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We wish you all health, happiness and prosperity in 2017, the TET Lunar Year of the Rooster, and the Year of APEC 2017 in Vietnam !
Read more about this holiday …
A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, Dec 19, 1843, London
First published on December 19, 1843 and illustrated by John Leech, the story met with instant success, selling six thousand copies within a week. The tale has become one of the most popular and enduring Christmas stories of all time. In fact, contemporaries noted that the story’s popularity played a critical role in redefining the importance of Christmas and the major sentiments associated with the holiday. Few modern readers realise that A Christmas Carol was written during a time of decline in the old Christmas traditions. “If Christmas, with its ancient and hospitable customs, its social and charitable observances, were in danger of decay, this is the book that would give them a new lease,” said English poet Thomas Hood in his review in Hood’s Magazine and Comic Review (January 1844, page 68).
A Visit from St Nicholas, by Clement Clarke Moore, Dec 23, 1823, Troy, NY.
The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, also known as “The Night Before Christmas” from its first line, was first published in 1823. It is largely responsible for the contemporary American conception of Santa Claus. This includes his appearance, the night he visits, his method of transportation, the number and names of his reindeer, and that he brings toys to children. Prior to the poem, American ideas about St. Nicholas and other Christmastide visitors varied considerably. Click this link to see where Santa is on his travels around the world.
The Twelve Days of Christmas, c. 1500-1600, London
These are the twelve days beginning on night of the 25th of December and ending on the morning of January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany. In the Middle Ages this period was one of continuous feasting and merrymaking, which climaxed on Twelfth Night, the traditional end of the Christmas season.
Today, some celebrants give gifts each of the twelve days, feast and otherwise celebrate. Some still celebrate Twelfth Night as the biggest night for parties and gift-giving. Epiphany morning is then the traditional time to take down the Christmas tree and decorations.
The Nativity Story, by St. Luke, c. 60-100, Bethlehem
“Modern people have a very reduced sense of what truth is. Modern people like things to be empirically ‘just so.’ And that’s not the way ancient people looked at the truth. What was more important is the message of God loving the humble and the poor especially, and working for the redemption of humanity … .”
Listen to Christmas music …
… click the below links to open the web pages and then click on the “Listen” buttons. Requires RealPlayer, and/or iTunes. Click here to dowload Realplayer for Mac OS, or click here to download RealPlayer for Windows.
Christmas Memories with Marian McPartland
Marian McPartland celebrates the holidays with a special hour of her favorite holiday music and memories. McPartland and several of her Piano Jazz guests perform traditional Christmas songs, as well as more modern works that celebrate the season. Listeners are in for a special gift when McPartland shares classic Christmas tales by Dylan Thomas and O. Henry, set to an improvised musical score by the jazz legend.
Posted: Dec 23, 2013; Updated: Dec 21, 2014, 2015