Posts Tagged 'holidays'

Music Monday: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve

Trans-Siberian Orchestra is, by a landslide, my favourite Christmas music; that is no secret, especially to people who have been visiting here for more than one December past. I pull out their albums as soon as Advent kicks in (15 November, for us Orthodox weirdos) and play them on a loop until the New Year. Which makes for some phenomenal scrobble counts – you’ll see next week, in the roundup.

Which was why I was overjoyed at the release of The Ghosts of Christmas Eve a few weeks ago. Nothing new on there, but hey, another lineup for (some of) the old favourites. The album deviates in a couple of points from the set played in the film: I assume that contractual obstacles forced TSO to omit Jewel’s rendition of ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ and Michael Crawford’s ‘O Holy Night’, replacing them with ‘Christmas Dreams’ and ‘What Child Is This?’, both from The Lost Christmas Eve, which hadn’t come out at the time of the original film. So the playlist is a tad more balanced, which is good news.

The film, in its entirety, is below. Do save up 46 minutes for it. It’s a misty-eyed affair from start to finish, at least for the fanboy and fangirl in this household.

Music Monday: December roundup

The only surprising thing here is the fact that Loreena McKennitt didn’t make it into the top 3, despite A Midwinter Night’s Dream being perhaps my single favourite holiday themed album ever. (She’s only a few plays behind, but behind she is.) TSO getting more play than anyone else on my top 10 list together is no surprise whatsoever.

1. Trans-Siberian Orchestra (431)
2. Nox Arcana (63)
3. Anonymous 4 (61)

Selfish Saturday: Closed for summer

backsoonAnother year of this self-created tradition: there will be no original waffling during August. Priorities have shifted towards family time, outdoor pursuits (as far as Great British Summer weather will allow) and reading the words of others without relaying them. There will be DailyOM snippets for those who bother to drop by, and before you know it, September will be here and regular activity will resume. Until then, enjoy!

Selfish Saturday: (Some) missions accomplished

Keep+Calm+and+Cross+It+OffSchool’s out. No more keeping up with arrangements for the young one. At least for six weeks. Now I just have to survive these six weeks with next-to-zero privacy…

The dental appointment was kept, the tooth was pulled. It was surprisingly quick and struggle-free. I’m still getting used to the gap, but I’m almost back to normal, less than three days after.

The NaNo project is completed and validated. The sequel went so well, I actually have ideas for two more. I’m beginning to understand how pro writers create book series… I think.

There is work to be done around the house, but not as much as I anticipated, since the inspection I dreaded is not going to happen when we thought. That means there will be time to lounge about as well. Thank goodness for small favours.

My library sent me, together with the monthly newsletter, a list of about 20 books that can be read in a day. Some judicious searching discovered 11 of them among my Kindle stash. Let’s see how many I’ll be able to get through until school resumes. I find the new Kindle (Fire) reader feature that calculates the time left in the chapter and/or the entire book, based on one’s reading speed, an incredibly useful tool in that. This five-year owner still doesn’t grok locations!

Music Monday: Festive jukebox III

It’s the last Monday before Christmas! and next week I will be reviewing not only the month of December but also the entire past year. It’s going to be interesting.

The pieces I’ve chosen for this jukebox instalment have been regulars for several years. It’s incredibly hard to pick just one Trans-Siberian Orchestra song, as their works need to be enjoyed in their entirety for the full effect… but ‘An Angel Came Down’ was where it all began, 18 years ago, and ‘Anno Domine’ is, for all intents and purposes, a rock carol just right for belting out after a few drinks.

Hayley Westenra contributes the only version of ‘Carol of the Bells’ with words that I really like (apart from an anonymous choir that can be heard on a certain seasonal advert and makes me shiver but can’t be traced). ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’ is another favourite, and Katherine Jenkins’ slower take makes it both intimate and stately, a mini-candlelit service for the listener alone. ‘Christmas at Sea’ brings tears to my eyes just by reading the poem; Sting and Mary McMaster keep it spare and grim, to haunting effect.

Merry Christmas, everyone!


Month at a Glance

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