Merry Christmas And Happy New Year! *Open Thread*


I continue to recover from my left knee replacement, but I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Nothing says Christmas to me like the music of the season. I just love it, and never tire of it. From the sacred to the contemporary, there are a number of songs and hymns that reflect both the joy and delight of this season, like the following classic Christmas hymn:

Or this one, definitely one of my favorites:

I just love that piece.

And then there are the ones that are more like a lullaby, as if a baby was indeed in the room:

Then there are these two beautiful pieces performed by the incomparable women of “Celtic Woman”:

“In the Bleak Midwinter” is just beautiful, as well as soothing (Cuz’n Cindy, you know I was thinking of you). And “The First Noel,” another lullaby, is just lovely.

Honestly, I love so many of these hymns and carols, it is hard not to include a bunch of them, but feel free to add your own favorites in the comments below.

And now, to change from Christmas hymns and carols, this is one of my all-time favorite contemporary Christmas songs ever, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You”:

I can’t help it – I just love that toe-tapping song. Just makes me happy!
Let’s hope 2014 will bring some positive changes!

What Christmas post would be complete without the following classic:

I hope you all do have a very Merry Christmas, and a very happy New Year!

This is an Open Thread – feel free to share songs, stories, hopes for the New Year, or whatever else strikes you!


75 Responses to “Merry Christmas And Happy New Year! *Open Thread*”

  1. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Merry Christmas, everyone! I wanted to share a piece the author, Brad Thor, had on his Facebook page today, ” A Soldier’s Christmas.” I cannot imagine how hard it is for military families to be apart at this time of year. This is for them:

    A Soldier’s Christmas

    The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
    I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight;
    My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
    My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

    Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
    Transforming the yard to a winter delight;
    The sparkling lights in the tree, I believe,
    Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

    My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
    Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep
    In perfect contentment or so it would seem,
    So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

    The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
    But I opened my eye when it tickled my ear;
    Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,
    Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

    My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
    And I crept to the door just to see who was near;
    Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
    A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

    A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
    Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold;
    Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
    Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

    “What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
    “Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
    Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
    You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”

    For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift
    Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts
    To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light,
    Then he sighed and he said “It’s really all right,
    I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.

    “It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line
    That separates you from the darkest of times;
    No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
    I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

    “My Gramps died at ‘Pearl’ on a day in December,”
    Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram’ always remembers;
    My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam,
    And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

    “I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
    But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile;”
    Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
    The red white and blue … an American flag.

    “I can live through the cold and the being alone
    Away from my family, my house and my home;
    I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
    I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

    “I can carry the weight of killing another
    Or lay down my life with my sisters and brothers
    Who stand at the front against any and all,
    To insure for all time that this flag will not fall.

    “So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,
    Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”

    “But isn’t there something I can do, at the least
    Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?
    It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
    For being away from your wife and your son.”

    Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
    “Just tell us you love us, and never forget
    To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
    To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

    “For when we come home, either standing or dead,
    To know you remember we fought and we bled
    Is payment enough, and with that we will trust
    That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Thanks for sharing that RRRA! Brad Thor is a favorite of mine and I confess I have all his very violent books. One thing that all his books have in common, IMO, is a sense of patriotism and decency. That’s what makes me await, eagerly, each new book.

      Merry Christmas to you and all who come here. And hope the new year brings you healing and joy. I hope the new year also brings our divided and endangered country healing and joy.

      And here’s my favorite Christmas song – although I love so may it’s always hard to choose.

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        Merry Christmas, Kenosha!

        Yes, I love Brad Thor, too. His books are also often frighteningly prescient. I imagine yo have read Black List – scared the crap out of me.

        Anyway, yes, I hope the New Year brings our country healing – heaven knows we need it. And thank you for your good wishes for my recovery. I really appreciate it!

        Outstanding choice! I hear you, it is so, so hard to choose a fave, but this one is WAY up there. Thanks!

        • kenoshamarge Says:

          I felt the same way about Black List. Reading any of Brad Thor’s books usually makes me think of one of my favorite quotes:

          People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.~ George Orwell

  2. helenk3 Says:

    merry christmas

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      I usually count as a favorite anything by Celtic Woman.

      Merry Christmas Helen – hope you are having a wonderful day!

  3. kinthenorthwest Says:

    For My Horse Lover Amy…As always thank you for just the right piece.
    Pray for a perfectly Blessed Christmas for everyone on here…

  4. foxyladi14 Says:

    Good Afternoon and Merry Merry Christmas one and all!! 😀

  5. kinthenorthwest Says:

    Thought you all would enjoy this

  6. Cindyindie Says:

    Love all of the music, Cuz, esp. “Bleak Midwinter”—Thank you!

    Merry Christmas to you and Suzy, and all who gather here!

  7. justine Says:

    We’re gaining daylight! Things are looking better!

  8. foxyladi14 Says:

    Beautiful Thank you. 🙂

  9. kinthenorthwest Says:

    Thought our animal lovers on here might enjoy this collection

  10. SSDD Says:

    I hope your recovery is going well Rev. Amy….so you will be back on your feet soon and doing things you want to do. It bites being laid up. I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and got some good stuff….but more important had good times with loved ones.

    This is just something cute I came upon…lol

    • kinthenorthwest Says:

      Thank You SSDD… LMAO

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks so much, SSDD. And yes, it does bite, especially since I a m a little hyper. Having the medial collateral ligament release on top of the knee replacement has made it a bit more difficult since I have to wear a big brace when I am not asleep, or in the CPM. Here are some photos of my brace, showing off the 10 inch incision; and my good buddy, the CPM machine:



      I absolutely LOVE the husky teaching the baby! Thank you!!!

      • kinthenorthwest Says:

        I will say it again Amy OUCH BIg time…you too little for such a big long cut like that …
        Praying for your quick recovery …

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          Right? I was thinking abt that yesterday – my incision is abt a 6th as long as I am tall. But you can see I will have a matching one on the right hand side, so at least there’s that!

          And thanks!

      • SSDD Says:

        Oh ouchie ouchie Rev Amy….that actually made me hurt to see your leg. Are those staples closing up the incision? I ask because I had like 30 of them I think…ugh. Gawd that is so painful I know. Yes I remember the CPM well…spent nearly 2 months with my leg in it constantly…even while I slept. Sigh….I sure wish you didn’t have to go through this stuff…I know how awful it is for you. I am praying this is the very last time you ever have to endure this misery and disability.

        Since laughing is good medicine I will try to find some more vids to make you laugh. This is another favorite of mine:

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          OHMYGOSH, SSDD, that is ADORABLE! What a cute, cute video!!!! Thank you so much! Perfect medicine, absolutely perfect!

          I am sorry to hear you have so much personal experience with the CPM. When I first started having these surgeries, I had to do it longer – I am thrilled that I only have 6 hrs to do in it. (People always seem surprised that one can fall asleep while in it, but it gets pretty easy, doesn’t it?)

          Btw, my cousin asked me some questions this morning that made me realize people really do not understand what happens with these knee replacements. As I have said before, orthopaedics is just carpentry with very good tools. This surgery is painful for a bunch of reasons, but they cut the bone, and hammer a piece down INSIDE the tibia (along with moving muscles, ligaments, tendons, etc.). Bone pain alone is excruciating, but adding on the other stuff makes it even more so…

          Here’s a rendering of the TNK:


        • kinthenorthwest Says:

          ROFL…Not a typical Dog LOL….
          I am sure my kitty would not be saying Dog LOL

  11. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Oh, SSDD – I totally forgot to answer your question. I have sutures, but they used steri-strips, which will come off in their own good time. My ortho has tried different things when closing, like the Aquacel, but he is kicking it old-school this time. I am sure he has his reasons…

    Anyway, THIRTY??? OUCH!

    • SSDD Says:

      Ah….I hadn’t thought about the advancements in wound closure. I just had surgery in Feb too…should have realized they probably would not use staples anymore. I had five incisions….and they glued them together of all things…lol….some kind of new thing they do.

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        Isn’t that funny abt the surgical glue they use now? It’s really something.

        And sorry to hear that you had to have 5 incisions, SSDD – OUCH. That sounds painful indeed! Are you fully recovered now, I hope?

  12. kenoshamarge Says:

    Off in a completely different direction and apropos to nothing in particular I found this ad from Glock and thought it was hilarious. Hope you enjoy it too.

  13. foxyladi14 Says:

    Amy ouch!!! But it will all be worth the fuss to be pain free at last,
    Sending prayers and healing thoughts your way. 🙂

  14. SSDD Says:

    Just listened to this on RightScoop:

    • kinthenorthwest Says:

      Why do i have this crazy feeling hat something is happening that is not for America’s good..

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      It absolutely doesn’t pass the smell test. It seems far too coincidental after Susan Rice said on “60 Minutes” why she went on allt he talk shows since poor Hilalry was too tired after spreading the video claim. Next thing you know, POOF, the Times is finding a way to back up this completely debunked claim.

      The evidence is already out there – from State Dep’t Personnel – that it was Al Qaeda, and that it was organized. I will believe the man who testified abt that far sooner than a NYT apologist.

      • kinthenorthwest Says:

        Amy I think you got one of he magic words in your response “Hillary” —

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          I think that is precisely what this is abt – providing some CYA for Hillary and her whole “What difference at this point does this make?” outburst, and blaming this on an obscure video. I have written abt this a bunch, specifically the testimony of those who were there to KNOW what happened that night. And it was not the fairy tale Obama, Clinton, Rice, et. al, are trying to pass off.

          That the Times has so completely abandoned any semblance of journalism is a sad commentary. hey might as well have the OFA logo on their masthead now.

          • kenoshamarge Says:

            The NYT is, IMHO, in full Hillary for President campaign mode. First behing the “Romneyization” of Chris Christie – that nasty bully. Then try to make Benghazi a non story. It would be funny if it weren’t all so sad and predictible. The NYT was once a great newspaper. It is now just a rather mediocre Press Agency.

  15. kinthenorthwest Says:

    Where do they hide these Very Talented people, especial the kids

  16. kinthenorthwest Says:

    This is my Prayer for all my friends on here this coming year.

  17. kenoshamarge Says:

    If you haven’t read Dave Barry’s 2013 Year in Review – it’s a hoot!

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Kenosha, responding to your comment abt the Times above here since the nesting had run its course.

      And Dave Barry is a freakin’ RIOT!!! Thanks for this!

      You are so right – they are in full Hillary campaign mode. It is so funny to watch allt he organizations that jumped on the Barry Bandwagon in 2008 now glorifying Hillary as the best thing since sliced bread. People like Pelosi and McCaskill who practically SWOONED over Obama (well, Pelosi still does), are now lauding Clinton’s impeccable record. It is really astonishing to watch.

      The cartoon you put it up sums it up abt the difference Benghazi makes. And I would love to have that reporter look Gregory Hicks in the eye and tell him it was the video.

  18. kenoshamarge Says:

    Choosing a Password at

    “You must enter a password to proceed”

    “Sorry, too few characters”
    -pretty roses

    “Sorry, you must use at least one numerical character”
    -1 pretty rose

    “Sorry, you cannot use blank spaces”

    “Sorry, you must use at least 10 different characters”

    “Sorry, you must use at least one upper case character”

    “Sorry, you cannot use more than one upper case character consecutively”

    “Sorry, you must use no fewer than 20 total characters”

    “Sorry, you cannot use punctuation marks”

    “Sorry, that password is already taken.”

  19. SSDD Says:

    For your amusement Rev. Amy…lol:

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      LOL, that is adorable! Our cat, Bou, does a lot of those things. He loves to play fetch – he started it all by himself. In general, our cats listen pretty well, come to think of it. That was adorable, though – thank you so much!

  20. SSDD Says:

    Oops…forgot to put in this article I just came upon…a good one at PJmedia:

  21. kinthenorthwest Says:

    OK on what planet is this supposed to be PC correct???
    On what level is this OK…This child is not even a year old..

    Oh wait I forgot its perfectly fine to demean Conservatives, regardless of their age.

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      I cannot call Melissa Harris Perry and her panel of buffoons the names they deserve. There is no term low enough to describe them.

      There are black children, and white, all over this country who will spend their childhood in the system because there are not enough people willing or able to adopt.

      One child is fortunate enough to be welcomed into a warm and loving family only to be mocked by an idiot who wore tampons as earring and thought she was being clever.

      This despicible woman spends most of her time doing, or saying, something stupid or outrageous in order to get some attention. She got it. And even a tool like Roland Martin is chastising her for it.

      Nick Searcy, Stacey Dash Blast MSNBC Panel for Mocking Romney’s Black Grandchild


      Hey Melissa – when even Roland Martin is chastising you – you really crossed a line!

  22. SSDD Says:

    Happy New Year everybody! I know you are a Glee fan Rev. Amy…so I found this just for you.

  23. kenoshamarge Says:

    Happy New Year everyone!

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