Saturday, 26 December 2015

And so this is Christmas... What have you done?

At Christmas, tea is compulsory. Relatives are optional. ~ Robert Godden  #quote

...freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin - inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night... ~ John Geddes, A Familiar Rain #quote

Then came the healing time, hearts started to shine, soul felt so fine, oh what a freeing time it was. ~ Aberjhani, Christmas When Music Almost Killed the World #quote

That’s what I always wanted to know. Why would some fella be willing to do something generous for a kid he doesn’t even know?” Rodney asked. Have to say I’m surprised, Mr. Burton. Of all the people on the face of the earth,” he said, his voice softening, I figured if anyone knew the answer to that one, it’d be you. ~ Kenny Rogers, Christmas in Canaan #quote


A Politically Correct Christmas Poem

Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
How to live in a world that's politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to "Elves",
"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.
And labor conditions at the North Pole,
were alleged by the union, to stifle the soul.

Four reindeer had vanished without much propriety,
released to the wilds, by the Humane Society.
And equal employment had made it quite clear,
that Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!

The runners had been removed from his beautiful sleigh,
because the ruts were deemed dangerous by the EPA,
And millions of people were calling the Cops,
when they heard sled noises upon their roof tops.
Second-hand smoke from his pipe, had his workers quite frightened,
and his fur trimmed red suit was called "unenlightened".

To show you the strangeness of today's ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose.
He went to Geraldo, in front of the Nation,
demanding millions in over-due workers compensation.

So...half of the reindeer were gone, and his wife
who suddenly said she'd had enough of this life,
joined a self help group, packed and left in a whiz,
demanding from now on that her title was Ms.

And as for gifts...why, he'd never had the notion
that making a choice could cause such commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur...
Which meant nothing for him or nothing for her.
Nothing to aim, Nothing to shoot,
Nothing that clamoured or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls and nothing for just boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific,
Nothing that's warlike or non-pacifistic.

No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish upon the truth.
And fairy tales...while not yet forbidden,
were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden,
for they raised the hackles of those psychological,
who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

No baseball, no football...someone might get hurt,
besides - playing sports exposed kids to dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist and should be passe.
and Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.
So Santa just stood there, disheveled and perplexed,
he just couldn't figure out what to do next?
He tried to be merry he tried to be gay,
but you must have to be careful with that word today
His sack was quite empty, it was flat on the ground,
nothing fully acceptable was anywhere to be found.
Something special was needed, a gift that he might,
give to us all, without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy - with no indecision,
each group of people in every religion.
Every race, every hue,
everyone, everywhere...even you!
So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...

"MAY YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES, ENJOY PEACE ON EARTH"             #quote


I love Christmas. Frosty the Snowman, peace on Earth and mangers, Salvation Army bell ringers and reindeer, the movie 'Meet Me in St. Louis,' office parties and cookies. ~ Mo Rocca #quote

The whole concept of some stranger making his way down our chimney - not that we had one - suggested burglary more readily than generosity. Any Santa who tried it would have gotten a bullet in his holly, jolly keister. ~ Thomm Quackenbush, Of Christmas Present #quote


I have never tried to walk through a mall in the Christmas season dressed like a jolly old elf. You might as well dress up like a pork chop and walk into an alley full of starving dogs. ~ Thomm Quackenbush, Of Christmas Present #quote

While all the universe and my family are still sleeping, I will walk among the red and blue twinkle-lights of the living room, to sit and gaze upon the pretty white angel atop the tree and say silent prayers, remembering what was good in the world and why I was brought here to remember. ~ Carew Papritz, The Legacy Letters: His Wife, His Children, His Final Gift #quote

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people once a year. ~ Victor Borge #quote

The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn't for any religious reasons. They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin. ~ Jay Leno #quote

There’s no experience quite like cutting your own live Christmas tree out of your neighbour’s yard. ~ Dan Florence, Zombies Love Pizza #quote

It’s been my experience that most folk who ride trains could care less where they’re going. For them it’s the journey itself and the people they meet along the way. You see, at every stop this train makes, a little bit of America, a little bit of your country, gets on and says hello. That’s why trains are so popular at Christmas. People get on to meet their country over the holidays. They’re looking for some friendship, a warm body to talk to. People don’t rush on a train, because that’s not what trains are for. How do you put a dollar value on that? What accounting line does that go on? ~ David Baldacci, The Christmas Train #quote

Every night is Christmas Eve on old East Main,
Sailors and their sweethearts all agree.
Neon signs of red and green
Shine upon the friendly scene,
Welcoming you in from off the sea.
Santa's bag is filled with all your dreams come true:
Nickel beers that sparkle like champagne,
Barmaids who all love to screw,
All of them reminding you
It's Christmas Eve on old East Main. ~ Thomas Pynchon, V.  #quote

The truth is Christmas evolved from the Roman holiday Saturnalia, a winter festival where men gave gifts to each other. They also would get drunk, have sex with each other and beat their wives ~ Huey Freeman The Boondocks #quote

I have always thought of Christmastime, when it has come round...as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. ~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol #quote

Christmas is a whisper of peace and a sigh of hope on the lips of love. ~ Richelle E. Goodrich #quote


Later in the winter I'd tire of the snow, but Christmas snow was different. ~ Marie Landry, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year #quote

The Christmas tree is a symbol of love, not money. There's a kind of glory to them when they're all lit up that exceeds anything all the money in the world could buy. ~ Andy Rooney, Andy Rooney: 60 Years of Wisdom and Wit #quote


This Christmas mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love, and then speak it again. ~ Howard W. Hunter #quote

Residents of the squatter community of Christiana, Denmark, for example, have a Christmastide ritual where they dress in Santa suits, take toys from department stores and distribute them to children on the street, partly just so everyone can relish the images of the cops beating down Santa and snatching the toys back from crying children. ~ David Graeber, Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology #quote

That’s what I always wanted to know. Why would some fella be willing to do something generous for a kid he doesn’t even know?” Rodney asked. Have to say I’m surprised, Mr. Burton. Of all the people on the face of the earth,” he said, his voice softening, I figured if anyone knew the answer to that one, it’d be you. ~ Kenny Rogers, Christmas in Canaan #quote

Christmas is the marriage of chaos and design. The real sound of life, for once, can burst out because a formal place has been set for it. At the moment when things have gotten sufficiently loose, the secret selves that these familiar persons hold inside them shake the room...An undercurrent of clowning and jostling is part of the process by which we succeed finally in making our necessary noise: despite the difficulty of getting the words right, of getting the singers on the same page, of keeping the ritual from falling apart into the anarchy of separate impulses. From such clatter--extended and punctuated by whatever instrument is handy, a triangle a tambourine, a Chinese gone--beauty is born. ~ Geoffrey O'Brien, Sonata for Jukebox: An Autobiography of My Ears #quote

Tapping a little bell, I leaned on the desk and turned to look at a small, traditionally decorated Christmas tree on a table near the entranceway. It was complete with shiny, egg-fragile bulbs; miniature candy canes; flat, laughing Santas with arms wide; a star on top nodding awkwardly against the delicate shoulder of an upper branch; and coloured lights that bloomed out of flower-shaped sockets. For some reason this seemed to me a sorry little piece. ~ Thomas Ligotti, The Nightmare Factory #quote




Every year on Christmas Eve Day, Cuenca holds a Children's Parade.  This is not your traditional Christmas parade, this is a more than 500 year old tradition, watched by over 400,000 and participated in by over 35,000 people of all ages. It is a day long affair, with floats gathering in the dark hours of Christmas Eve day and continuing until late afternoon. The highpoint of the celebrations is the festival of the traveling Infant Child, the Pase del Nino Viajero.

Below is just a tiny bit of the event that really started mid-afternoon on December 23rd.  Enjoy!



Everyone needs a place where they can go to just ponder for a while. Silence is important; it's the only time you can hear the whispering of truth. ~ Glenn Beck, The Christmas Sweater #quote

And so this is Christmas...what have you done? ~ John Lennon #quote


Friday, 25 December 2015

The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen

Most terribly cold it was; it snowed, and was nearly quite dark, and evening-- the last evening of the year. In this cold and darkness there went along the street a poor little girl, bareheaded, and with naked feet. When she left home she had slippers on, it is true; but what was the good of that? They were very large slippers, which her mother had hitherto worn; so large were they; and the poor little thing lost them as she scuffled away across the street, because of two carriages that rolled by dreadfully fast.

One slipper was nowhere to be found; the other had been laid hold of by an urchin, and off he ran with it; he thought it would do capitally for a cradle when he some day or other should have children himself. So the little maiden walked on with her tiny naked feet, that were quite red and blue from cold. She carried a quantity of matches in an old apron, and she held a bundle of them in her hand. Nobody had bought anything of her the whole livelong day; no one had given her a single farthing.








She crept along trembling with cold and hunger--a very picture of sorrow, the poor little thing!

The flakes of snow covered her long fair hair, which fell in beautiful curls around her neck; but of that, of course, she never once now thought. From all the windows the candles were gleaming, and it smelt so deliciously of roast goose, for you know it was [Christmas] New Year's Eve; yes, of that she thought.


In a corner formed by two houses, of which one advanced more than the other, she seated herself down and cowered together. Her little feet she had drawn close up to her, but she grew colder and colder, and to go home she did not venture, for she had not sold any matches and could not bring a farthing of money: from her father she would certainly get blows, and at home it was cold too, for above her she had only the roof, through which the wind whistled, even though the largest cracks were stopped up with straw and rags.

Her little hands were almost numbed with cold. Oh! a match might afford her a world of comfort, if she only dared take a single one out of the bundle, draw it against the wall, and warm her fingers by it. She drew one out. "Rischt!" how it blazed, how it burnt! It was a warm, bright flame, like a candle, as she held her hands over it: it was a wonderful light. It seemed really to the little maiden as though she were sitting before a large iron stove, with burnished brass feet and a brass ornament at top. The fire burned with such blessed influence; it warmed so delightfully. The little
girl had already stretched out her feet to warm them too; but--the small flame went out, the stove vanished: she had only the remains of the burnt-out match in her hand.











She rubbed another against the wall: it burned brightly, and where the light fell on the wall, there the wall became transparent like a veil, so that she could see into the room. On the table was spread a snow-white tablecloth; upon it was a splendid porcelain service, and the roast goose was steaming famously with its stuffing of apple and dried plums. And what was still more capital to behold was, the goose hopped down from the dish, reeled about on the floor with knife and fork in its breast, till it came up to the poor little girl; when--the match went out and nothing but the thick, cold, damp wall was left behind. She lighted another match. Now there she was sitting under the most magnificent Christmas tree: it was still larger, and more decorated than the one which she had seen through the glass door in the rich merchant's house.






Thousands of lights were burning on the green branches, and gaily-coloured pictures, such as she had seen in the shop-windows, looked down upon her. The little maiden stretched out her hands towards them when--the match went out. The lights of the Christmas tree rose higher and higher, she saw them now as stars in heaven; one fell down and formed a long trail of fire.










"Someone is just dead!" said the little girl; for her old grandmother, the only person who had loved her, and who was now no more, had told her, that when a star falls, a soul ascends to God.









She drew another match against the wall: it was again light, and in the lustre there stood the old grandmother, so bright and radiant, so mild, and with such an expression of love.




"Grandmother!" cried the little one. "Oh, take me with you! You go away when the match burns out; you vanish like the warm stove, like the delicious roast goose, and like the magnificent Christmas tree!" And she rubbed the whole bundle of matches quickly against the wall, for she wanted to be quite sure of keeping her grandmother near her. And the matches gave such a brilliant light that it was brighter than at noon-day: never formerly had the grandmother been so beautiful and so tall. She took the little maiden, on her arm, and both flew in brightness and in joy so high, so very high, and then above was neither cold, nor hunger, nor anxiety--they were with God.







But in the corner, at the cold hour of dawn, sat the poor girl, with rosy cheeks and with a smiling mouth, leaning against the wall--frozen to death on the last evening of the old year. Stiff and stark sat the child there with her matches, of which one bundle had been burnt. "She wanted to warm herself," people said. No one had the slightest suspicion of what beautiful things she had seen; no one even dreamed of the splendour in which, with her grandmother she had entered on the joys of a new year.





Saturday, 19 December 2015

A Man's Last Romance




By learning to obey, you will know how to command. #oneliners (Italian Proverb)

History repeats itself, but each time the price goes up. #oneliners

Icing On The Cake: When you already have it good and get something on top of what you already have. #ENGidiom

You don't have to blow out anothers candle to make yours shine bright. #oneliners

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. ~ Margaret Hungerford #quote


You are not a human doing. #oneliners

Do not write them on their tombstones, speak them rather now instead. #oneliners (Anna Cummins)

Silence is wise if we are foolish, but foolish if we are wise. #oneliners

The problem with beauty is that it's like being born rich and getting poorer. ~ Joan Collins #quotes

You can pretend to be serious; you can't pretend to be witty. ~ Sacha Guitry (1885-1957) #quote

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned #ENGexpressions

Was today really necessary #bumperstickers

Have one's work cut out for one #ENGexpressions

Not being beautiful was the true blessing. Not being beautiful forced me to develop my inner resources. #oneliners


Sickening contrasts and diabolic ironies of life #literaryExpression

American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating 1 olive from each salad served in first-class. #factoid

Television ruins more minds than drugs. #oneliners


The shiver of the dusk passed fragrantly down the valley #literaryExpression

Sometimes life can be as bitter as dragon tears. But whether dragon tears are bitter or sweet depends entirely on how each man perceives them. Chinese #Proverb

No child of MINE would do something like that. #Momism

Take one's hat off to someone #ENGexpressions

BOUNDARY, n. In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of the other. ~ Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary #quote

Streets paved with gold #ENGexpressions


...and why can't I accept that one's closest  friends at moments stick a knife in, deep, between the ribs? ~ The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing #quote

The indefinable air of good-breeding #literaryExpression

Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, they will never cease to be amused. #oneliners

The greatest danger could be your stupidity. #fortunecookiesayings

A Taste Of Your Own Medicine: When you are mistreated the same way you mistreat others. #ENGidiom

The whole life is a succession of dreams. My ambition is to be a conscious dreamer, that is all. ~ Swami Vivekanada #quote

By trying we can easily endure adversity. Another man's, I mean. ~ Mark Twain #quote

Keep your chin up: To remain joyful in a tough situation. #ENGidiom

Her life had dwarfed her ambitions #literaryExpression

Men always want to be a woman's first love. Women have a more subtle instinct; what they like to be is a man's last romance. #oneliners

Someday your face will freeze like that. #Momism
Biting sentences flew about #literaryExpression

The shadows of the night seemed to retreat #literaryExpression

Love is perhaps the only glimpse we are permitted of eternity. ~ Helen Hayes #quote

An avidity that bespoke at once the restlessness, [avidity = eagerness] and the genius of her mind #literaryExpression
Break A Leg: A superstitious way to say 'good luck' without saying 'good luck', but rather the opposite. #ENGidiom

She stilled and trampled on the inward protest #literaryExpression

DISTANCE, n. The only thing that the rich are willing for the poor to call theirs, and keep. ~ Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary #quote




Good' did not triumph. 'Evil' did not triumph. The two resolved, destroyed each other and created new 'evils', new 'goods' which slew each other in their turn. ~ Eric Ambler, Epitaph for a Spy #quote

Love doesn’t make the world go round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile. ~ Elizabeth Browning #quote

A diet is a selection of food that makes other people lose weight. #oneliners

When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity; when many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion. ~ Robert Pirsig (1948-) #quote

DESTINY, n. A tyrant's authority for crime and fool's excuse for failure. ~ Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary #quote

May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won’t. ~ George Patton #quote