Santa’s journey – Royal Tank Regiment edition

It seems that, for their last PT parade before Christmas each year, the Royal Tank Regiment in the UK (the oldest tank unit in the world) stages a fun race for wannabe Santa Clauses in their makeshift sleighs.  This Christmas was no exception. Having to eat six mince pies and drink half a gallon of milk at the halfway point might be described as cruel and unusual punishment . . . Peter

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Sunday morning music

Enough with the Christmas muzak already!  Let’s have something that’s both tuneful and prayerful.  Words aren’t necessary. First, here’s Mannheim Steamroller with “Fum, Fum, Fum“.  It’s a very old tune from Catalonia in Spain.  (Lyrics at the link above.) Next, an ancient English air, “Greensleeves”, the tune of which was adapted in the 19th century to the Christmas carol “What Child Is This?“.  Lindsey Stirling does the honors. Here’s a hymn from the Orthodox Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, which was set to music by Tchaikovsky in 1878.  It’s not Christmas music, strictly speaking, but it seems to me to fit in very well with the season. 

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I think the metric system just struck again . .

I had to laugh at this report from England. A WACKY dad left his neighbours in stitches after accidentally ordering an inflatable Santa the size of his house. Matty James bought the £100 blow-up decoration off eBay thinking it would spruce up the outside of his home. But instead of the 8ft Father Christmas he was expecting the nightclub owner was left in disbelief as he began to blow up the jolly giant. . . . The supersized Santa ballooned into a 25ft accessory, towering over the neighbourhood and blocking the Southport resident’s windows. “When I woke up in the morning I

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Sunday morning music

It seems only yesterday that we celebrated Christmas . . . but another year has passed, and the liturgical calendar has rolled around yet again. I don’t know about you, but I’m heartily sick of the ghastly versions of Christmas carols one hears in every supermarket and shopping mall (and over far too many radio stations) at this time of year.  As an antidote, here’s the Choir of Kings College, Cambridge, with their “Carols from Kings” album.  The track listing (time in minutes and seconds, followed by title) is as follows: 00:00:00 Once in royal David’s city 00:04:41 Rejoice and be

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Now that’s what I call a Christmas pudding!

Readers who were raised in the grand old tradition of English christmas puddings, stuffed with fruit and nuts, infused with brandy and port, and with sixpences (yes, I remember sixpences!) in each slice, ready to break the teeth of the unwary, will be glad to know that there’s a very acceptable modern version available to US shoppers. I ordered two of them late last week, having forgotten to do so earlier in the month.  As a result, I had to order the only brand guaranteed by Amazon to arrive by Christmas eve.  That was serendipity, because they turned out to be the tastiest Christmas puddings

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Sunday morning music

In England in particular, but also elsewhere in the world on occasion, the tradition of a “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” at Christmas is well known.  I haven’t encountered it very often in the USA, but I thought my more traditionally minded readers might enjoy it:  so here’s Kings College, Cambridge, with their service from 1992.  It’s followed by a BBC documentary on the choir of Kings College.  The whole thing is about two hours long, so I suggest playing it as background theme music for the season while you’re busy with other tasks. Peter

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