
    I Believe in Father Christmas (Emerson, Lake, & Palmer)
    The Man With The Bag (Vonda Shepard)
    Patapan (? Some old LP set I've had since I was a kid)
    White Christmas (Bing Crosby - actually, I love this whole movie)
    I'll be Home for Christmas (just about any version)
    Harmony (The Nylons Christmas album)
    And several campy favorites: Weird Al Yankovic's Christmas at Ground Zero, Jonathan Coulton's Chiron Beta Prime, and Bob Rivers' I Am Santa Claus.

    We're nothing if not eclectic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. VERY eclectic! I like this.

      I believe no one does Santa Baby like Eartha Kitt. Talk about making a song your own.

      Delete
  21. z family is lazy this year on the xmas front; no tree and no directives on christmas presents; it's getting dangerously closer to the day

    baby, it's cold outside dean martin
    it's beginning to look like christmas dean martin
    mr. grinch
    c is for christmas
    the waitresses - merry christmas
    tswift - santa baby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, then they get what they get! This is part of the holiday learning process. You get out of the holidays what you put into the holidays.

      Delete
  22. When I close the shop on Christmas Eve is this song my choice:http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=MS3PTl7qMNw

    ReplyDelete
  23. The song is from Queen, Thank God it's Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am not done. I think I should start to panic.
    I just like traditional carols.

    ReplyDelete
  25. On Christmas Eve my brother-in-law plays an eclectic selection of carols. I bail on my hostess role at least long enough to join in for these songs: Good King Wenceslas, Brincan y Bailan, The Holly and the Ivy, Bring a Torch, Jeannette Isabella, and my current favorite, Masters in This Hall (I think because the pacing of the lines is quite tricky, especially after a wee bit of cheer). ; )

    Masters in This Hall (Robert Shaw): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vAN2ldNaec

    But while we're making tamales we play a CD of cowboy carols by Riders in the Sky — "Merry Christmas from Harmony Ranch." It's pretty silly, but we've been playing it for years along with The Baltimore Consort's "Bright Day Star."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This makes me smile. And I think some of the most delightful holiday traditions are the silliest. The ones that maybe don't make any sense outside of your own family circle. :-)

      Delete
  26. Hmm still have some gift shopping to do, so much fun to leave it until the last moment. Nice play list your team put together :)

    My music play list is eclectic and will probably change depending on who is around, most of these would be for my parents: Coming Home For Christmas Chris Rea, then anything by Nat King Cole, Michael Bublé, Queen, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra,Perry Como, John Barry soundtracks...

    Seasonal Greetings and thank you for a chance to win one of your books

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now this is the truth. If my parents are in the house, the playlist goes very traditional. Suddenly it's all Bing Crosby, the Andrews Sisters, Sinatra, Big Band Whatever... :-D

      I hope your shopping is done. I always make the mistake of thinking Christmas is the last week of the month. IT'S NOT.

      Delete
  27. I only have 2 more Christmas ornaments to buy and then I'm done!! Whew! I left my shopping 'til Christmas Eve one year and, about two hours into the worst shopping experience of my life, found myself sitting on a bench in the middle of the mall crying from sheer stress and anxiety. Never again! On to the playlist:
    Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy by Bowie/Crosby
    Mary Did You Know - just about any version
    Do You Hear What I Hear?
    O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
    Merry Christmas, Darling by The Carpenters
    What Child is This?
    Please Come Home for Christmas by Aaron Neville
    Unto Us a Child is Born and The Hallelujah Chorus from The Messiah
    Carol of the Bells
    Merry Christmas Baby by The Boss

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As of yesterday, I think I caught up all the stragglers. There are always the last minute OH MY GOD, I FORGOT THE MAILMAN moments, right? Or is that just me? ;-D

      Delete
  28. Carol of the Bells and Sleigh Ride are probably my two favorites. Pretty sure I'm done with shopping, or at least until the next amazing sale crops up. :) Thanks for the chance to win.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Carol of the Bells. And...how about this for a highly embarrassing holiday memory...my sisters and I used to act out Sleigh Ride for the amusement of anyone willing to watch our Christmas "show." :-D

      Delete
  29. The three winners of a print book from my print book catalog are:

    Karan
    Caitlyn
    Mandy

    Contact me at just joshin ink at sbc globaldotnet

    ReplyDelete