December 24, 2007

It's Christmas Eve, and thus far the posts aren't looking too Christmasy."

So let's go back to the previously blogged Christmas Eves and republish the most Christmasy one from each year.

First Encounter with Santa Claus.

Here I am, the skeptical one in the center. I'm almost 3, and the year is 1953. My sister Dell is enjoying the moment, while I'm suspicious about that beard and the lack of convincing attachment around the mouth.

Blue Christmas.

The view from my window, tonight at nightfall:

Christmas Eve

It seems that every year, there's something that gets us started singing "Blue Christmas." Like last year, it was another photograph: here.
Now we're listening to various versions of "Blue Christmas" -- first Elvis (the best), then Ringo, then the Beach Boys (the second best), Jon Bon Jovi, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson (nicely zippy), Fats Domino, Low, Leon Redbone, the Platters, Chris Isaak, Dean Martin, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Harry Connick Jr., Sheryl Crow (the worst!), Booker T. & the MGs, John Holt (reggae does not fit this song), Tammy Wynette... I note that most artists try to sing the song like Elvis -- it's pretty much homage to Elvis for Ringo, Bon Jovi, and many others. Too many people make a big point of slowing the song way down (which is, apparently, a way of life for Low). Ah, now we're back to Elvis, with a different version, from the 1968 TV special. The greatness of Elvis really came through in that little exercise.

You'll be doin' all right, with your Christmas of white/But I'll have a blue, blue Christmas.

Christmas Eve.

It's the third Christmas Eve for this blog, and I was just looking back to see what I did last year for the occasion, and I see that I looked back to the previous year and saw that I decided to repeat this photo I put up the first time I blogged Christmas Eve:

There, now, it's definitely a tradition.

Which child is me? The more skeptical one.

ADDED: And remember Palladian's version


Now, my echo has acquired an echo.


Pogo said...

Merry Christmas, Ann, to you and your family.

Thanks for all your posts this year. In some ways this blog has the effect on me of Fezziwig's Christmas party.

"A small matter," said the Ghost, "to make these silly folks so full of gratitude."

"Small!" echoed Scrooge.

The Spirit signed to him to listen to the two apprentices, who were pouring out their hearts in praise of Fezziwig: and when he had done so, said,

"Why! Is it not! He has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money: three or four perhaps. Is that so much that he deserves this praise?"

"It isn't that," said Scrooge, heated by the remark, and speaking unconsciously like his former, not his latter, self. "It isn't that, Spirit. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count them up: what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune."

He felt the Spirit's glance, and stopped.

"What is the matter?" asked the Ghost.

"Nothing in particular," said Scrooge.

"Something, I think?" the Ghost insisted.

"No," said Scrooge, "No. I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk just now! That's all."

So, many thanks and a very merry Christmas.

Your grateful servant.

rhhardin said...

I'd like to know when Christmas Eve came to mean the day before Christmas ; and not, like when I grew up in NJ, the evening before Christmas.

I have, as a result, no nostalgic tradition for anything Christmaslike before 6pm on the 24th. It's all some strange custom born of lazy people, to me, before then. Ohio shuts down completely at noon. Where do people go?

What's with that? NJ used to keep stores open until a decent evening hour. You could go out for coffee as usual.

NJ should set the standards here.

Next, people will be standing ``on line'' instead of the correct ``in line.''

ricpic said...

At Eve

The warmth of windows,
Always romantic
Beacons in the blue,
To those nomadic.

MadisonMan said...

Palladian's version makes it look like Dell is sniffing your hair.

I hope you and your readers and family enjoy Christmas this year.

rhhardin said...

There's always Tweeze Denied for Christmas

George said...

O, you're making us all teary-eyed now.


LarsPorsena said...

The picture is a treasure. Thank you for sharing.

Merry Xmas

AJ Lynch said...

Merry Christmas Ann to you, your family and all the blog readers.

vet66 said...

Merry Christmas to our Althouse family. As fine a group as I have ever shared Christmas with.

Let us remember those who are far from home who help ensure a safe Christmas for the rest of us.

As for 3 year old An, did Santa have bad breath?

ricpic said...

Little girls are of two minds
About that bad breath Santa.
Get past his mouth to hairy ear?
Some can and some canta.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theo Boehm said...

Merry Christmas to Professor Althouse, her family, friends, and everyone reading this.

If you don't mind the length, I thought I'd put up a Christmasy comment.

It's Luke 2:1-20 in Tyndale's translation of 1526.  This is a modern spelling version, but otherwise the words are Tyndale's.

Although I am a Catholic, and Tyndale became a Protestant icon, I love Tyndale's translation because of its clear, Anglo-Saxon roots and its faithfulness to the originals.  Tyndale's work was the basis of every English translation of the Bible through the Authorized (King James) Version of 1611, and has influenced a wide range of modern translations ranging from the New American Standard Bible to the Living Bible.

His language is beautiful, straightforward and without the self-conscious grandiosity that crept into the King James version.  Tyndale also coined such phrases as, "let there be light," "the powers that be," "my brother's keeper," "the salt of the earth," etc.  So even if you are not concerned with Christianity, his impact on the English language alone would make him an important figure whose work deserves to be read.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

    And it chanced in those days: that there went out a commandment from August the Emperor, that all the world should be taxed.  And this taxing was the first and executed when Cyrenius was lieutenant in Syria.  And every man went unto his own city to be taxed.  And Joseph also ascended from Galilee, out of a city called Nazareth, into Jewry: unto the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be taxed with Mary his spoused wife which was with child.
    And it fortuned while they were there, her time was come that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her first begotten son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them within in the inn.
    And there were in the same region shepherds abiding in the field and watching their flock by night.  And lo: the angel of the Lord stood hard by them, and the brightness of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.  But the angel said unto them: Be not afraid.  For behold, I bring you tidings of great joy that shall come to all the people:  for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a saviour which is Christ the Lord.  And take this for a sign: ye shall find the child swaddled and laid in a manger.  And straightway there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly soldiers, lauding God and saying: Glory to God on high, and peace on the earth: and unto men rejoicing.
    And it fortuned, as soon as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: let us go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing that is happened which the Lord hath shewed unto us.  And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph and the babe laid in a manger.  And when the had seen it, they published abroad the saying which was told them of that child.  And all that heard it, wondered at those things which were told them of the shepherds.  But Mary kept all those sayings, and pondered them in her heart.  And the shepherds returned, praising and lauding God for all that they had heard and seen, even as it was told unto them.

Trooper York said...

Merry Christmas to the Professor and her family and all in the bigger Althouse commenter family. Eggnog and meatball heros for everyone.

Slim999 said...


You got a Dell?

Hector Owen said...

Beautiful post, Pogo. I second your sentiments. But you didn't sing the song! So I'll put on my Santa hat and sing it myself, as I did at the Christmas party on Saturday:

Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
Walla Walla, Wash., and Kalamazoo!
Nora's freezin' on the trolley,
Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-ga-roo.

Don't we know archaic barrel,
Lullaby, Lilla-boy, Louisville Lou;
Trolley Molly don't love Harold.
Boola-boola Pensacoola hullabaloo!

(--Walt Kelly, of course)

And a Merry Christmas to all.

Beth said...

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Beth said...

Meatball heroes! Yum. You and yours have an extra-merry one, Trooper.

AllenS said...

Merry Christmas, everyone. Time to meet some friends for Tom and Jerry's. Thank you, Ann, for all the time you put into this.

Johnny G said...

Happy Yuletides!

Ruth Anne Adams said...

See the blazing Yul before us.

Trooper York said...

Twas the night before Christmas, and Hitchens was soused
Not a creature was stirring, not even a hdhouse.
The comments were posted on the weblog with care,
In hopes that Althouse’s reply would soon be there.

Doyle and Cyrus were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Obama danced in their heads.
And Mrs. Trooper in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I saw a camera phone flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a broken down sled, and eight drunken commentiers.

With a smiling blond driver, so lively and verbose,
I knew in a moment it must be Althouse.
More vapid than Sully’s beagles her minions they sang,
And she whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Blake! now, Meade! now, Beth and Rcocean!
On, Mort! On Titus! on Pogo and Rhhardin!
To the top of the lane! to the end of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, shout to the sky.
So down to the meet-up, the revelers they flew,
With the Sleds full of Goys, and some Jews and Muslims too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the street
The prancing and pawing of each little elf feet.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Palladian came with a bound.

He was dressed all in black, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Abstact Art, he had got at K-mart,
And he laughed in our face , and let out a fart.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were rosey , he was humming Chuck Berry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up in a grin,
And the tilt of his cap, showed where he had been.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook as he laughed, cause his fart was really quite smelly!

He was chubby and smart, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
went to the laptop and mocked all the jerks.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
Don’t mind me these are my New York party clothes!

He ran to catch the sleigh, to the team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard they all exclaim, ‘ere they drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Lawgiver said...

Excellent work Trooper.

May your Giants get another shot at the Cowboys.

Merry Christmas to all!

Beth said...

Trooper, down here we have two favorite teams during NFL season: the Saints, and whoever's playing the Cowboys. Go Giants!

Trooper York said...

Thanks guys. We have to smack around the Pats first! I hope they take us too lightly. Plus we have pictures of Belichick and that receptionist. Hey you never know!

For all our friends in Red Sox nation, from all of the Yankee Evil Empire….Merry Christmas…..oh and BOSTON SUCKS!

Now back to our Christmas spirits……hey pass the Black Sambuca you bum

Revenant said...

I love the picture of skeptical mini-Ann.

Cedarford said...

Man, could Elvis (Blue Christmas) sing the Christmas carols. Especially the religious ones! One of the best ever at it.

The other night I saw a great clip from long ago of a young David Bowie and Bing Crosby nailing "Little Drummer Boy" with a great duet. THAT was unexpected!

Best wishes for Christmas and the holidays to Ann Althouse, her family and friends, and the people that follow her blog and excellent photo treats.

rcocean said...

Christmas is a time when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ. -Bart Simpson.

Merry Christmas.

Blake said...

Stan: Yeah. And y'know? I think i've learned something today. It doesn't matter if you're Christian, or Jewish, or Athiest or Hindu.. Christmas is still about one important thing..

Cartman: Yeah, ham.


Cartman: F-ck you!

Stan: Christmas is about something much more important!

Kyle: What?

Stan: ..Presents

Kyle: aaah!

Stan: Don't you see, Kyle? Presents.

Kyle: Hey man, if you're Jewish, you get presents for 8 days.

Stan: Wow, really? Count me in!

Cartman: Yeah, i'll be a Jew too!

blogging cockroach said...

merry xmas everyone
i'm trying to make this a positive themed xmas comment
because ive been out of sorts and depressed lately
and have even gone so far as to put up
a couple of snide comments that weren't very good
hey they cant all be gems

i know althouse is bummed too
because her xmas plans went south
even though she didn't
well i've been looking for things here
on tommy's computer to cheer me up
--tommy is the boy in cambridge ma whose computer i use--
and i've found a couple of xmas themed things that arent so bad

the first is the cockroach christmas song
on the album 'house concert' by lou and peter berryman
--sorry its a lousy mp3 excerpt that will clot up your music library on itunes
here's a flash excerpt that leaves out the crucial first few lines damn--
anyway the berrymans are big in the madison folk scene
--i'm sure althouse has run across them--
and they are hilarious and charming
go buy all their music
maybe i'll get a kickback
of some of the cockroach swag mentioned in the song

i always like reading travelogues this time of year
wierd foreign christmas customs always bring a smile to my mandibles
and cockroach christmas in the austrian alps is no exception
all i can say is that they really are wierd out there hinter dem bergen
with a guy in a giant straw cockroach suit chasing people around
they've obviously been hitting the punsch or gluhwein or whatever
firewater they brew up there auf dem berg
which seems in itself a fine xmas custom
speaking of which tommy's mom had a nice
hot toddy earlier and spilled some on the kitchen floor
i think i'll go have a little taste if you dont mind

merry xmas everyone