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The Christmas Creep Free Zone

For weeks now we’ve been receiving word – Christmas is out in many stores. Summer arts and craft festivals feature Christmas goodies, artists are recording holiday albums in studios, and later this week the world marks Leon Day – the halfway point to Christmas. Hallmark is releasing their catalog of new Christmas ornaments and the cable shopping channels are gearing up for hours and hours of “Christmas-in-July”. Christmas, it seems, …
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Five Ways to Celebrate Christmas in April

The month of April is the most anti-Christmas month of the year. There is less Christmas cheer now than at any other point on the calendar. We know. We’ve been doing Christmas year round for a quarter of a century now. We know when people are thinking Christmas and it ain’t happening much in April. Traffic to our various Christmas web sites bottoms out in April. Email, forum activity — …
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Charles Dickens Day

Today marks 322 days until Christmas leaving just 45 weeks until the big day. It is also the 204th birthday of Charles Dickens, who was born on this day in 1812. The name of Charles Dickens can hardly be said these days without thinking of Christmas. While his career spanned decades with volumes of legendary written works it is his story of A Christmas Carol that keeps his name on …
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Candlemas

There are 327 days remaining until Christmas in our countdown but on this day we actually celebrate a day reflective of the fact that Christmas was 40 days ago. This day is known as Candlemas. For many, the thinking of this day as a Christian celebration is natural as many Christian denominations mark this as the day the Christ was presented at the Temple. But it must be remembered that …
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Cary Grant Day

There are 342 days remaining in our countdown to Christmas and today we celebrate the birthday of Cary Grant. On this day in 1904 Archibald Alexander Leach was born in Horfield, Bristol, England. His life travels and work would take him to America and world fame as the debonair leading man, Cary Grant. Grant’s story is interesting. He had a tough childhood at the hands of an alcoholic father and …
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David Bowie Day

Today is David Bowie Day in our Countdown to Christmas, there are just 349 days remaining. Bowie passed away today at the age of 69. It is hard not to compare David Bowie to his Christmas duet partner, Bing Crosby today, odd as that is to say. They had nothing and everything in common all at the same time. But today is not unlike the day that Bing died: everyone …
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Elvis Presley Day

Today marks the 81st birthday of The King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. It also marks 352 days until Christmas in our countdown. Elvis needs no introduction or even explanation. He was revolutionary. Today’s youth are now so far distant from classic Christmas artists such as Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Elvis that they may be dismissive of them all as merely crooners long …
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Three Kings Day

All around the world today there are celebrations of what is known as Three Kings Day. It also marks 359 days until Christmas. The legend of the Magi is widely known but the purpose of the wise men and who they were is not entirely understood by most. It is by far one of the most sacred elements of the Christmas story. Secular historians have long tried to explain away …
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New Year, New Countdown

The art of counting down to Christmas is one that dates back hundreds of years. That is what Advent is all about. But even for those who celebrate Christmas in other ways the countdown to Christmas adds a delicious anticipation that seems to give the season it’s glow. Especially when you countdown down for far out. For us that countdown begins anew on New Year’s Day — a mere 359 …
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Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

Quick trivia question: what group has sold more Christmas albums than any other in the past 30 years? That would be Mannheim Steamroller, that improbable group of classic rock/classical/baroque combo that makes music like no other. Steamroller hung around the fringes of popular music for nearly a decade until they released their first Christmas album in 1984 titled Mannheim Steamroller Christmas. This album went platinum six times and finally launched …
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History of Where Are You Christmas

Mariah Carey was denied a 2nd smash hit of Christmas back in 2000 all because of her marital woes. Today is August 14th, 2015 and there remains just 133 days in our Countdown to Christmas and today we mark it by declaring it Where Are You Christmas Day in honor of song writer and composer James Horner, who originally penned the song as “Christmas, Why Can’t I Find You“. Co-written …
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The World’s First Christmas Movie

The world’s first Christmas movie dates back to 1898, an age well before even popular silent films shown in movie houses. Directed by George Albert Smith, a British pioneer of film making, this wonderful bit of film was considered a technological wonder of the time and to this day remains a cherished look back at Christmas in time: While it is a first among Christmas films it is also a …
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Blake and Miranda Go Home for Christmas

One of last year’s biggest Christmas television specials was Blake Shelton’s Not-So-Family Christmas. It was seen by millions but who knew then what we know now of the soap opera that has become Blake and Miranda? On day #135 of the Countdown to Christmas we take a wistful look back at not only a year ago knowing that Home for Christmas this year for these two will be…apart: All that …
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Who is the best Jacob Marley?

Whether you read the book or simply watch A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens every Christmas there is no getting around the point that likely the juiciest role in the whole story is that of Jacob Marley. Think about it — he’s a mournful, lost, tortured soul suffering through the depths of hell that has come back to torment his former partner and friend. How can any actor resist such …