Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Superb Saturday

With snow falling outside, warmth inside, and presents opened, Christmas has officially arrived. This holiday is supposed to be a remembrance of the birth of Jesus in Judea over 2000 years ago, but in the past century it has become as much of a family oriented celebration as anything else. Holiday songs, classic television specials, weeks of planning, spending too much money, cooking, and families spending it together, whether people are Christian by faith or not, Christmas has come to mean so much more.

My favorite thing about Christmas when I was growing up was going to my grandmother's house on Christmas Day. The whole family would be there and more food than you'd ever see anyplace in the year was on hand to be enjoyed. Granny always made it so special and her house was decorated to the nth degree. This was her favorite time of the year and having all the kids and grandkids home was what made it so for her. Since she's been gone our entire family hasn't gotten together like that anymore; each of the kids does his or her own tradition now at Christmas with their own respective families. But sometimes I feel nostalgic for those old Christmases past. I get little misty eyed at the thought of it.

Dionne Warwick is one of my favorite singers and her rendition of It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas always makes me feel good whenever I hear it. This video from You Tube showcases some of the best holiday scenes ever shot and set to Dionne's holiday tidings it just gets you in the mood. For Christmases passed and Christmases future, Happy Holidays to all and my love as well...

This Day in History: December 25

0800 - Charlemagne was crowned first Holy Roman Emperor in Rome by Pope Leo III.

1066 - William the Conqueror was crowned king of England.

1223 - St. Francis of Assisi assembled one of the first Nativity scenes, in Greccio, Italy.

1776 - Gen. George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, NJ.

1818 - "Silent Night" was performed for the first time, at the Church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorff, Austria.

1868 - U.S. President Andrew Johnson granted an unconditional pardon to all persons involved in the Southern rebellion that resulted in the Civil War.

1894 - The University of Chicago became the first Midwestern football team to play on the west coast. U.C. defeated Stanford, 24-4, in Palo Alto, CA.

1896 - John Philip Sousa finally titled the melody "The Stars and Stripes Forever."

1914 - During World War I, British and German troops observed an unofficial truce and even playing football together on the Western Front.

1917 - The play "Why Marry?" opened at the Astor Theatre in New York City. "Why Marry?" was the first dramatic play to win a Pulitzer Prize.

1926 - Hirohito became the emperor of Japan after the death of his father Emperor Taisho.

1930 - The Mt. Van Hoevenberg bobsled run at Lake Placid, New York opened to the public. It was the first bobsled track of international specifications to open in the U.S.

1931 - Lawrence Tibbett was the featured vocalist as radio came to the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. The first opera was "Hansel und Gretel" and was heard on the NBC network of stations.

1937 - Arturo Toscanini conducted the first broadcast of "Symphony of the Air" over NBC radio.

1939 - "A Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens, was read on CBS radio for the first time.

1941 - Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese.

1946 - W.C. Fields died at the age of 66.

1950 - Dick Tracy married on Tess Truehart.

1962 - The Department of Commerce Census Clock in Washington, DC, recorded the U.S. population on this day as 188,000,000.

1971 - The longest pro-football game to date finally ended when Garo Yepremian kicked a field goal in the second quarter of sudden death overtime. The Miami Dolphins defeated Kansas City, 27-24. The total game time was 82 minutes and 40 seconds.

1972 - The Nicaraguan capital Managua was hit by an earthquake. Over 10,000 people were killed.

1979 - The USSR invaded Afghanistan in a bid to halt civil war and protect USSR interests.

1989 - Ousted Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, were executed following a popular uprising.

1989 - Former baseball player and manager Billy Martin died in a truck crash in Fenton, NY.

1989 - Dissident playwright Vaclav Havel was elected president of Czechoslovakia.

1991 - Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev went on television to announce his resignation as leader of a Communist superpower that had already gone out of existence.

1998 - Seven days into their journey, Richard Branson, Steve Fossett and Per Lindstrand of Sweden gave up their attempt to make the first nonstop round-the-world balloon flight. They ditched near Hawaii.

2000 - Over 300 people were killed and dozens were injured by fire at a Christmas party in the Chinese city of Luoyang. The incident occurred at the Dongdu Disco.

Saturday's Flashback

Bob Geldoff may not be able to stand hearing this song anymore, but the rest of the world still adores it. From 1984, this joining of forces between some of the United Kingdom's biggest pop stars to help the children in Africa is now a tradition in most of the civilized world. From Sting to Phil Collins to Paul Young to Boy George, they came together to sing one of the biggest hits of the decade and raise money for the cause in which they so passionately believed.

I still love watching the video for this song. Back in that era, I was a big fan of most of the artists who contributed vocals to this anthem. Seeing them all hold hands and spread love as they shared their talents on such a worthy cause was - and remains - a delight. I don't see how anybody could not be moved by the lyrics of this song, or touched by the show of comaraderie that was so evident in this effort.

Do They Know It's Christmas tugs at the heart strings, makes smiles contagious, and gets people singing along every year. It is just brilliant and beautiful and absolutely a work of genius. Come on, Ebenezer Geldoff, get out the joy and love this song all over again... just like the rest of us do.

Thought for Today

"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine; let it shine, let it shine, let it shine..." -- Old Song