My 50 Favorite Christmas Songs: 2016 Edition

My 50 Favorite Christmas Songs: 2016 Edition

Who knew that a three-year stint could earn the power of tradition by missing a turn and crossing state lines? Yet I'm drawn back to updating the list of my 50 favorite Christmas(/Advent) songs, first posted in 2012. The list returned for 2013 and 2014 -- with changes and additions each time. It's back again, with a couple newcomers (including one thanks to my friend Jerry) and a little rearranging of the Top 10. The previous 2014 ranking for each entry follows in parentheses. Last time, I linked every entry to a free online version that best captures the respective song's quality (or just was available and sounded interesting). Most of the same links reappear on this version, though some have changed. If you want to know the reason … [Read more...]

If Obama Didn’t Avoid Gettysburg…

Thank you for indulging me in a moment of satire. For more serious fare, you can read my review of the 2012 movie Lincoln, a brief reflection on the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, and my recommended list of essential Lincoln books. News reports indicated that President Obama had opted to steer clear of the festivities surrounding the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's immortal Gettysburg Address. But at the last moment, searching desperately for some positive publicity to stimulate his flagging poll numbers, the Commander-in-Chief changed his mind. Quietly trying to stay out of the limelight, and pull off a public relations surprise, Obama and his contingent of senior staff and security boarded the high-speed … [Read more...]

My 50 Favorite Christmas Songs

On Facebook for the past several days, I've been counting down my 50 favorite Christmas songs. Coming up with the top 50 songs wasn't terribly difficult. I've identified roughly 375 different contenders, though I'm only familiar with a little more than 200 of them. A good number of the Christmas songs I know were easily disqualified because of the unpleasant visceral reaction they cause. Ranking the top 50 on the other hand -- beyond a few that consistently rise to the top -- was a difficult task. Still, there's a kind of double-edged fun to assembling a list like this one: 1) Comparing and debating the rankings with friends; and 2) The fluid nature of the list, in part because of new songs discovered that upset the balance. If I do … [Read more...]

Twenty-Eleven Means I’m Back

The New Year has arrived, and my long hiatus from serious blogging is over. For any blogger, a long hiatus can be a dangerous proposition -- threatening the already tenuously small readership and helping people to forget about you. Look, many of you already were going to forget about me anyway over the Christmas / New Year holiday anyway. And having blogged here for nearly seven years (can you believe that?), I felt secure enough to take the time off. But one major reason for the break was to gear up mentally and spiritually for the battles that lie ahead. Contributing to all the apparently positive gains in the 2010 elections, in Congress and elsewhere? That took some effort, to be sure. The real challenge lies ahead, however -- among … [Read more...]

Merry Christmas 2010

Merry Christmas:1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. … [Read more...]

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to my faithful few readers and anyone else who stumbles across this posting. A few links commended to you, followed by a couple important passages. First, the links: Michelle Malkin gives thanks for American ingenuity Al Maurer explores lessons of capitalism in the origins of Thanksgiving Many of us can echo Rossputin's expression of gratitude Check out or re-visit my 2008 series on "What I'm Thankful For" to help stir the mind to thankfulness and focus the heart on the meaning of the occasion Next, a psalm of David from the Scriptures for Thanksgiving Day reflection:Psalm 103:1-18 (NASB) … [Read more...]

Non-Union State Employee Closes Up Tongue-in-Cheek ColoradoLoses

Today marks the end of an era. The state employee who started the non-union group ColoradoLoses as an answer to Colorado WINS, the union coalition outgoing Governor Bill Ritter invited into Denver by executive order in 2007. Dave Ohmart posted the announcement on his website earlier today:I am shutting ColoradoLoses down. Thaks so much for the support you showed me over the past two and a half years. WINS will be shutting down too, I believe. They have lost support and are near bankruptcy. I don't have any independent information to confirm or challenge Dave's assessment and prediction. But it's important to note that Colorado WINS (a joint coalition of SEIU, AFSCME and AFT) did gain its semi-exalted bargaining position, after … [Read more...]

Remembering My Grandma Hutchings, 100 Years from the Date of Her Birth

A brief but welcome break from politics.... Nearly three years ago I blogged a tribute to my Grandpa DeGrow (1907-1998) on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Tonight I share a similar tribute to my Grandma Hutchings (1910-2001) on the 100th anniversary of her birth. As I wrote in November 2008, expressing thankfulness for the legacy of my grandparents:Grandma Hutchings – my maternal grandmother – was a testament to patience and sweetness. She was hard-working, generous with what little she had, and nearly always teeming with quiet joys. And she endured no small share of hardships in her life. … [Read more...]