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Holiday blessings

Posted: December 25th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: | No Comments »

 

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Spread the wealth.

Keep on truckin’.

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A holiday letter

Posted: December 17th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

This is my second cousin once removed, composer Cornelius Power.

Composer Cornelius Power (April 1, 1821 – July 4, 1915)

Cornelius loved writing letters, and every year at holiday time, the Power family turns to one of them in particular, which has been handed down through the generations. It is dated December 17, 1856, and I’d like to share it with you.

Greetings, Holiday People!

You’ll never guess what I’m doing right now. I am actually dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh. Contrary to expectations, I am not laughing all the way. It is far too cold here in this winter wonderland for that. As it is, I am bundled up from head to toe in warm clothing, but I think I’ll burrow down deep into the cozy quilts and blankets that my sleigh driver has so thoughtfully provided.

Sleigh driver? Ha! It is my BFF, James Lord Pierpont, the famous organist and composer and my comradely rival in all musical endeavors. James has got a thing about one-horse open sleighs. The only thing he cares more about than composing catchy songs is dashing through the snow. He is working on a new song about it now, but I can’t see it going anywhere. He calls it “Jingle Bells,” and it’s fairly simpleminded, not at all up to the high standard he set with “Ring the Bell, Fanny.”

How I long for a cup of hot cocoa! We brought a whole lake of it in a thermos, but it spilled all over the floor of the sleigh thanks to James’s erratic driving. He’s up there now on the absolute edge of his seat, cracking the whip and singing at the top of his lungs. I’m burrowing further into the blankets and quilts. It’s a well-known fact in these parts that survivors of sleigh crashes are nearly always found closest to the floor of the vehicle.

I can only imagine how wondrous one-horse sleighs will be one hundred and fifty or so years from now, but I daresay holiday wishes will have remained exactly the same. By then, no doubt poor James’s simpleminded ditty “Jingle Bells” will have been long relegated to the dustbin and some other songwriter will have come along to better describe how fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh. I am far too humble to be referring to myself, of course, although some say my sleigh song “Horsey Snow Ride” is the catchiest number they’ve ever heard.

Darn it, James! That turn was much too sharp. Ohhhhhhhh!!!!

(At this point the letter ends in a series of jagged marks.)

Of course, as history shows, Cousin Cornelius was wrong about “Jingle Bells.” James Lord Pierpont’s sleigh-ride song went on to become one of the best known and most commonly sung winter songs in the world, whereas, sadly, Cornelius’s own sleigh song “Horsey Snow Ride” has been completely ignored. But he was right about holiday wishes. They’ve remained exactly the same.

Give thanks for blessings.

Say a prayer for peace.

Give a donation where it’s needed.

Resolve to be a little more patient, a little more forgiving, and a lot more helpful.

Amen to that!

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Yadiloh greetings!

Posted: December 9th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Letters to T | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Dan’s Mom writes:

Dear T,

I would like to tell you about a fabulous new holiday celebration. It’s called Yadiloh, the Festival of Brooms and Mice, and it happens on the second Sunday of December, right before the traditional holidays begin. I had an artist friend of mine make up a card for it.

Yadiloh begins early in the morning as each and every kid in the family sweeps (or vacuums) their room and then cleans the whole house. Then, in the spirit of Yadiloh fun, they hide the broom (or vacuum).

After that, for even more fun, they sit quietly together and draw a picture of an adorable mouse. The fun doesn’t stop there! At this point, Mom or Dad takes on the role of Atnas, the Yadiloh Broom Finder. Atnas asks the kids (the Mice) where the broom (or vacuum) is. They tell him (or her), and then go outside to quietly play while Atnas takes a much-deserved Yadiloh nap.

Let’s get cracking and help make Yadiloh a part of every family’s holiday tradition! Here are a couple of rousing Yadiloh carols to get everyone in the mood.

Oh, Yadiloh!

(Sung to the tune of Oh, Tannenbaum)

Oh, Yadiloh! Oh, Yadiloh!

My favorite time of year.

Oh, Yadiloh! Oh, Yadiloh!

I’m glad you’re finally here.

I cleaned my room

and swept the house,

then hid the broom

and drew a mouse.

Oh, Yadiloh! Oh, Yadiloh!

You fill us all with cheer.

And:

Here Comes Atnas

(Sung to the tune of Here Comes Santa)

Here comes Atnas, here comes Atnas,

looking for the broom.

Here comes Atnas, here comes Atnas,

checking every room.

Searching twice and asking mice for any little clue,

Atnas knows a broom hunt is the funnest thing to do!

T replies:

Hey, Dan’s Mom. Yadiloh sounds like a real hoot, but if I didn’t know better, I’d think you made it up to get Dan to clean the house before the regular holidays begin. If so, you get credit for a very crafty plan. Let’s see if Dan (or anyone else) falls for it!

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