A FAQ; A Holiday Question; Stuff; In Addition to Which: Things

The extremely silly gentleman to the right (click to make him bigger. Really. You want to see him bigger) is my friend and fellow writer Will Ludwigsen, who was flabbergasted to find Graceling in the dumps at his local Barnes & Noble. Check out his strange, sad, and lovely story "Remembrance is Something Like a House" in Interfictions 2: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing, just released by Small Beer Press. My sister, secret codename: Cordelia, and I had the pleasure of listening to Will read this story around the campfire a couple Halloweens ago. Cordelia was dressed up as Randolph the Orange-Nosed Reindeer and I was dressed up as a Leprechaun for Change. (This was right before the 2008 election. Beyond that, don't ask. ^_^)

So, I promised that I'd let you know if I stumbled across any gems in my reading. I have. The Magician's Elephant, by Kate DiCamillo, is a book about magic, love, and longing, and it is fabulous.


Can you tell me when your book(s) will be released in my language/my country?
Unfortunately, probably not. If the information isn't on my Contacts, Info, and Credits page, it's because I don't know. Ask your local bookstore -- they might know better than I do. If this sounds weird to you, I understand; it was a surprise to me, too, that writers are often not in contact with their foreign publishers. I have met a few of mine, actually, but that's only because I was lucky enough to go to the Bologna Children's Book Fair last spring. Often, the only way I know a book has been released is that it arrives on my doorstep!

And now, a question for you. Do you like December? Do you like Christmas carols? How do you feel about the holiday season? Do you celebrate a holiday? What do you do? How do you stay peaceful in what is -- let's face it -- a supremely unpeaceful time?

Anyway. The time is nigh. I tend to counteract the suffocating Christmas-carol barrage by listening to moody, atmospheric, melancholy holiday/winter/Christmas music. For example: Christ Child's Lullaby, performed by Sheena Wellington; God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, performed by Loreena McKennitt; Greensleeves, performed by the King's Singers. Joni Mitchell's "River," which isn't anywhere on youtube. Some other songs that aren't about the Christmas tradition that I also can't find, argh! What about you? Do you, like some people (*cough Cordelia*), love corny holiday music and own the Elvis Christmas album? Or do you, like me, find yourself wanting to impale yourself on a fir tree (or perhaps on some other pointy object with less inherent Christian symbolism)?

*looks at the calendar* In the meantime, happy Thanksgiving to my American readers. :o)


Jenn said…
Dearest Kristin,
I just finished Fire this morning and I must say: A Job well done! It is fabulous. Like a Gem among stones. I discovered that Katsa and Fire have basically similar reactions to certain things. I have a theory that that is because they are loosely based off of you, even Katsa, because her strength and courage must be how you are in your heart. Also,Fire is a picture of you but add monsters. A very clever analysis on my part:P

Amanda said…
matthew and i were just saying nothing really makes us hate humanity more than the holidays ( i think the grossness of the black friday excitement is really our main problem right now). if it were not for one very excited child in our house, we'd have a bare festivus pole in the corner and that would be the extent of any "celebrating." also, my favorite christmas-related song is "fairytale of new york" by the pogues. oh, and "the happiest christmas tree" by nat king cole:)
gilana said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
gilana said…
It was lovely to get to meet you at the Harvard Book Store! Now that I see your notebooks I understand why I have to be patient waiting for your next book :)

I'm very mixed around my reaction to the holidays. I'm an observant Jew, so I get all up-in-arms around the general cultural assumption that everyone celebrates Christmas, and the complete inability to escape it in public places. I vary in my response to the automatic "Merry Christmas" from cashiers, but my snarkiest is probably "No, thanks."

But when they're not being piped out of mall speakers, Christmas carols can be really beautiful, I often go out caroling with friends to share in bringing joy to the people who are *choosing* to celebrate the holiday. And the TV specials have always been a guilty pleasure of mine -- who can resist Rankin and Bass!

As for myself, Chanukah is a fairly minor holiday, so alone in my apartment I light the candles, sing the songs, eat some latkes, send some small gifts to my sister's kids, but generally that's about it.

MelissaKeaster said…
Thanks for letting us know about The Magicians Elephant. I will add it to my Amazon wishlist.

I like any Christmas/holiday music that is well done instrumentally or vocally. I will confess a love for slightly more obscure carols than the uber famous "Silent Night" and such. It's a good thing I like Christmas music because I am a piano/voice teacher, and will be hearing QUITE a bit of it. And sometimes I think I'm married to Father Christmas himself. I have to fight to keep my husband from putting up our Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving has passed and start playing the Christmas CDs before Halloween. (Yes. I said Halloween.) Hey Kristin, one of my favorite songs that I associate with Christmas really isn't a Christmas song at all--"Winter" by Tori Amos. Do you know it?

To stay peaceful: I try to focus on the purpose of Christmas--to bring peace to earth. I also shop online, try not to overbook myself and drink plenty of wassail while reading.
Artemis Grey said…
Firstly, happy Thanksgiving! Secondly, I'd have to say that my favorite holiday ever is Samhain, Halloween, or whatever you choose to call it. It's one of the only holidays that's still all about the day and what happens on it, despite all the commercialization it's suffered.

I'm with you on the alternative Christmas music (although I battle with my mother (love her) who will have carols on 24-7 until Christmas day) and I prefer anything folky, darker, more traditional and such almost all the time.

Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon

Shotgun Shells on a Christmas Tree by Robin and Linda Williams

Raise the Dead of Wintertime
The Frozen Logger
Voices of Winter/Red & Green all by Herman Hills and Mangsen

Carol of the Meows by Guster

Carol of the Bells by the Trans Siberian Orchestra

I do also love It's Christmas all Over Again by Tom Petty

And the version of Little Drummer Boy by David Bowie and Bing Crosby.
Artemis Grey said…
Oh, and your writer friend looks like someone who's fun to be around! :) I'm checking out his story as well as The Magicians Elephant right now...
Anonymous said…
Oh, right. My favorite Christmas song is "Nothing But a Child" by Steve Earle. I think it's on YouTube somewhere--too busy cooking to look it up.

(Well, favorite other than the aforementioned "Fairytale of New York", of course.)
Mel said…
I love Christmas! The songs get old once you get into high school, though. Although, I must say that I love "Christmas Shoes." That song always makes me cry.

I don't gear up for the holidays with songs. I focus on remembering everyone on my shopping list, and keeping up with the kadrillion birthdays that are this month and next. And almost all of my teachers are cracking down on homework and such, so I have almost no time to breathe!

Happy Thanksgiving, Kristin :)
Eat lots of turkey!! :]
Alexa said…
Happy Thanksgiving to you too! ;)

Holidays for me are actually quite fun.... Most of the time... Sometimes I do get a bit stressed, but that's hardly ever. I'm not in charge of everything yet! My mom still has that responsibility. :) But, I am working on a super secret "santa" present for my sister.... And I'm beginning to think that I better spend some more time on it!

Christmas songs... I get so sick of them!! I am SO happy when the regular songs come back on the radio. Sometimes I like them, but not all the time..

Oooohhh... The Magician's Elephant sounds good. I'll have to check it out. Magic, love, and longing are definitely my idea of a good book. ;) Action is always a welcome edition too though.

Hope you have a wonderful day and holiday season!
Jazz said…
I like December because I take a lot of time to reflect on the year during that month. I make plans for the new year. I get a renewed sense of what I want to do with my life. The holiday season is a stressful time, but I get to see many people I love who aren't around the rest year. My yearly ritual is to exchange with gifts with friends on Christmas Eve, eat lots of pasta, and stay up late into the night talking. On Christmas Day I'm with family and try my best to make sure no one gets into a fight. Like I said, stressful time.

All I need for Christmas music is Carol of the Bells by Trans Siberian Orchestra and A Muppet Christmas Carol.
Kristin Cashore said…
Jen, my advice when it comes to trying to relate characters to their authors is, don't bother. And don't forget -- I created all the other characters in the books, too! Readers tend to forget about all but the protagonist when they start trying to relate characters to their authors, which is, I think, always muddy territory, especially for people who don't know the author personally (obviously), but even for people who do.

Amanda, tomorrow I'm planning to observe "Buy Nothing" day. :o)

Allen, glad to hear about all that COOKING!!

Gilly, thanks for that explanation, that makes perfect sense. And Melissa, do you have any carol recommendations?

Artemis, thanks for the recs -- and you reminded me that I also LOVE the Bing Crosby/David Bowie "Little Drummer Boy!"
Kristin Cashore said…
Oh, and hi to everyone who commented while I took a year to compose my own comment! :D Cordelia loves "Christmas Shoes," too. Jazz, I LOVE New Year's for that reason -- the reflection. And the feeling that something new is beginning.
maryh said…
What I love about the Christmas season is that it gives me a glimpse of the unflappable faith I used to have as a child. And nothing does that like Christmas music but only if it's religious none of the secular carols! So I avoid all of the crazy shoppers and try to avoid malls.
I like to bake cookies and sit by my fire listening to Christmas music with my family. But alas I'm away at graduate school so I have to wait until after Dec 19th to get into the spirit!
There is just something so wonderful about it being snowy outside and getting to snuggle inside by the fire with a good book, I think that is what brings the Peace of the season to me!
maryh said…
oh and my recommendations are John Rutters Christmas carols!
carterbham said…
I'm glad you liked "The Magician's Elephant." I forget, did I mention Helen Frost's "Crossing Stones" yet? I really, really liked that one.
Kristin Cashore said…
PS Jen -- I also need to thank you for saying such nice things!!
Jennifer C. said…
lol, in comment about the "Randolph the oragne-nosed reindeer", well one day in science class we were thinking about the difference of a caribou and a reinderr, and there isn't, they're just called different names in different places; well, we decided to talk rudolph the red-nosed reindeer song, and we re-wrote the entire thing to match with our "Rudy the pink-butt Caribou". hahaha, it was hilarious...

On a more important and exciting note, I FINALLY GOT A COPY OF FIRE!!! Yay, for me. I'm soooo happy and I can't wait to read all of it!

Happy Turkey Day! ^_^
Anonymous said…
Happy Thanksgiving! Kristin :-)
you ask such fun questions..i like to think about them before i answer, but i wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving. My family and friends think I am crazy this year...i have chosen to spend the day alone with the Lord. So much superficiality in everything around us anymore. I wanted to give a day just to Him. He has given me so many blessings!
It seems thanksgiving is becoming more about selling and sports...
Just this one year... I'd like to give to Him. not a sad thing.... a reason to dance!! :-)
i love your questions :-)
cant wait to come back and answer more :-) your bloggs are fun!

from the heart...
Jennifer C. said…
It looks like I forgot to read the rest of the post about Christmas...
So, I was actually singing the cheesy Christmas songs like "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth" last night, with some of the younger kids at my church during our Christmas Shoes play practice. As much as I love to sing them, I for some reason, hate to listen to them on the radio...weird isn't it? Oh well, I guess they're only fun when you're involved.

Also, I believe that people often tend to forget about what the true meaning of Christmas is: the celebration of Jesus's birth and giving to others. It's alright to decorate and be excited about presents and stuff, but nowadays, especially with kids, all they say is "Ooh, I want this, and this, and this...." and never once do they think about giving and such...On some notes you can blame the parents, but some children, no matter how many times you tell them, just don't care about anything but theirself.
Anonymous said…
I explained to Him...we have to take time to read more of 'fire' as i cannot put it down! i am completely absorbed in it!!

from the heart...
Anonymous said…
Greensleeves... is like a piece of heaven...

AndrewsMommom said…
I do like December - it's cold with the promise of snow - which I love. I think most people try to be nicer this time of year. (But let's face it, some aren't as successful! hehehe)

I love Christmas Carols. I consider myself a recovering Catholic/Buddhist so for me, they brings back memories of the people I cherish, the innocence of youth, and the wonder of the holiday. I love most of them but my three favorites this season seem to be: Grown Up Christmas List, River (Joni is great but I love Sarah Mc's version too), and O Come O Come Emmanuel. My family is very musical - although not classically trained. They can harmonize on just about anything. Wish it were that easy for me! :-)

I do look forward to this time of year but for me and my husband, it's a time of renewal - of forgiveness, for ourselves and each other, for the things we should have done better and the chance to begin fresh (a wise do-over) to be a peaceful part of this wonderful world we live in.
Our celebrating is traditional - thanks to a certain 3 year old in the house - we try to be respectful of the religiousness of the holidays but we do not attend services. We are very blessed to have family that's Christian and Jewish - and explain that in toddler terms.

As far as keeping sane, well, I only shop on-line, keep lots of great merlot in the house, and try to walk everyday even though it's freezing outside. I also try to keep a positive outlook - that every moment is a lesson.

Bet you're wishing you didn't ask such good questions! LOL
Happiest of Thanksgivings to all of you!
Anonymous said…
Where I live, they have this county-wide Write-A-Book contest. I develop an idea from September to December hoping to get started and always spend my Winter Break rushing to get my story done by January. It is maddening and refreshing-- at least I finish one story in a year.
orose said…
*takes notes*
I do believe I'm going to have a book list a mile long by the end of the month. Why is it that I find all sorts of books I want to read in the middle of November? ^.^

I don't actually celebrate the holidays so I just tend to float through the season blissfully unaware. Or at least, as blissfully unaware as one *can* be when being bombarded with Christmas carols, hehe. Until a friend wished me a happy thanksgiving I hadn't even realized what day it was. I'm terribly absentminded sometimes.

I'm still not sure which all purpose holiday wish to use though. So... have a happy winter season? Hm. Back to the drawing board.

Anonymous said…
I actually am a Christmas fanatic, or more accurately a Holiday Season fanatic, which I say not to be politically correct, but because I'm a fanatic about everything from Thanksgiving through Russian Christmas (sometimes I even say Russian Epiphany, although I don't know if they celebrate Epiphany in the Orthodox tradition, and besides, that brings you to late January which is pushing it even for me). Any stress I feel is usually Eustress, or it's stress because I want MORE Christmasy-ness. In fact one of my dear Christmas desires is for everybody to stop stressing about it, because nobody needs them to stress: if they don't like getting Everything In Order, there are others who love all this prep, and will gladly handle it for them. If others aren't celebrating at all, let them not celebrate, but I AM, and without reservations. Because I love it. I've written a bit about what it means to me here (or I get around to it about halfway down) and here before.

I get annoyed at overcommercialism, at starting Christmas the day after Halloween and ending it on Dec 26 because it's all about selling stuff (FYI shopping centers and general public: the Twelve Days of Christmas are traditionally the days AFTER the 25th, not before!). I don't particularly like dumb gimmicky radio holiday songs and hate oversentimentality (sorry, above commenter, I can't STAND "Christmas Shoes"). But I learned to block out Commercialism a long time ago, because I can't afford it anyway, so I'm pretty good at taking from it what I enjoy and leaving the rest of it be.

I too LOOOOVE the old darker carols, Greensleeves particularly-- actually "What Child Is This" is my favorite carol, since I don't actually know the original "Greensleeves" words. But my absolute favorite Christmas album is a bit odder: it's "A Christmas Together" by the Muppets and John Denver, and my favorite songs from it are the obscure mellow ones I've never heard anywhere else. I always post the lyrics to one of them as a Christmas card to readers of my lj each year!

Is it weird I've linked to my own blog so much in one comment? It's just a subject I discuss a lot.
mysteryflavour said…
I LOVE CHRISTMAS. It has only ever been a secular holiday for me, since I was raised completely away from religion (as in, I hadn't even heard of this God thing until I was seven or eight, which I think helped me make a more informed decision about my belief or unbelief in Him... it's an unbelief, btw). I love it because it's when everyone is unexpectedly nicer to each other than usual, for no reason except habit. The usual argument here is that people should always be nice! And I agree, but I don't think that it's ever likely to happen, and at least on Christmas we can pretend it might someday. Those made-for-TV Christmas movies make me want to die sometimes, but when I'm on the brink I watch the Muppet's Christmas Carol and I'm brought back.

Sufjan Stevens recorded a bunch of Christmas music, which I listen to all year round. I particularly enjoy That Was The Worst Christmas Ever!.
mysteryflavour said…

or live:
Q said…
I like old Christmas carols (like, eighteenth century old) and Enya's "And Winter Came..." album. This new commercialized Christmas stuff is icky.
Anonymous said…
i love Christmas! everything about what it was supposed to mean. Oh..you can have all the hustle and bustle...but... give me a cozy room with a fire blazing, colorful tree, fragrant candles infusing the room with their intoxicating scents, a glass of red wine with Christmas music playing softly... a little piece of heaven... and when you have someone to share that with...its deliriously delicious.
i personally think corny xmas music should be outlawed!!
some of my favorites are the ones you mention as well as many many more. I like the beautiful music that seems to sing straight from my heart what Christmas means to me....What Child is this?, Drummer Boy, Silent Night, so so many..
i love the concerts that have been put together beautifully to sing the praises of the season as it was meant to be. Sentimental heart that i have, it will usually leave tears rolling down my face.
So..yeah...i love xmas.I just wish it was a season of giving more love and less material things... i wish people did not see material things as love. but such is the way of the world...we can always hope that the meaning is never lost as time goes by as we remind those around us what Christmas is really all about!
I love Christmas :-)! not the gifts/commercialism...just the silent glory of special Christmas Evenings...
Unknown said…
I love Christmas carols and loathe mall Christmas music.
Really, it is best to stay out of the mall during Christmastime.
J.L. Hart said…
Truly, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There are no material expectations. I don't need to buy anyone a card or a present. Instead, I get together with my family and we take turns on various years cooking the dinner, though everyone brings stuff and helps so it's never too onerous a task.

My kids love to spend the day with their cousins playing, and I relish that time after we've cleaned up dinner and all the grownups sit down with dessert and coffee to just talk and catch up on life. I wish I could freeze all those moments and step back into them whenever life gets too stressful.

As you can tell, I have a close family and we live close by each other as well, and any holiday that lets us enjoy each other is great in my mind.

I can't stand the commercialization of Christmas to the extent it is now, but I do have three young boys, and it's hard to be a grinch when they revel in the magic of Santa and colored lights decorating a tree. :) Instead, I do my shopping early (just about done already!) and skip yucky days like Black Friday - the money I would save couldn't buy my sanity back! Then I make sure I do the really rewarding things like making cookies with my kids, the really messy ones with icing and colored sugar :) And as anyone with kids will attest, that's not exactly a peaceful activity, but I'll be sad when those days are gone. My oldest didn't help us with yesterday's cookies until near the end, and it made my heart pang to think he wanted to do something else, that someday I'd be left to make them myself. Cherish every day because you can't get them back.

Anonymous said…
to jen
you are so very correct about cherishing the moments. our thanksgivings used to be that way...they were so much fun!! such fond memories of loved ones now gone your comment brought to my heart!! thanks for sharing...
such a truly special time the holidays are when they are cherished for what they are supposed to be...
God Bless...
MelissaKeaster said…
Look what I've gotten myself into. I do love to talk music though, and I don't get to enough these days. Without coming up with arrangements/composers/artists off the top of my head, I like to hear (and assign!!!) "Noel Nouvelet" ("Sing We Now of Christmas" in English)--this one is lovely sung by Lawrence Children's Choir and the group Gregorian; "Still, Still, Still" preferably in German and always lovely arranged SATB; "In the Bleak Midwinter"; "Night of Silence" which is a counter melody of "Silent Night," "Patapan" preferably in French and performed by a choir, but Mannheim Steamroller does a nice instrumental version; "Gesu Bambino" Kathleen Battle and Fredirica von Staade do a nice version; "Coventry Carol"; I love, love, love "Do You Hear What I Hear" set for a children's chorus or child solo. These are actually all staples in my opinion, but you'll rarely hear any of them on the radio. Finding them done by a good choir or artist is the trick. Music school introduced me to several of these. While I still really like the considerably more famous carols, these remain my favorites. Albums I like--And Winter Came by Enya, Let It Snow by Michel Buble, A Christmas Celebration by Celtic Woman, Josh Groban's Noel, Tori Amos' Midwinter Graces, anything Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Gregorian Christmas Chants, and I really like Point of Grace's one. Their version of Jingle Bells is soooo cute!
try "auld lang syne" by straight no chaser. they're this wonderful occapella (which i spelled wrong) guys group with the best christmas cd ever. so not your corny christmas
Abby! said…
Christmis is upon us and I am getting very excited! My birthday is two days after christmis and for for bday present from my parents, I want to go to one of your appearences or signings. I live on the pacific side of Costa Rica and so you can imagine traveling that far is hard and expensive, especially if you belong to a family of 5! Just to let you know, I am Canadian and my home town is Calgary, Alberta. It is an extremely long story of how I ended up in Costa Rica. I love your books and I am in the process of reading Fire right now. Let me tell you this, it has captivated me. It is also very hard to get REAL english books down here. Sigh.
Something really funny happened the other day though. Every 3 months I get throen out of the country because I am not a real Costa Rican so I traveled to Miami. All I wanted to do since I arrived there was go to Barnes and Noble. The one in Miami is HUGE!!!!!! It is like two floors of books, books, books. When I saw saw it I looked at it like it was too good to be true!(=. Anyways, I got 23 books there! It was insane. When I run out of books here I enjoy reading your blog, so keep going!
Abby Skaug.
Abby! said…
Oops, I spelled CHRISTMAS wrong...
Kristin Cashore said…
Melissa, LOL, sorry for putting you on the spot! And thanks for all that great info. I've got a lot of exploring to do.
MelissaKeaster said…
You're welcome, and thank YOU! (For many things, namely your books, but also for asking.) What music geek doesn't like to talk about their favorite stuff?
Anonymous said…
Joni Mitchell's River: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCov0TYXBp8

Merry Christmas :)

Anonymous said…
I forgot to mention my favourite Christmas album is this one (don't judge until you listen people!)


You can listen to samples at this amazon site.


Enjoy the silly season - it's going to be a hot one downunder!

Anonymous said…
Joni m. "River"
wow.... really awesome... i wish i had a river...
Sam M. said…
Rockinlibrarian, you are my new favorite person! Loving Christmas (or even worse, "the holiday season") is unfashionable among my circles of friends, and I certainly see their point. But I will not apologize for it! Music and snow and small gifts and cookies and seeing loved ones are AWESOME. So there.

And whoever said they love the reflection, I feel the same way. My birthday is New Year's Eve, so that's always felt like the ideal time for reflection.

I've had a tradition since I was in jr. high: every New Year's I write three wishes for the coming year and seal them up. Then I open the previous year's wishes and write about them -- did they come true? Do I even still want them? A lot can change in a year, and there's nothing like a letter from the past to give you perspective.
I love December but I think that is because I love my crazy family. I just love the crisp fresh air and drinking hot apple cider by a warm fire.

Joni Mitchell's "River" is one of my favorite songs! I love all her work but "River" and "Case of You" are just incredible.

All I need to do is listen to "River" or "Better Days" by the Goo Goo Dolls while drinking cider and I know that it is December and I will see my family soon.
Kristin Cashore said…
MC, thanks for that beautiful live version of "River!"

I love Joni Mitchell to pieces.
Unknown said…
I was so happy to stumble upon your blog a few days ago, and to find out that you are a published author!! Fantastic! I'm so happy for you!! I will be buying your books for my nieces and nephews for the upcoming holidays, plus copies for myself. I can't wait to read them! Hope all is well with you. Congratulations..what a dream come true!
- An "old" NEPA friend, Marianne (DiStefano) Talarico
Kristin, I just checked my mail and inside was the SIGNED copy of Graceling the I ordered from Harvard Book Store. Thank you so so much for working with them to get signed books to those of us who couldn't attend any of your appearances. I hope in the future you do a signing close to me in California.

Now I just have to figure out the proper way to display such an awesomely signed book. I'm thinking a blown up picture of the title page and a glass case for the book. That way the signature is visible in the picture but the book is safe. Hmmm...I'll have to work on that.
Kristin Cashore said…
*waves wildly at Marianne*

Jess, you're cracking me up. Really, the bookstore's got the best deal, because every time I go in there to sign/personalize a book, I buy something for myself. I just signed a couple more today, and now I seem to own 5 board books I didn't own before. (They aren't for me, technically. I probably don't need to explain whom they're for.)

I want to thank everyone for the holiday music suggestions! I've been having fun looking things up.
Anonymous said…
where can your fans go to request signed copies if they cant make a signing location? I would love a signed copy :-)
Anonymous said…
You cant leave out the timeless classics of our childhood like 'Charlie Brown Christmas' and 'Rudolph'... they never grow old to me and the songs produced in some of those are still some of the best ever. i guess i'll never completely grow up...i have to watch them every year and they can still bring a tear to my eye...

'grandma got ran over...' is corny...
but songs from these classics including the before mentioned muppets are priceless in my book.
Abby said…
Here in Costa Rica I go to a international school so we speak English there. We are going to have a Christmas concert! It is just our luck though that our music teachers favorite Chiristmas song is "A White Christmas". I swear, if we are going to sing that, I think we will die. :( . I just can't imagine singing about snow in COSTA RICA! Hopefully someone stands up to him. I'm getting nervous.
mysteryflavour said…
I don't do this for New Years, usually it ends up happening in August right before the start of school, but every year I write a letter to myself. Sometimes advice and encouragement, but mostly just my state of mind, what I'm feeling, and what I think is important. All this talk of New Years reflections reminded me of it.

DECEMBER IS HERE, which means NaNoWriMo is over! I only got to 32214, but I'm extremely happy I did it. Thanks again for the pep talk! :)
Unknown said…
More evidence as to why I adore you so - I too find myself looking for non-Christmasy-but-kinda-Christmasy music during this time of year. Here are some examples, all on iTunes:

- Hazy Shade of Winter - The Bangles (this song made me want to be a drummer when I was younger...actually, it still does!)
- Winter Light - Sarah Brightman
- Cool Yule - Louis Armstrong
- Auld Lang Syne - Barenaked Ladies
- Christmas is a Pain in the Arse - The Accelerators (seriously!)
- Baby, It's Cold Outside - Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
- Cold - Tears for Fears
- Linus and Lucy (of course)
- Christmas Day - Dido
- The Muppets & John Denver album is a MUST.
- O Mio Babbino Caro (I'll listen and love any version)
- A Long December - Counting Crows
- Christmas in Hollis - Run DMC

Just a sampling...and thanks to your other readers, I have lots of music to buy tonight!

P.S. I love Joni's "River"...and it may be blasphemy, but I adore Sarah MacLachlan's version too.
Violet said…
I enjoy so many things about the holiday season, from sparkly lights and festive decorations to the sense of renewal that comes with the brighter days and the beginning of a new year. My family celebrates the winter solstice & the twelve days from the solstice to New Year's Day. We call it our "Twelve Days of Giving" & donate to a different food bank or non-profit organization each of those twelve days. Our children are still very young, but they both love helping to collect items & fill boxes for our local food bank & animal shelters. To commemorate each day & celebrate the type of work each organization does, we also give our kids a few small gifts related to the specific charity we are supporting each day. For example, on the day we celebrated our 'guardianship' of a chimpanzee through the Jane Goodall Institute last December, we gave our children a couple of fun picture books about chimpanzees as a part of sharing the sponsorship materials with them. To open up a conversation about our support of the ACLU, the kids received a couple of picture books about the U.S. Constitution & Bill of Rights & a big box of art supplies so they could set to work exercising their freedom to express themselves. It takes a bit of planning to organize everything each December and to make time to visit with all of our extended families who celebrate the season in various other ways throughout December, but we very much look forward to those twelve days each year & to celebrating the beginning of a new year together. As far as favorite holiday songs go, I've always loved "Winter Wonderland," "Let it Snow," and Roy Orbison's "Pretty Paper."
MelissaKeaster said…
Hey Kristin! Me again. I have this voice student that I just haven't been able to connect with, so I'm getting out my comfort zone of classical music, and we're going to learn a Christmas rock song in a week. Hahaha!! Anyway, I have discovered some FABULOUS Christmas rock songs that don't seem to get much radio airtime in the process . . . most of which I cannot use, but I wanted to pass them along.

"Do They Know It's Christmas" --a great, contemplative song about the famine in Ethiopia in 1984. You have to watch the video! There are some familiar faces with amazing hairstyles. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jEnTSQStGE

"Christmas Wrapping" by The Waitresses
This song is very 80s and kind of funny. I LOVED it! If my student was older (she's 13) I'd let her do this one.

"Carol of the Bells" by Gary Hoey
The music speaks for itself.

"Father Christmas" by The Kinks;

"Don't Shoot Me Santa" by The Killers
Come, you know you want to see this video just because of the title. This one is so funny and irreverent. I'm still chuckling.

The Killers have another good Christmas song--"Great Big Sled"
Anonymous said…
I adore Christmas, but I agree with you on the overall state of the music they play on the radio. Modern and displeasing, and if I hear one more version of The Christmas song I swear I shall scream so loudly that I frighten the neighbors. (Or at least I shall grumble, making faces so ghastly I frighten myself instead.)

I'm ridiculously tickled that you're a Loreena McKennitt fan, by the way. I've loved her music for years. Do you have any other of her CDs?


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