Tag Archives: Christmas

Merry Hanukkamas and Happy Christnukkah!

Hanukkah and Christmas overlap this year, and they won’t again until 2027, so let’s celebrate all that unites us.

 

I wish for you and your families a Merry Hanukkamas and a Happy Christnukkah!

 

merry christmas 2016

hanukkah 2016

 

 

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Merry Christmas from Toronto and its Many Santas

Merry Christmas!

I didn’t intend to blog today but wanted to share this video from a couple of nights ago. In midtown Toronto, many neighbours of Inglewood Drive do something unique for the holidays. This year, forty-five of them have installed giant-sized, inflatable Santa Clauses on their front lawns. Each measure over fourteen feet, and they’re quite the sight!

Accompanied by an upbeat song, “Birdman” by John Beadle, I hope you enjoy the video … and have a wonderful Christmas day!

~ eden 

 

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Music Monday with Bill Withers

It’s Monday.

Tomorrow night Hannukah begins.

In less than two weeks Christmas arrives.

No matter how busy, frazzled, or rushed you feel, don’t forget to breathe and enjoy this special time. Here’s Bill Withers and one of my favorite songs.

Have a lovely day and a lovely week,

~ eden

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Author @JustinBog releases HARK in time for #Christmas

It’s December! And one of my favorite writers, Justin Bog, has just released HARK, an anthology of six Christmas stories. It’s a stellar collection from one of America’s best short story authors.

For 10 lucky residents of the US, Justin is giving away copies of his paperback via Goodreads until Dec 14th. Enter to win, easy to do.

hark goodreads

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I encourage you to read my 5-star review and grab your copy!

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 HARK will touch your mind and your heart

HARK brings us six wonderful stories that occur at Christmastime. Unlike many books about this time of year, Mr. Bog’s collection pays tribute to the season without being melodramatic or candy-cane sweet.

In the lead-off story, “Hark,” a police officer replays an event that changed his life forever. Just as Christmas marks time each year, so do the memories and consequences of his tragedy. “Hark” is a strong lesson in our inability to change the past, to live in the present, and to hope for a better future.

If you are in the mood for a romantic-comedy, you will love “Seducing Santa.” It is whimsical and tongue-in-cheek, but it conjures the magical spirit of the season.

“Bracelet” in its simplicity brings to mind “The Gift of the Maji” by O. Henry. The ebb and flow of the story will cradle you like a warm ocean tide. The ending is picture-perfect with a delightful twist.

“Everyone Wants Me To” is the longest story in the collection with a similar theme to “Hark.” It’s about the intersection and merging of lives and the effects of these meetings. The story begins with Arlene as a young girl and finishes with her much later in life. It’s an incredibly ambitious tale, not easily told in a short story format, yet, Mr. Bog does it brilliantly. The use of several points of view and a seamless movement from first to third person narration adds layers upon layers of complexity. It is a cautionary tale about how adults deliver love and hate during the formative years of a child. Though it would be an over-simplification to say that negativity and abandonment begets a miserable life, I can fairly say that one is certainly at a disadvantage. Allegorical in its telling, “Everyone Wants Me To” reminds us of blessings we might otherwise take for granted.

My favorite story of the collection is “Snow Globe,” which takes place at a posh Christmas party. The atmosphere is festive; the conversations clipped and pretentious, as conversations tend to be at parties. I enjoyed the diversity of the guests—gay, straight, men, women, all intermingling at what is supposed to be a joyous occasion, yet, there is tension dripping out of champagne bottles. Despite all good intentions, one guest decides to speak his unpleasant truth. It’s an accurate study of human motivation, especially when confined in a pressure-cooker environment.

In “The Heralds,” the story that completes the collection, Kenneth Herald is battling a life-and-death illness. He and his wife discover a shocking truth right before Christmas and what they do is completely unexpected.

I compare the flow of these stories to that of a jazz song. They are delivered in slow, crisp tones. The notes hit the mark and draw in the reader. Like a ‘seasoned’ jazz singer though, Mr. Bog knows that too many trills or too much scat singing can rob a song of its essence, even if it may impress initially.

As such, HARK is a true lesson in storytelling restraint. Each tale, including the bonus “Poseidon Eyes” provides a window into the lives of people we know. They are not Christmas caricatures; their lives are not always extraordinary. They are pieces of you and me, and their stories will touch you whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

Hark

Buy the e-book from: Amazon worldwide

Buy the print version on Amazon

From the back cover:

A beautifully written collection of short stories from critically acclaimed Pacific Northwest writer Justin Bog, Hark explores the range of emotions surrounding the holidays.  From melancholy to madness, loss and despair to hope and forgiveness, these six tales shimmer with feelings, some we’d rather stuff away, that Christmas can evoke.

Spanning from Anacortes, Washington, to Ann Arbor, Michigan and Sun Valley, Idaho, each tale is woven of people who struggle to make good choices, learn lessons, and maybe even find peace.

A bonus story, Poseidon Eyes, from the upcoming  Sandcastle and Other Stories–The Complete Edition, is included.

flourish

Find Justin at all his virtual homes

 Justin bog head shot

Website and Blog | Twitter @justinbog | Facebook

Google + | Linkedin |  Goodreads

Amazon USUK

Justin was originally interviewed June 2012.

Justin Bog lives in the Pacific Northwest on Fidalgo Island. Justin was Editor and Pop Culture Correspondent for In Classic Style. He is an experimental cook, a lawn mower, and master to two long coat German shepherds, Zippy and Kipling, and two barn cats, Ajax The Gray and Eartha Kitt’n.

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Christmas Eve – Cs and Seizures

This blog is unscheduled, off the cuff, and it’s going to be a hodge podge of stuff, so bear with me. It’s yearend, Christmas, and nobody’s going to read this anyway – but what the heck?

Firstly, an update to my post of earlier this week called “Stories from a Holiday Heart.” The publication of the book has been seized. I know that sounds severe, but I’m just playing with words. Actually, our delightful editor, R. Jeffreys is looking for a different publisher at the moment, so I will let you know when it is available again. Though disappointed it will not be available for the holidays, I appreciate your continued support of my writing endeavours.

Early in December, I sent out five parcels to the United Kingdom – Christmas gifts for friends. I am almost certain at this moment they’ve been seized by the Royal Mail system. They were all sent at the same time, and only one of them got through. My tiny “Eden’s Edibles” are probably in the “seized overseas” parcels department. Bah!

Jan 1, 2012 UPDATE

As of December 31st, the last of my five parcels arrived at its U.K. destination. I’m eating crow, and the recipients are eating my cookies! I extend my sincere apologies to the Royal Mail system. 🙂

Shortbread cookies

“C” is for Christmas, something I now celebrate after not doing so for many years. I used to observe Hannukah because of the significant person in my life at the time. Now, I am happy to return to Christmas — tree, gifts, lights. The one constant, however, (that’s another “c”) is family and friends. Christmas has never been a religious event for me, but it’s always involved the people I care about, plenty of food, fun, conversation and laughter. No matter how you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and my best to you for 2012.

eden

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Christmas Humor

There was a man who worked for the Post Office whose job was to process all the mail that had illegible addresses.

One day, a letter came addressed in shaky handwriting to God with no actual address. He thought he should open it to see what it was about.

The letter read:

Dear God,

I am an 83 year old widow, living on a very small pension. Yesterday someone stole my purse. It had $100 in it, which was all the money I had until my next pension payment.

Next Sunday is Christmas, and I had invited two of my friends over for dinner. Without that money, I have nothing to buy food with, have no family to turn to, and you are my only hope. Can you please help me?

Sincerely, Edna

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The postal worker was touched. He showed the letter to all the other workers. Each one dug into his or her wallet and came up with a few dollars. By the time he made the rounds, he had collected $96, which they put into an envelope and sent to the woman. The rest of the day, all the workers felt a warm glow thinking of Edna and the dinner she would be able to share with her friends.

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Christmas came and went. A few days later, another letter came from the same old lady to God. All the workers gathered around while the letter was opened. It read:

Dear God,

How can I ever thank you enough for what you did for me?

Because of your gift of love, I was able to fix a glorious dinner for my friends. We had a very nice day and I told my friends of your wonderful gift.

By the way, there was $4 missing. I think it might have been those bastards at the post office.

Sincerely, Edna

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When making out your Christmas list, don’t forget your friendly postal worker!

Stay sexy,

Eden

 

 

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