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Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

Holiday Music

Friday, December 16th, 2011

 

My favorite Christmas song is probably O Holy Night. It’s beautiful, serene, and angelic.  But you can’t have 20 versions of O Holy Night looped on a playlist for every dinner party and gathering.  This holiday I became obsessed with the perfect playlist.  It’s easy to hear the classics, the traditional songs on the radio.  What I was looking for was the unique, the remake or remix that captures the feeling of the season for me.  This list is a compilation that I’ve been working on for a few years.  There are some obvious choices but some I hope you’ll find to be a pleasant surprise.  Please leave me some of your favorites below in the comment section!

Happy holidays!!

 

All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

All My Bells Are Ringing – Lenka

All That I Want – The Weepies

Baby It’s Cold Outside – Harry Connick Jr. & Lee Ann Womack

Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Lady Antebellum

Boots – The Killers

Children Go Where I Send Thee – Joan Osborne

Christmas Just Does This to Me – Matt Wertz

Christmas Lights – Coldplay

Christmas Must Be Tonight – Bahamas

Christmas Must Be Tonight – The Band

Fall In Love With Me On Christmas – Josh Kelley

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Rascal Flatts

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Sarah McLachlan & Barenaked Ladies

Green Christmas – Barenaked Ladies

Hark the Herald Angels Sing – Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Colbie Caillat

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Jake Ousley

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – My Morning Jacket

I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Aimee Mann

It Snowed – Meaghan Smith

Joseph, Better You Than Me – The Killers (feat. Elton John, NeilTennant)

Maybe This Christmas – Leigh Nash

Maybe This Christmas – Ron Sexsmith

O Holy Night – Mariah Carey

Peace – Norah Jones

River – Sarah McLachlan

River – Herbie Hancock (feat. Corinne Bailey Rae)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Jack Johnson

Santa Baby – Madonna

Silent Night – Lifehouse

Silent Night – Zach Gill

Sleigh Ride – Diana Krall

We Wish You a Merry Christmas – Weezer

What Do Bad Girls Get? – Joan Osborne

When the Bells Start Ringing – My Morning Jacket

White Christmas – Sonya Kitchell

***I just figured out I could create a playlist on iTunes.  So the songs on this list that are available on iTunes are here.***

 

 

small deeds

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

The other day I was walking to the grocery store when a woman ran up to me, tapped my shoulder and said, “you dropped this.”  She handed me my ATM card.  I got out a whispered wide-mouthed, “thank you,” but my desire to express my profuse gratitude didn’t make it before she vanished.  My mind started to swirl!

I felt an instant need to return the favor.

She just saved me God knows how much aggravation.

The world has way more good people than nefarious ones.

I really must return the favor, but what can I do?

I’m trying to think up a big idea, but in the meantime, I want to do 12 small spontaneous deeds for strangers throughout the holiday season. The 12 days of Christmas, for me, will mean little gestures that might, in some minute way, brighten a moment in someone’s ordinary day.

Maybe this is already part of your routine.  Maybe you want to join me.  Either way, tell me (via the comment section) about your daily bright spots.

Day 12 – Guess what?!  I know Santa Claus!  The real-deal, North-Pole-living, sleigh-riding jolly old man himself!!  And for my final small deed I asked him for help!  I took the money hubby and I usually spend on holiday cards for family and friends and we gave it away to strangers.  We had seven holiday cards, each with some cash inside and a message to have a happy holiday.  Hubby armed himself with the camera, I had a bag of candy canes and Santa, the master at deliveries, had the envelopes.  We hit South Bay Center one morning and surprised a parking lot of people.  It was amazing to watch how young and old came running to see Mr. Claus.  Cars, full of adults, drove around the parking lot, children dragged parents out of stores, and everyone beamed at having their pictures taken with Santa!  Ok, there were some children who hollered for Santa but when he stopped by, they started crying.  But that was kind of cute too!  They like Santa from a distance!  This young couple told us it was their daughter’s first Christmas and they waited 45 minutes the other day for a picture with Santa at a mall only to have him go on break.  They never got a picture, that is until Parking Lot Santa showed up!  We hope the cash was a nice surprise for some strangers, but it was all worth it to see the pure joy on so many faces at the mere sight of Old Saint Nick!

Day 11 – I went to get a cup of coffee and the woman behind the counter was super sweet.  I left her a big tip.  I hope it brightened her day just a bit!

*(Mike told me about his small deed in the comment section.  He gave his monthly Charlie Card to the woman about to put money on her card! I love that idea!  Yeah, Mike!!)

Day 10 – On my way to the store, I saw some litter so I put it in the trash.  I arrived to the store and before me, a few more pieces of paper were blowing in the wind.  It was so easy to put them in the garbage.  A man saw me doing my small deed and said, “thank you.”  I was grateful for his appreciation.

Day 9 – I took Cricket for a walk this morning and picked up some arrant piles of poop (a suggestion from my friend Jen!).  I hope Cricket and I saved your shoes from a stinky day!

*(Erinn shared in the comment section that she likes to brush snow off of neighboring cars!  I hope we all get a chance to park next to an Erinn!)

Day 8 – While at Dunkin Donuts to get a cup of coffee, I saw a stand full of gift cards.  I added several to my order.  When I went running, I took a different route and gave Dunkin Donuts gift cards to some folks who looked like they could use a hot cup of coffee.  It was great!

*(Marsha from NC left a note in the comment section.  She bought a meal for a stranger.  She was paying it forward!  How awesome is that?!  Thanks Marsha!!!)

Day 7 – I have a couple pairs of gently worn mittens.  I put them in my work bag and on my way to and from work, I placed them in areas where I’ve seen homeless women.  I hope the gloves will help just a bit this winter.

Day 6 – I ran into Walgreens to pick up some stuff and saw a Toys for Tots bin.  So in my basket with some water and face cream, I added a couple of toys.  I put them in the box with the rest of the collection and smiled as I exited the store.

*(Very excited!!!  My friend Anita sent me this awesome tweet:

Anita Moller@aamoller: @susantran It’s contagious! I was inspired to do a good deed today.
@aamoller: @susantran Yep. While on my run, I stopped to carry the newspaper to a cute little man so he didn’t have to walk down the icy drive to get it.)

Day 5 – On my run today, I had a pocket full of scratch-off lottery tickets, and as I jogged around town, I handed them to strangers.  It was much more fun and far more comical than I’d imagined it would be!  Every one appeared taken aback, confused, or shocked.  I smiled, said, “Happy Holidays,” and ran off (I should have worn my elf hat!).  As my strides moved me forward, I could hear them yell, “Thank You!”  Those two words powered me for the rest of my trek home.

Day 4 – I went to get a soda and a snack at some vending machines and I left the change.

photo by: tomlin

*(I applied to Caring Canines but got an email response saying its program is at full capacity.  Sad for me but awesome for the program!)

Day 3 – I noticed some union brothers in the cold this morning.  I stopped by a Dunkin Donuts and bought them some hot coffee.  It was their appreciation that warmed me.

*(It’s only day 3 and I’m finding it somewhat difficult to do a small good deed, which is kind of upsetting.  Please consider giving me some suggestions.  I’m looking for small gestures.  Thanks in advance!)

Day 2 – I walked to lunch with a pocket full of quarters.  I fed several expired meters.  I hope I kept you from a ticket.

Day 1 – I’m running along the Christian Science Center and I notice a family of four.  Mom is trying to get her two sons and husband in the perfect picture.  I stop and ask if I can help take a family photo for them.  They hand me their Canon, smile, and I capture their broad grins in front of The Original Mother Church.  I make sure they’re satisfied with my work and run off.  They put a smile on my face and my stride home had a new elasticity.

Valentine’s Day 2010

Monday, February 15th, 2010

I like Valentine’s Day.  I always have.  It’s mainly because I really like a day dedicated to romance and I love being the recipient of flowers.  Not roses!  I love gerbera daisies and tulips.

In high school, all the clubs would sell $1 carnations with notes attached and they’d deliver them in 1st period.  I loved hearing my named called.  Most were from my girlfriends.  We liked to send flowers to each other.  But sometimes it was from a boy I was dating and sometimes it was from an anonymous boy, which was all the more fun as it provided my girlfriends and me endless chatter during lunch.

In college, I loved seeing bouquets of flowers at the guard shack awaiting delivery.  Because I’ve always been a pretty outspoken, blunt person I made it clear to boys I was dating that I liked flowers on Valentine’s Day.  So I often had flowers awaiting me.

The best thing nowadays is to have flowers delivered to the office.  My husband thinks it’s silly (though he sends me gorgeous arrangements every year) and some women think it’s frivolous.  But I love the smell of fresh cut flowers sitting on my drab desk.  It takes the stale air of a newsroom and transforms it into fragrant, decedent office.

But this year, Valentine’s Day was a Sunday and hubby had a BIG plan!  A bit of pretext first.  One, we have a core group of 5 couple friends.  We all love Panther game tailgates, charitable endeavors, eating, and drinking.  Two, my hubby loves to cook.  Three, we do not like going out to eat on Valentine’s Day.  So for the third year in a row we had a dinner for ten at our house.  And right after we finished our delicious meal of grilled flank steak with a red wine reduction, cauliflower steaks drizzled with caper vinaigrette, and Israeli couscous – a barbershop quartet walked into our home, with roses in hand, and started to sing.  It sent five grown women into a tizzy of squeals.


It’s fair to say, I love fresh cut flowers, but live music trumps fresh flowers.  Happy Valentine’s Day!