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Does anyone have an item of apparel or an accessory that they wear every Christmas and only on Christmas?   Sure you do, and if you don’t, you likely know someone who does.   Maybe it’s your aunt’s gaudy Christmas sweater that surely should have seen the trash by now.  Maybe it’s your grandpa’s flashy tie that will blind you if you look at it too long.  (But, it does help keep you awake after the eggnog.)

For me, it’s a little Santa Claus tie tack.  I have owned this tie tack since grammar school,  back when people wore tic tacks, right around the time when the Wise Men rode their Wedwand Camels to visit the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. These days, I wear it pinned to whatever shirt or sweater I wear on Christmas.  Not sure why, but I do.

Please share if you have a goofy thing you see worn or that you wear every Christmas.

My research revealed that there is no evidence that Christmas was celebrated until 336 AD.  Archives of ancient Rome in that year contain an entry, “25 Dec.: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae.”

We are relatively certain this refers to the first Christmas, however, it could also indicate there a 25 length point spread in the Christus / Betleem Judea playoff chariot race held in December.   Here’s a little more detail on the story:

http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/301-600/the-1st-recorded-celebration-of-christmas-11629658.html

Round about the same time, give or take a couple decades, a Roman Christian Poet by the name of Aurelius Prudentius (circa 348 AD- 405 AD) was waxing poetic in the Latin language.  He put down this little ditty that is quite possibly the first Christmas Carol written and it is still in many hymnals at your local churches to this day.   Maybe you’ve seen or even sung it.

If you close your eyes and set the way back machine to a time long ago,  in a chapel dark and far away, perhaps you can feel the reverence of the occasion in this chant-like version of a wonderful ancient song.

Cherish the time you spend with family and friends.

That sweater and tie may be gone by and bye so make it a Christmas to remember.

Peace.

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One week until Christmas.

Seems like yesterday it was summer.

The time, she flies, it’s a bummer.

But the holidays are here and so is the cheer.

The Little Boy is a Drummer.

Yeah, that’s terrible, but at least I didn’t rhyme anything with the city Nantucket.  Pa rum pum pum pum. Cymbal crash. Thank you. I’m here every Wednesday JUST to help get you over the hump. Tip your waitress.

I have some random thoughts:

“Over the hill” is a common phrase when someone attains a landmark age.   I’m not sure where “the hill” is and at what age one is over it. However, if a ball is at the top of that hill and it rolls down the hill, it picks up speed as it goes.  Working with that analogy, it stands to reason why the time seems to go faster whenever it is that we reach THAT side of that hill.

I have yet to find a satisfactory definition or origin of the idiom phrase, “In A Pickle.”   Looks like the camel is “in a pickle” on this pursuit.

A friend of mine told me a sad tale about his windshield being shattered in an accident.  You know you are a Rolling Stones fan when the first thing you think when you hear the word “Shattered” is “Shadoobie.”   I simply replied, “Shattered, shattered?”

Sorry Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Johnny Mathis and all the others, Jon Secada still does the best version of “O Holy Night.”

Only the Bing Crosby version of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” should be played.   (The lyric “Through the years, we all will be together if the fates allow …” always brings a silent tear to my eye for those with whom I am no longer together.)

Has any artist recently written a decent ORIGINAL Christmas song in the last 50 years or so?    The saying goes, “Imitation is the best form of flattery.”  While many contemporary artists have Christmas albums, they often revert to the classics of a former generation for the content.  Not many have an original song worthy of being copied.

Okay apologies to Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and The Eagles.  And so this is Christmas and you are simply having a Wonderful Christmastime and Please Come Home, but other than that, let me know if I missed an original.

Next Wednesday is Christmas.  If you read Wedwand then, I will truly be impressed and if you do,  I promise it will be reverent to the occasion.

In the meantime, keep shopping. And if you can’t find the perfect gift in the stores, look for a perfect gift in your life.  Some times, you can’t put the good things under a tree.

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Tis the season, or so says the song, “Deck The Halls.”  (I did not see any Black Friday deals on boughs of holly this year, but fa-la-la-la-la, I am sure they will be in the clearance aisle shortly.)

Yes, it is the season for Christmas Carols.  Some radio stations play them 24/7.

They’re everywhere.  They’re everywhere, recorded by anyone and everyone.  Even Jethro Tull has a Christmas Album (which by the way would be a great stocking stuffer in the event a loyal reader was looking for that perfect gift for the camel that has everything).

I actually heard a Reggae version of Jingle Bells today in the grocery store.  I believe it is performed by the Jamaican artist, Don Carlos.    It borders that fine line between obnoxious and catchy, although I will admit I found myself tapping my toes in the produce aisle while developing an inexplicable craving for brownies.

It would be exhaustive to write an entire piece on Christmas Carols, so I won’t.  But I would like to mention a couple uncommon Christmas songs that I find interesting.

1)  “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is a repetitious little ditty describing all the gifts “my true love gave to me.”  No red bow wrapped the Lexus in this list of gifts, and with the exception of the 5 golden rings, I could do without all of them.

Believe it or not, someone actually calculated the price of these gifts.  (And you think you’ve got some time on your hands.)  The complete box set of all 12 gifts would cost $27,393 in stores according to the news article.  (Although, I heard there was a sale at Turtle Doves Are Us this week, so you may be able to shave some off that price.)

The most expensive item on the list was a tie between 11 Pipers Piping and 9 Ladies Dancing at $7,552,84.  I haven’t priced a piping piper lately or even a peck of pickled peppers for that matter, but I’ve been told by a reliable source that there’s an establishment on the outskirts of town where one can find 9 Ladies Dancing for much under the 7K quote.  So shop around if you want this in your gift basket.

I know some of you think this is pure fabrication, but the camel doesn’t lie, so here’s the link to the article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/02/12-days-of-christmas-cost-buy_n_4372768.html

A reader from Illinois alerted me to one of the best and most original versions of this song recorded in 1998 by an A Cappella group called Straight No Chaser from Bloomington, Indiana.  Maybe you’ve heard it.  If not, I highly recommend you view this video to see what I am talking about.  (Spoiler alert: yes, they are able to incorporate Africa and a rift by the group Toto into this song.)

2)  For some reason, when I hear that first song by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, I am ready to accept Christmas songs for the remainder of the season.   Wikipedia describes them as “an American Progressive Rock Band founded in 1993.”

The band regularly tours around the holiday season and has recorded a trilogy of “rock opera” type albums that contain contemporary versions of traditional carols and/or original songs of Christmas lore and well, they rock and roll sometimes with great harmonies.

The camel choice is a ballad called “Old City Bar”:

If you can’t link to it, the key lyric sequence is:

If you want to arrange it  This world you can change it
If we could somehow make this Christmas thing last

By helpin’ a neighbour Even a stranger
To know who needs help You need only just ask.

Reflect on that for a moment. We are two weeks from Christmas.

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