Christmas Eve Edition

A Christmas Gift

Glass ornaments from Germany

I was caught
In the crush of Christmas shopping,
Fighting the crowds
And always stopping,
To find the right gift
That I can give to you
But nothing seems right.
What shall I do?

The weather is snowing.
The street lights are glowing.
Everyone is knowing,
That Christmas is near.

The crowd is in a hurry.
The people all scurry,
As they battle the flurry and
Shouts of good cheer.

But I have a task
That is not like the rest.
I must choose a gift.
It must be the best.
I’ll search everywhere.
Do what I can do.
The cost doesn’t matter,
Because it’s for you.

The Christmas Bells are ringing.
The snow begins clinging.
Choirs will be singing
Of heaven above.

As soft music plays,
On this Christmas Day,
I know I will say,
That my gift is Love.

Copyright Michael F. Teolis music and Richard Paschall lyrics.

VISIONS OF ROYALTIES

It is not “visions of sugar plums” that are dancing in my head, but rather visions of royalty checks.  Will this be the year someone sets this to music and makes us rich?  Dream on.

A Hit for Christmas

O Christmas tree

I need a hit for Christmas
To turn the season green.
A snappy little holiday tune
Is really what I mean.
If I could just find somewhere
In my memory tonight
A verse, a phrase, some words of joy
To the world I would write.

“What is my theme?” I wonder
As I wander here and there.
Christmas songs make lots of cash
And why should I not share
In monies green and silver
But oh what shall I say?
After all I’m thinking now,
“What’s not been said of Christmas Day?”

I’ll write a Christmas Jingle.
Bells of joy will sound –
A song about Kris Kringle
Or snow upon the ground.
I’ll make a little silver.
Bells of joys will play –
A check, a smile, a royalty
With every Christmas Day.

As each and every memory
Was sailing past tonight,
I had to grab the good ones
And to add the music right.
I’m dreaming of best sellers
That every year will rock
Around the Christmas tree
And down every single block.

We then need the musicians
For piano and for bass.
We’ll add a little drummer.
Boy, we’ll really rock the place.
The perfect words and music?
I ask what do you hear.
What I hear are record deals
If we can sound sincere.

I’ll write a Christmas Jingle.
Bells play all the way.
A tune that you will download –
On CD’s that you will play.
I’ll have a greener season
And know just what to say –
“A check, a smile, a royalty
With every Christmas Day.”

Copyright Richard Paschall

Still Christmas Shopping?

For those still shopping on Christmas eve…

A Christmas Gift

Christmas shopping

I was caught
In the crush of Christmas shopping,
Fighting the crowds
And always stopping,
To find the right gift
That I can give to you
But nothing seems right.
What shall I do?

The weather is snowing.
The street lights are glowing.
Everyone is knowing,
That Christmas is near.

The crowd is in a hurry.
The people all scurry,
As they battle the flurry and
Shouts of good cheer.

But I have a task
That is not like the rest.
I must choose a gift.
It must be the best.
I’ll search everywhere.
Do what I can do.
The cost doesn’t matter,
Because it’s for you.

The Christmas Bells are ringing.
The snow begins clinging.
Choirs will be singing
Of heaven above.

As soft music plays,
On this Christmas Day,
I know I will say,
That my gift is Love.

Copyright Michael F. Teolis music and Richard Paschall lyrics.

The Crush of Christmas Shopping

For those still shopping on Christmas eve…

A Christmas Gift

Christmas shopping

I was caught
In the crush of Christmas shopping,
Fighting the crowds
And always stopping,
To find the right gift
That I can give to you
But nothing seems right.
What shall I do?

The weather is snowing.
The street lights are glowing.
Everyone is knowing,
That Christmas is near.

The crowd is in a hurry.
The people all scurry,
As they battle the flurry and
Shouts of good cheer.

But I have a task
That is not like the rest.
I must choose a gift.
It must be the best.
I’ll search everywhere.
Do what I can do.
The cost doesn’t matter,
Because it’s for you.

The Christmas Bells are ringing.
The snow begins clinging.
Choirs will be singing
Of heaven above.

As soft music plays,
On this Christmas Day,
I know I will say,
That my gift is Love.

Copyright Michael F. Teolis music and Richard Paschall lyrics.

Looks More Like a Rut Than Tradition

The happy holiday season is now upon us.  Actually, it never left.  We are in perpetual holiday mode, which should say something about modern society. What that says escapes me, but it would have to be profound to deal with the depths of the ruts we now find ourselves in.  When you see Christmas decorations in the stores before you see Halloween candy, then you know it is just one giant marketing season.  Christmas supplies now start making their way to the shelves alongside the back-to-school sales.  We heard Christmas music in one store while we shopped for Halloween items.

Chief among the offenders of what used to be a nice November holiday is the Black Friday sales that follow.  It is hard to keep calling it Black Friday when the event starts early in the week on websites and continues into the following week.  No retailer wants anyone else to get a jump on him so they all start opening the stores earlier and earlier for the “Friday” sales.  Thanksgiving used to be a day to spend with relatives and friends.  Everything was closed and we actually had a day to retreat to our homes to give thanks and eat a lot.  Now it is “hurry up and eat, the stores are open!”

English: DC USA, Target, Black Friday

English: DC USA, Target, Black Friday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last year Black Friday started at sometime on Turkey Thursday for the brick and mortar stores.  I fear that in just a few years the old tradition of spending time with family and friends, even if it was only because all the stores are closed, will give rise to another day to race to the shopping mall.  We want to stand in line to get the next “cabbage patch doll” (look it up) or whatever the hot item will be this year.  Is there a general lack of time between the fourth Thursday in November and Christmas Day that crass commercialism must encroach on one of the two days where just about every business was closed?  (The other, of course, is Christmas Day.)

I realize that for some it is the thrill of the hunt, but for others it is like lemmings to the sea.  Do you think that if you are not out in the post-Thanksgiving dinner madness that you will have to admit to friends that you did not participate in the widespread seasonal opportunity to spend more money than you would like.  If you get the items you want, you will probably spend more in the store on other things, which is exactly what merchants want.  If we are willing to shop in the wee hours of the morning, why not let us shop all night long?  This may cost you dearly, and it certainly shortens the holiday of mall workers everywhere.

Another newly absurd practice is Christmas music on the radio.  The commercial station that plays all Christmas music in season has a warped idea of what the season is.  Having found that playing all Christmas music all day long in season was very popular, they decided to start earlier, and earlier and earlier.  You can listen to Christmas music from Halloween until the end of the year.  Like AM radios stations of yore, however, they seem to have a limited playlist.  How many times over two months can you listen to Burl Ives’ “Holly Jolly Christmas,” Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song,” Gene Autry’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and of course Bing Crosby forever crooning “White Christmas?”  Every artist who has had more than two hit albums has recorded Christmas music, if not indeed a Christmas Album.  What about everyone else?  Can we get something new before we watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” or “It’s a Wonderful Life” one more time?

O Christmas tree

The thoughts of these limitations did not fall on deaf ears, XM radio has trotted out multiple Christmas channels.  One of the good traits is they are commercial free, unless you count the constant plugging of their other channels.  You can hear songs from the 1940’s through the present.  Glenn Miller band played “Jingle Bells” and Frank Sinatra sang “Silent Night” for me while I made my happy way down crowded streets and “city sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in…,” but I digress.  “Siriusly,” I am not advocating you Christmas rush your way to your computer to get a subscription to satellite radio.  Newer cars have USB ports anyway, so I guess you can bring along any music on your digital playlist.

I have saved the worst of the holiday ruts for last.  It seems that going over the river and through the mall to grandma’s house is not always a good idea.  While your attendance at a family gathering may seem more like a command performance than an invitation, it does not mean you actually have to go.  Yes, I know grandma will be disappointed if you do not bring your fake smile and weary mate to the gathering, but she will get over it if you stop in at other times during the season.  Work on a good lie…I mean story, and stick with it.  Many family gatherings turn into ugly affairs. People who might not normally get together during the year are appeasing grandmas and showing up to an event.  They would rather be at a sports bar or in their own homes.  Pent up feelings are likely to leak out.  After a flaming rum punch, or whatever alcohol your prefer, you might just tell Uncle Orville what you really think of him.  The injury that does will probably fester until the next holiday gathering.

There will be plenty of survival guides on Word Press and all the other blog sites.  You Tubers will be busy making videos to help you through the madness.  I will take a pass on that.  I did start watching a video of someone explaining Black Friday traditions.  At first I thought it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but then I decided the young vlogger was just dead wrong.  Beware advice from teenagers and twenty-somethings who play video games all season and anger their parents by not showing up at these dreadfully uncomfortable holiday soirées.  Oh wait, maybe they have something there!

OR go for some “Cold Weather songs”
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside!” at teepee12.com

Christmas Eve Edition

A Christmas Gift

Christmas time

Christmas time

I was caught
In the crush of Christmas shopping,
Fighting the crowds
And always stopping,
To find the right gift
That I can give to you
But nothing seems right.
What shall I do?

The weather is snowing.
The street lights are glowing.
Everyone is knowing,
That Christmas is near.

The crowd is in a hurry.
The people all scurry,
As they battle the flurry and
Shouts of good cheer.

But I have a task
That is not like the rest.
I must choose a gift.
It must be the best.
I’ll search everywhere.
Do what I can do.
The cost doesn’t matter,
Because it’s for you.

The Christmas Bells are ringing.
The snow begins clinging.
Choirs will be singing
Of heaven above.

As soft music plays,
On this Christmas Day,
I know I will say,
That my gift is Love.

Copyright Michael F. Teolis music and Richard Paschall lyrics.

A Christmas Song, Please

A Hit For Christmas

Where is Christmas?

Where is Christmas?

I need a hit for Christmas
To turn the season green.
A snappy little holiday tune
Is really what I mean.
If I could just find somewhere
In my memory tonight
A verse, a phrase, some words of joy
To the world I would write.

“What is my theme?” I wonder
As I wander here and there.
Christmas songs make lots of cash
And why should I not share
In monies green and silver
But oh what shall I say?
After all I’m thinking now,
“What’s not been said of Christmas Day?”

I’ll write a Christmas Jingle.
Bells of joy will sound –
A song about Kris Kringle
Or snow upon the ground.
I’ll make a little silver.
Bells of joys will play –
A check, a smile, a royalty
With every Christmas Day.

As each and every memory
Was sailing past tonight,
I had to grab the good ones
And to add the music right.
I’m dreaming of best sellers
That every year will rock
Around the Christmas tree
And down every single block.

We then need the musicians
For piano and for bass.
We’ll add a little drummer.
Boy, we’ll really rock the place.
The perfect words and music?
I ask what do you hear.
What I hear are record deals
If we can sound sincere.

I’ll write a Christmas Jingle.
Bells play all the way.
A tune that you will download –
On CD’s that you will play.
I’ll have a greener season
And know just what to say –
“A check, a smile, a royalty
With every Christmas Day.”

Copyright Richard Paschall

What Hasn’t Been Said About Christmas?

What’s Not Been Said of Christmas Day?

christmas paint

christmas paint (Photo credit: cassie_bedfordgolf)

What’s not been said of Christmas Day?
It’s a wonderful day.
It’s been said in many thoughts
And in so many ways.

Almost every sentiment has been said.
The feelings have been spelled out clear.
It would seem we’ve said it all
As that magical day draws near.

We’ve talked about the season’s warmth and charm.
We’ve sung of jingle bells and snow.
Our hearts have prepared the spirit of joy
As we hang our mistletoe.

Everywhere we go decorations hang.
It has become quite a sight.
The carols are sung of the happy time
We’ll have that most holy night.

What’s not been said of Christmas Day?
The thought comes as the day draws near.
We’ve said things we can not say
Through the rest of the year,
Through the rest of the year.

Copyright Michael F. Teolis and Richard Paschall

Christkindlmarket Chicago

A Holiday Photo Gallery

The Christkindlmarket in Chicago is a relatively new tradition. Many Chicagoans might actually claim it has been here for a long time because it is such a big part of our holiday festivities.  Based on the market in Nuremberg, Germany which began in 1545, and in partnership with that city, the first Christkindlmarket in Chicago was held on Pioneer court in 1996.  It was an immediate success and the following year the city invited the event to move to the somewhat larger Daley Plaza.

Today the event not only fills the downtown plaza, home of many civic events, it also makes its way down Dearborn alongside the building.  Vendors come from all over Germany to participate along with a few select vendors from Chicago, France and other locales.

Click on a picture and go through the gallery to see larger versions of above.  These pictures are from the recent past.  This year the event was a little whiter and a lot colder.