I used to have a tradition of posting this every year. I didn’t last year, for whatever reason. In a completely unrelated sequence of events, 2007 ended up being one of the Worst Years EVER. So, just in case, I’m getting back in the habit of posting this again!

A few years ago, somebody asked me why Christmas was my favorite holiday, which struck him as odd for a pagan. I posted the following quote from Dickens, which sums up my feelings towards the season nicely….and I’ve posted it to my blog/journal every year since:

“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,” returned the nephew: “Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”

Sure, that’s the ideal, and sure, it seldom ever lives up to that. But still–that’s worth something, I think.

Gods, Goddesses, Household Dieties and Genii Loci Bless Us, Everyone.

Snowpocalypse Deferred

So the big-ass snowstorm that they warned us about last weekend? The one that had everyone running around freaking out because it was going to pound us into oblivion? We got an inch and a half.

Today? When we were told that precipitation would start as rain, before changing over to snow right at the end for a “bit of a dusting, with little to no accumulation expected”….?

Yeah. Constant blowing-down snow since about 10 a.m., no rain at all. Still going strong, over 3 hours later. Even had thunder and lightning. They’re guesstimating that we’re going to get 5 to 7 inches.

Gotta love Kansas.

Friday Music

It’s the last Friday Music before Christmas, and so I’ve got a special holiday mix for you. You’ve got a choice — you can download the individual tracks linked below, or simply click the cover image to download a zipped collection of the whole mix, ready to go:

The tracks, in order:

My favorite Christmas song this year — a surfed-up version of a Christmas classic, adding influences from “Pipeline” and “Runaway”, performed by men in Luchador masks. Can’t go wrong there…. Los Straitjackets – “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

According to a recent post by , this is one of the differences between UK and US Christmases — this song is *everywhere* over there: Slade – “Merry Xmas Everybody.”

A bit of Louis Armstrong hipster chic to give the collection a name: Louis Armstrong – “Cool Yule.”

A wickedly funny mash-up, combining Black Sabbath and Dean Martin: ToToM – “Rudolph the Paranoid Reindeer.”

A folksy story-song of different sides of a family coming together for the holidays. I’ve been there, and I’m sure a bunch of you have as well. Dar Williams – “The Christians & The Pagans.”

Some classic early-70s soul. You can probably still hear this on some so-called “urban” stations during the season, or maybe in a K-Tel “Funky Christmas” collection, but I think it deserves wider exposure: Donny Hathaway – “This Christmas.”

One of my favorite Christmas songs, of all time, in the history of Ever. ‘Nuff said. The Kinks – “Father Christmas.”

The cheese-tastic Christmas Single from Bill Nighy’s aging-rockstar character, Billy Mack, in the film “Love, Actually.” loves this one…Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) – “Christmas is All Around.”

Howsabout a tongue-in-cheek Muder Ballad for Christmas? Angry Johnny and The Killbillies – “6 Bullets for Christmas.”

And lastly, a cover of a sugary-sweet Wham! Christmas single, done by Billie Piper when she was in her teenage pop siren phase. Sit back and imagine Rose (or perhaps Belle Du Jour) singing this one: Billie Piper – “Last Christmas.”

There you go, kids. Merry Christmas.