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A Jewish Boy's Christmas Dilemna


ira

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I have ALWAYS loved Christmas!

Of course Christmas is much more prevalent than Chanukah in our country...But even still....There are so many things I enjoy about the holiday season!

A)-The Music.."Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree","Felice Navedad","And So This Is Christmas","Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time",...Even The Royal Guardsmen's "Snoopy's Christmas"..("When The Baron Cried Out Merry Christmas Mein Friend"...Great Stuff!)

B)-Movies.."A Christmas Story",}"Miracle On 34th Street"-WOO!

C)-TV-"A Charlie Brown Christmas"."Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer"!

Anyway...What are some of your favorite things about Christmas?

Family memories and traditions recalled are welcome...But please include favorite Chritmas songs, shows and movies.

Merry Christmas and Shalom! santa -Ira.

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I'm a born and bred Chicago girl listening to Chicago radio. Needless to say my kids are, too. One of the GREAT entrances to the Christmas season here is hearing Dick Biondi do his Toy Drive over the radio each year. I finally got to go to my first the other night and meet Dick Biondi!!! spin What a warm, caring, kind gentleman!!! Certainly a highlight when he gave my grandson (age 4) a station tee and a dollar bill for donating toys. My daughter told him he didn't need to do that and he grabbed her by the shoulders and said, "When I was that age someone gave me a dollar bill AND I REMEMBERED IT FOREVER!!!" ROFLOL

"White Christmas" is the next on the agenda. I just love that movie as it ushers in many of the best qualities of the season. happy There's also another movie I love but can't find (is seldom shown) called "The Gift of Love". Very simple and predictable but heartfelt just the same.

A relatively new tradition here is the Ides of March performing a Christmas mass at Holy Name Cathedral downtown. I made mention at one point to Jay52 last year that I was too ill to make the show the year before but he was there and told me all about it. Then, in the middle of the Cleveland meet and greet, he walks up and hand-delivers his copy of their Christmas CD to me so that I could hear it! I was so touched by this gesture I just can't put it into words! heartpump We listened to it on the drive back home. I'm finally recovering and praying that I'll be able to get to see it this year! We're seeing their Christmas show this Saturday.

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A Christmas Story movie is a MUST every year - I almost bought my brother the Leg Lamp last year ahahahha...... my favorite line from the movie "Randy lay there like a slug! It was his only defense!"

A Charlie Brown Christmas is also a must in my house.

Of Course it IS a Requirement in the House that Phil Spector's A Christmas Album CD is played at least 20 times a day......

My favorite funny Christmas memories are actually on a video from 1990 - when my parents, my brother and my grandparents and cousins were over - it reminds me of a Monty Python sketch or an Uncle Floyd episode (for those of you from NJ who remember)... everytime I watch it I end up crying from laughing so hard - I never thought our family was particulary humorous until that Christmas - everyone was a ham and doing silly things. Of course my dad and my grandparents are gone now so it's pretty quiet around here on Christmas just mom and I.

I have a favorite photograph of Christmas as well - I believe the year was around 1965-66 - my brother had gotten his first tape recorder but what's really funny about it now is my parents bought him the board game FINANCE .... and he's NEVER been able to control his spending or budgets EVER lol.

Childhood Christmases were always fun. Also I can remember singing the Draidel song when I was little wink

Oh and the Cyril Stapleton Children's Christmas Choir album - I still have that as well - worn out to the grooves.

And when it snowed around Christmas in NJ was always fun - being bundled up like Randy and told to go out and play when you could not even move ahahahha.

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Alot of Christmas songs are still very hard for me to listen to. I lost my Mother on Dec 23rd 1979...I am finally coming out, and starting to listen; with a different perspective, however, there are a few that still make me cry....My Fav's are:Carole Of the Bells, and of course, "And So This Is Christmas"....

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One of my best memories is going to midnight mass with my next door neighbors. I was about 10 years old and completely immersed in the spirit of the evening. It was a huge church and everything was decorated so beautifully. My Jewish parents were thrilled for me to have this experience, and they were believers in understanding and respecting other religions. Since I didn't go to Hebrew school or study for a Bat Mitzvah when I was young, this is one of the first religious experiences I had (other than going to Synagogue on the High Holidays once or twice). St Gerards was a Catholic church and school in Detroit, where I eventually spent a great deal of time, learned to play baseball with the nuns, and was always welcome.

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Danny..thank you for sharing with us. Those tears are tributes to your mom...and isn't it bittersweet to have music connect you emotionally.

It makes all the sense in the world that these songs move a creative musician like you to that space where the memory of your mom resides.

She'd be proud.

John

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I have Christmas memories of a special Jewish friend...My father's family was pure German Lutheran...and somewhere back in the 1940's in the time of WWII they became close friends with one of the few Jewish families in the area...

Years later all of my Grandfather's grandchildren...including me...would get a box of the finest Mavrokos Christmas candy every year from the Jewish family's eldest member...The candy came from a man named Joe who lived in retirement in a cottage by a pond on my Grandfather's farm...He was one of the sweetest and kindest men i ever knew...He's been gone a long time now...But i still remember the sweet treats Joe Shulman sent to us kids when we were little.

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Hey Ira

You're welcome to some egg nogg at my homestead any Christmas. Afterall it's Christmas with short sleeves down here!

Favorite Songs......Johnny Mathis Christmas Album, Nat King Cole, Phil Spector, etc....

the hustle and bustle, especially in NYC from Thanksgiving through Christmas can not be beat

the feast on Christmas Eve, followed by caroling throughout the neighborhood (yes we even did that in Brooklyn)

oh man Ira...just too many favorites my friend!

John

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Kathy Lee

Dick Biondi is still on 104.3? I lived in Arlington Heights for several years and it wasn't the holidays without listening to him.

And for everyone else, there is a Christmas movie "Holiday Affair" that is a huge favorite in our house. The version with Janet Leigh. Not the new one. Peanut8

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Alot of Christmas songs are still very hard for me to listen to. I lost my Mother on Dec 23rd 1979...I am finally coming out, and starting to listen; with a different perspective, however, there are a few that still make me cry....My Fav's are:Carole Of the Bells, and of course, "And So This Is Christmas"....

I know EXACTLY what you mean Danny. My dad passed away on the 26th morning (1:00am), basically Christmas Day. Although it's now 30 years ago, Christmas has NEVER been the same for my mom.
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WOW!...That's what I love about this site...So much sharing our common loves and passions.

Remember the famous Biblical Quote from Genesis...I think...

"Life is much too short,

And there's no ti-yi-yi-yi-yi yime,

For fussing and fighting my friend". smart -Ira.

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One of my favorite memories was attending one of my sisters Christmas school assembly programs. My Mom and I sat in the center of this beautiful school auditorium...I was probably about 6 years old and all the students walked down the darkened aisles holding flashlites with colored cellopahne ( sp, I'm sure) pointed toward the ceiling. The colors were beautiful, and the songs were gorgeous to my very young Jewish ears.

I'll never forget that day.

My family and I lived in a 3 flat Chicago apt building and we lived on the 3rd floor for many many years. As a child, I loved sitting on the radiator by the windows covered in frost and staring at the beautiful Christmas lights decorating all the other apt windows across and down below.

These days, my Mom is fading quickly in a nursing home and my Dad passed away over 20 years ago.

Sometimes, I wish I could just close my eyes for a moment and open them up in 1962 just one more time.

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My fave memory was Christmas of 1976 when, I got my first Monkees album (even though I loved them since I was tiny. Here’s the pic below from my myspace blog):

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e323/0566/monkees_1976.jpg

...my first pair of ice skates (my Daddy taught me how to skate the next day on Crystal Lake Pond, in Haddon Twp. NJ) and it must have been just before midnight that it snowed. My sister, one of my brothers, my Daddy, my Mom and our German Shepherd, Max all ran outside and played in it. We hadn’t seen snow in years since I was newly transplanted from San Antonio, TX and being little in Warminster, PA was but a distant memory.

Now for traditions. My family being of the Lithuanian persuasion, celebrated Christmas with relatives, but Christmas Eve was done in a big way. It’s called Kucios. Basically (I edited this from the net):

heartpump

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