Tuesday, November 25, 2014

CD Review and Tracks from Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas

I picked up a stack of Christmas CD's at the library recently and wanted to share my thoughts. First, I'll start with the four I wasn't to impressed with. Susan Boyle: I'll Be Home for Christmas, was not one of my favorite Susan Boyle CD's. I've always been a Susan Boyles fan, but honestly nothing stuck out and I haven't listened to it again. I was really looking forward to the The Seth Mae Farlane: Holiday for Swing CD, but found it pretty average, compared to some other swing style CD's I've heard. This was the only CD in my stack, that was a new release. Again, good, but not great. The Glee Christmas Albums: Volume 2 and 3 were good compilation CD's. They have a good mix of songs and talent from the show. Volume 3, even included a Hanukkah song.

I was most curious to listen to the Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas. This one pleasantly surprised me. I wanted to go like it, but honestly thought it was going to be pretty bad. It's not going to win a Grammy, but I'd describe it as FUN. It's something different and something I think may give you a few giggles.

It's starts off with the song Ragin Cajun Rednect Christmas, sung by Willie. I'd say..its not bad and not great. The title will tell you exactly what it's about, but it was fitting that the "Commander" started off the CD. Track #2 was I'll Be Home for Christmas, sung by Missy Robertson. This one surprised me the most, because she can sing. They have several songs with guest, so when I heard this song the first time, I actually stopped to check out the credits. Track #3 is Uncle Si "singing" You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch and a perfect combo I thought. Track #4 is Christmas Cookies with Phil, Miss Kay and George Strait. It's all about the real "sugar" he gets from Miss Kay, while the cookies are in the oven. Phil doesn't really sing, he more talks his way through the song, but it's one of my favorites on the CD. Track #6 is another fitting original called Hairy Christmas, with Willie, Luke Bryan, Phil, Uncle Si, Jase and Jep. The first verse sets the tone, for an entire song about rednecks, beards, shotguns and Jesus.

"Santa's sleigh might fly right on past
With all the camouflage around this place
So, we bought every string of lights Wal-Mart had
Now he can see the house from outer space
Shot down some ducks and some mistletoe
A lot of love and a pot of gumbo"

Track #11 is The Night Before Christmas; Uncle Si Style. He reads his way through a story about Willie being all "Chubby and Plump" and bringing toys and goodies for everyone. The CD ends with Silent night sung by the entire family, Phil doing a closing prayer and Willie doing a closing statement, similar to the TV show. 

 My final thought on this CD, is how fun it would be to own a piece of cultural, Christmas memorabilia.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Dressing Your Special Man for the Christmas Season

Have a special man in your life who needs an extra push to dress up during the holidays? Are you tired of his old frumpy jeans and t-shirt? His lack of excitement and cheer? Well I've found some great options that any man would be happy to wear and in an instant...they will free their inner Santa.  Look no further then Orvis.Com  

Their catalog arrived in the mail today, announcing a new store location in the Cherry Creek mall.. I was pleasantly pleased with their very "distinguished" looking clothes for men. High end flannel, wool and leather goods. Soon my mediocre thoughts, turned to pure excitement and I knew I had to share these prized articles of clothing with my online Christmas buddies. Now, I ask, if the website is flooded with orders and you are unable to complete your order, please be persistent and check back. I'm sure, after the initial rush, the Orvis elves will catch up and be able to process your order. 

Let's start with pants first. These lovely Embroidered Holiday Bozeman Cords are amazing. Personally I'd buy the Green cords with candy canes for my husband.

If candy canes and wreaths aren't your Santa's thing, then these Tartan Trousers might be a good option. A little less subtle, yet still festive. 

Now, if you think your Santa will be a little Bah Hum Bug with either of those choices, I guess you'll need to play it safe with the Green Wellington SuperCord Pants. 

If your Santa is feeling a little casual, Tartan Shirt in Royal Stewart or Red Plaid, is perfect to keep him hip, yet comfortable. 

We all know, it can get hectic during the holiday season, so this Reversible Wool Tartan Vest is a great piece to have available for your Santa, when he needs to jump from casual to dress wear in minutes.

If it's a little chilly in the Man Cave aka: Workshop, they have a gorgeous Red Cashmere Cardigan to layer and complete the ultimate Christmas look.

I'm super excited to share these options with my husband and I thank Orvis.Com for making my holiday attire shopping so much easy this season. With my husband out of the way, I have more time to find the perfect Christmas dress for myself.

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Few Thanksgiving Videos Worth a Giggle

First, another great video from The Holderness Family. This one is a parody of the Meghan Trainor video "All About the Bass" and is called "All About the Baste". They do some great stuff and I always wonder what the kids will think 5-10 years from now when they are teens and look back. Will they rebel during their tween years? Will they want to be seen in these videos? Will they look back when they reach young "adulthood" and think..WOW I had some really cool parents? Not sure, but for right now, they sure do make me smile. 

Now, we all love animal videos and what's cuter then a hamster dressed up? Well a hamster eating a slice of Pumpkin Pie. 

Lastly, some good laughs from Jimmy Fallon. #ThanksgivingFail

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Action under the mistletoe....

What will they think of next???  In the UK, TGIF is going to use a drone to fly mistletoe around their restaurant to hover over customers as entertainment and encouragement. As Christmas gets closer, the drones will be flying in more and more restaurants around the country. They have no plans for the #Togethermas campaign here in the United States. It makes me laugh, just a little, because I see them flying over one reluctant customer and with one good SWAT that drone goes flying across the room.

Friday, October 17, 2014

2014 Christmas Stamps

I went online to buy some stamps today and they FINALLY had photos of the Rudolph Christmas stamps. I was waiting for that final release before sharing them with you. As usual, they have a variety to appeal to everyone, but if you still have a favorite from years past, you can purchase most of those from the online store. Don't procrastinate, buy early and mark one more thing off your To Do list!

 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
On the evening of December 6, 1964, families sat down to watch a new TV show for the first time: an animated special called Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It featured the voice of Burl Ives as Sam, a singing snowman, who narrates the tale of a misfit reindeer who finds his own special way to shine. The hour-long show went on to become not only the longest-running and highest-rated Christmas special in TV history, but also a beloved holiday tradition.  
Issue Date: November 6, 2014

Winter Fun
Winter days can be a wonderful time to appreciate the great outdoors with friends and loved ones. Drawing on nostalgic images of snowy childhoods, the Winter Fun stamps can be used not only to convey the joyful spirit of the holiday season and the new year, but also to send cheerful greetings for any occasion all winter long. Each stamp is sure to add a welcome splash of warmth to letters and cards during the year’s coldest months.  
Issue Date: October 23, 2014

Christmas Magi (Not available online yet to link)
The Christmas Maji Stamp celebrates the tale of the Three Wise Men from the east who came bearing gifts for Jesus. The stamp art depicts the Magi riding camels, moving through the desert at dawn, guided by a large, dazzling star.  
Issue Date: November 19, 2014

Global Silver Bells Wreath
In 2014, the U.S. Postal Service® celebrates the winter holidays internationally with a new Forever® stamp, Global Holiday: Silver Bells Wreath. This is the second issuance in the Global Holiday series.

An elegant wreath of silver bells graces this round holiday stamp. The circle of densely packed bells is arranged against a deep green background, with a rich red bow anchored at the top of the wreath. The words “Forever” and “USA” and the date “2014” surround the wreath in gray type. The word “Global” is highlighted in red at the bottom of the stamp.  

Issue Date: October 23, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Christmas From Heaven: The Candy Bomber Story

I was jumping around on YouTube today, watching various things and ended up at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir page watching various Christmas performances. Having one listed with Tom Brokaw caught my attention and I was curious. What I wasn't expecting was a full on cry fest at the end of this segment. Talk about touching and honored to have such a great man represent the United States.

Several things crossed my mind as I was watching and then pondering after the fact. First, my daughter. I knew I had to share this story with her. What a great, fun spirited thing he did. A quote in the video really touches on something I've always tried to instill in my daughter. "From Little Things, Come Big Things". With small deeds and love, people really can change the world.

Next, I realize just how much I have a fondness for Tom Brokaw. I grew up listening to him on the news, as did everyone else, but I really grew a new level of respect for him as an adult, when he authored the book "The Greatest Generation". At the time, I didn't purchase the book, but in the past year or two, I picked a copy up at the thrift store to add to my personal history collection. It's still sitting on the shelf, unread, but has now become a new priority.

When I watched the follow up interview and realized Gail Halvorsen was from Utah, my mind instantly wondered and then assumed he was a Latter Day Saint. Then I recalled that in the movie trailer for Meet The Mormons they said one of the members highlighted was a WWII vet. Sure enough, it was Mr. Halvorsen and they couldn't have picked a greater representation of what it means to be a Mormon.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. I warn you, after reading comments, apparently I wasn't the only one who cried during the last 5 minutes.

There are also various books telling the story of the Candy Bomber. Here are a few of those publications.