Rascal Flatts to Release Christmas Album

Rascal Flatts to Release Christmas Album

Country group Rascal Flatts has announced they are planning a Christmas album. Though the group has released a Christmas single or two this will be their first ever Christmas album. “We’ve done some songs, but this is our first complete Christmas album, our first entire project,” Joe Don Rooney says. “We’re thrilled. So we’re going to be really busy, knock that out, get that done, before the Rhythm & Roots Tour starts . . . We’re blessed. We’re blessed to be working.” The group reported has some of the studio work already finished for the album but so far has announced no plans for a release date. Typically new albums debut in October of each year from mainstream artists. FoundedRead more

Top Five New Christmas Traditions of the 21st Century

Top Five New Christmas Traditions of the 21st Century

We had a big response to our recent post about dying Christmas traditions. But if Christmas has proven one thing over the centuries it has been a resilient ability to constantly evolve into ever creative new levels of celebration. For example, the Christmas tree wasn’t always a part of Christmas. While historians lay claim to the idea that pagans gave rise to the tradition long before Christianity, as this video points out the celebration of the tree as a religious symbol really pre-dates it all. Regardless, the modern Christmas tree didn’t really get its start until the mid-19th century. And it’s going strong today even if a 21st century tree looks vastly different than the Victorian era evergreen of theRead more

Five Dying Christmas Traditions

Five Dying Christmas Traditions

Once upon a time Christmas was celebrated with tinsel on trees. Tinsel is an ancient product with roots more than 400 years old where it was crafted to represent ice. Originally placed on statues and made from actual silver, tinsel has morphed over the ages to be made from other, cheaper materials. Once quite popular during the 20th century it hasn’t found a lot of love in the 21st century. In fact, it is a Christmas tradition that is dying. And the reason seems to be nothing more or less than convenience. There are so many other choices in Christmas decorating that tinsel to some seems messy – and mostly too cheap. But not all Christmas traditions are forsaken forRead more

The Story of Betelehemu

The Story of Betelehemu

Christmas is celebrated in music from all over the world, including places where you would little suspect Christmas music to be. Over the course of the past 50 years one surprising Christmas song of African origin has quietly become a staple of performing choirs every holiday season. It is called Betelehemu. As Christianity has slowly grown in Africa there came a natural blending of native elements with traditional Christian beliefs. Such is the case with the native rhythms and melodies in Betelehemu. The song is based on Yoruban (Nigerian) folk text: Awa yiori Baba gbojule We are glad we have a Father to trust Awa yiori Baba fehenti We are glad we have a Father to rely on Nibo labiRead more

The Five Greatest Moms of Christmas Movie History

The Five Greatest Moms of Christmas Movie History

Our countdown to Christmas reaches another milestone with the passage of Mother’s Day. The celebration of Mother’s Day cannot bypass the great Moms of Christmas, can it? They seem to be central to every story – whether in good or bad ways. But who are the best? After extensive review and exhaustive polling, here are the greatest Moms of Christmas movies: Doris Walker in Miracle on 34th Street She’s stylish, she’s modern, she’s hip, responsible and sensible. She is also a woman of the 1940s in what was surely a groundbreaking role for the time. Doris Walker, the pragmatic but stung-by-love Mom of Miracle on 34th Street, is played by Maureen O’Hara. Doris lives in a NYC apartment with herRead more

Making Merry — Not Money

Making Merry — Not Money

As the days slowly crawl to our October 1st gathering we are formulating all the elements that will be involved in that event. There are a lot of ideas floating around. I was approached by a…how to say this?…a vendor who wants to display Christmas wares for sale. My first inclination was to dismiss such an idea. I take a dim view, frankly, at those who profit from Christmas. Some just make my skin crawl. And I just want nothing to do with it. But in our sign up form for the event I ask for suggestions from those who are signing up about what they want to see, hear or do during our little party. And darn, don’t youRead more

Merry Podcast #51 — Christmas Toy Fads of the Early 20th Century

Merry Podcast #51 — Christmas Toy Fads of the Early 20th Century

Christmas past of more than a hundred years ago is our topic as we explore Christmas toy fads of the early 20th century in the latest episode of the Merry Podcast. Within a span of about 15 years there were many toys that reach mass market status but real appeal was, like now, what drove sales. The first was the introduction of the Teddy Bear, a soft and fuzzy toy inspired by a President and a real live bear — that he refused to shoot. It’s a great story about a timeless toy that still finds its way under Christmas trees today. Listen to hear how it all happened. This episode also gives you plenty of variety if you’re intoRead more

Almost Christmas to Release November 11th

Almost Christmas to Release November 11th

Universal Pictures announced this week the new movie previously known as A Meyers Christmas has been renamed to Almost Christmas and will be released in theaters on November 11th of this upcoming season. Danny Glover stars as the recently widowed family patriarch who invites his family home for five days of Christmas, begging them to get along. Evidently, if they can honor that Christmas wish without killing each other, it will be a miracle. Here’s the official trailer: While Almost Christmas looks almost funny we remind movie fans we have seen this tired plot before. We’re not sure why Hollywood keeps thinking that dysfunctional families make for Christmas laughs but this just looks like another version of last year’s LoveRead more