Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Category: Music (page 1 of 7)

Announcing the 11th Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert!

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 In 2006, when this annual concert started, it was a celebration of the  internet.    Blogging was an avenue for the sharing of personal stories.   Even if you lived in the most isolated rural town in Alaska, you found yourself, through online storytelling, befriending black bloggers in Baltimore, gay bloggers in Los Angeles, and Jewish bloggers in New York.   Christmahanukwanzaakah  was our buzzword for our changing world — one of inclusion, diversity, and empathy.

We were naive.   As our virtual world grew, the problems of the real world flooded in, and eleven years later, when we thing of the internet, we think of the worst aspects of society — the  hate, bigotry, and trolling.  

In 2008, we voted in Barack Obama, the first African-American president.   In 2016, we voted in Donald Trump.

This year’s concert is not just a celebration of the season, but an affirmation of the moral underpinning that connects all religions and creeds –

‘Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.’

Yes, we love to share our stories and photos with our friends, but we also need to remember to protect each other, speak up against the bigotry that poisons our nation, and make a difference, no matter how small.    

Especially now.  

This year, for the first time, I will be asking for  small  donations, both from concert  participants and viewers, for “Being Black at School,”  a brand-new national nonprofit advocacy organization focused on addressing the complexities of being a Black student in the American education system.

I wanted to end the concert last year because I thought we all had enough of “blogging” as we knew it.   We had moved on to more practical ways to connect with others.   But I get a feeling that we all could use a bit of love, joy, and community this year.   And singing.  

Here are the past blockbuster concerts —

2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012 2013  2014  2015

This year’s concert will take place on Tuesday, December 20, 2016  right here online.

It is time to hear YOU PERFORM!   YOU are the CONCERT.  That gives you about a month to work your magic.

Interested?  Sign up in the comment to perform.    You don’t necessarily need a traditional blog to participate, but at least have an online presence in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or Snapchat.   Be part of this long-running tradition!

Concert FAQ:

1.  Create a video (or audio) file of you performing a holiday song.  If you need technical help, ask me.

2.  You must be performing in the audio or video.   Don’t cheat and have your cute kids doing all the work.

3.  You can sing, play an instrument, recite poetry, dance the Nutcracker, or write a symphony.

4.  Once completed, post the video on a place like YouTube and send me the link. Or just send me the file via Dropbox or email, and I will post it on YouTube.   Try to get me all files and links by Monday, December 19, 2016, the day before the concert!  That gives you plenty of time to be creative.

5.  If you are too afraid to sing a song, send me a holiday photo to decorate the concert page.  It could be of your tree, menorah, or plain ol’ winter solstice if you are a heathen.

6.  The comment section is the sign-up sheet.    By signing up, we can see who is performing what, so we can avoid having ten versions of “Jingle Bells.”

7.  Most importantly — don’t be intimidated if you can’t sing.    We like to laugh at you.

Join us in the longest-running holiday concert online — The Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert, in it’s ELEVENTH blockbuster performance!

Skating by Vince Guaraldi performed by Angela Reiner Downing of Fluid Pudding

The Tenth Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert

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Welcome to the The 2015 Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert! It is my honor to be with you here for the TENTH year of this concert.

Ten years!  Can you believe it?  Who knew that so many bloggers were also such talented singers and musicians?  And some even brave enough to sing so poorly?  I’m proud that we kept this concert running for ten years, and embraced the concept of diversity long before it was a social media trend.

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Munich’s Traditional Gay Christmas Market photographed by Marty of Deutschland uber Elvis

It’s been a fun run.   I’ve met some cool people during these concerts.  One year we  attracted an audience large enough to fill Radio City Music Hall!  I even turned down two offers of concert monetization; it just seemed wrong.   Commerce and Commercialization have absolutely nothing to do with the Holiday Season, right?  I know it sounds corny  because it is such a cliche,  but the concert was always about the community.

Jeez, that did sound corny.

Eh, what the hell.  It’s the holidays.  Embrace the corny.   So, to paraphrase Tiny Tim in the politically-correct version of “A Christmas Carol” – “A Merry Christmahanukwanzaakah to us all; God bless us, every one!”

Here are a few of the performers from the last decade who brought a little bit of joy each year:

Thanks again, and may we all be happy, healthy, and creatively productive in 2016!

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First Concert Poster, 2006, of Jamelah

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Holiday “Hamilton” performed  by Jenny of Oh Jenny Mae

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Second Concert Poster, 2007

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Silver Bells performed by Elizabeth Robinson  (Kizz) of  117 Hudson and Sara Stopek

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Third Concert Poster, 2008

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Cool Yule performed by Elly Lonon of BugginWorld

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Fourth Concert Poster, 2009

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Holiday Imagining by Angela of Fluid Pudding

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Poster 5

Fifth Concert Poster, 2010

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Little Toy Trains performed  by Marty Long of Marty Suttle Long

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Concert 6

Sixth Concert Poster, 2011

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Wouldn’t it Be Loverly? performed by Danny Miller of Jew Eat Yet and his son, Charlie Miller

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Poster 7

Seventh Concert Poster, 2012

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Away in a Manger performed by Kristen Howerton of Rage Against the Minivan with Beer and Hymns members Chad Markley and Lauren Francis

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Concert 8

Eighth Concert Poster, 2013

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I Love New York at Christmas Time performed by Neil of Citizen of the Month and Jana of Jana’s Thinking Place

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Con cert 9

Ninth Concert Poster, 2014

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It’s The Time of Year performed by Noel Katz of There’s Gotta Be a Song, with help with his family.

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Concert 10

Tenth Concert Poster, 2015

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Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabel by Sister Becky Swanson and Delaney

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menorah

photo by Tabatha at So Tabulous

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Ner Li performed by Tamar of Mining Nuggets

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pissing

pissing boy ornament photo by Veronica

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Can I Interest You in Hanukkah by Bonnie of Theoryblog at Crib Chronicles with Oscar and Posey

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photo by Alejna from Collecting Tokens

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Ava Maria performed by Cindy Louise Allen

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joy

photo by Annette Kiesow

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Jingle Bell Rock performed by Ellen Bloom, from the first concert in 2006

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Thank you for another year of online friendship, debate, drama, following, unfollowing, Tinder dating stories, laughter, and comfort during times of sadness.

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Here are the past blockbuster concerts —

2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012 2013 2014

Come Ye and Sign Up for the 10TH and FINAL Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert!

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Outraged over this year’s Starbucks red cups not being Christmasy enough?

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There is one institution that never fails to produce the holiday spirit — yes,  it is time for the official announcement of the Tenth Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert, all new, all exciting for 2015!

The Last Concert.

TEN years!  Can you believe it?  This is going to be the blockbuster concert we have been waiting for!

Here are the past blockbuster concerts —

2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012 2013  2014

This year’s concert will take place on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 right here on this blog.

It is time to hear YOU PERFORM!   YOU are the CONCERT.  That gives you about a month to work your magic.

Interested?  Sign up in the comment to perform.    Bloggers past, present, and future are all welcome.   It would be a special honor to have former performers return one more time.   Be part of this long-running tradition!

Concert FAQ:

1.  Create a video (or audio) file of you performing a holiday song.  If you need technical help, ask me.

2.  You must be performing in the audio or video.   Don’t cheat and have your cute kids doing all the work.

3.  You can sing, play an instrument, recite poetry, dance the Nutcracker, or write a symphony.

4.  Once completed, post the video on a place like YouTube and send me the link. Or just send me the file via Dropbox or email, and I will post it on YouTube.   Try to get me all files and links by Monday, December 14, 2015, two days before the concert!  That gives you plenty of time to be creative.

5.  If you are too wimpy to sing a song, send me a holiday photo for concert decoration.  It could be of your tree, menorah, or plain ol’ winter solstice if you are a heathen.

6.  The comment section is the sign-up sheet.    By signing up, we can see who is performing what, so we can avoid having ten versions of “Jingle Bells.”

7.  Most importantly — don’t be intimidated if you can’t sing.    We like to laugh at you.

Join us in the longest-running holiday concert online — The Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert, in it’s TENTH and FINAL blockbuster performance!

Skating by Vince Guaraldi performed by Angela Reiner Downing of Fluid Pudding

Flushing, the Song

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Justin Giarrusso, a composer, recently wrote a choral piece about the five boroughs of New York City titled “Five Boroughs, One City.”   For the Queens section of the piece, he used a poem I wrote on Citizen of the Month in 2008 as his inspiration.

Yay, Queens!

The piece can be heard here

Flushing Poem

“Last stop! Last stop!”
Flushing, what a name!
Tiny women talking
Mandarin in the rain
Alone, I walk by
A mural, Chinese art
A cafe, a hooker
A rusty shopping cart
The downpour, the rushing
The garbage in the street
The yearning, the craving
The summer New York heat.

The Ninth Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert — LIVE!

The Joy In Her Heart Overflowed And Colored All She Saw
photo by Lotus Carroll of Lotus Carroll

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Welcome to the The 2014 Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert! It is my honor to be with you here for the eighth year of this concert. Thank you for keeping this blogging tradition alive. May we all be happy, healthy, and creatively productive in 2015!

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Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit (Christmas Has Arrived) performed by Nenette Alejandria Mayor of Life Candy and her daughter, Miranda.

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Joy the the World performed by Kristen Howerton from Rage Against the Minivan, Chad Markley from California Loves Culture and Lauren Francis from Beer and Hymns Orange County singing Joy To The World.

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Snow Day performed by Mary Long of Marty Suttle Long and Kevin Long

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gingerbread
photo by Veronica McCabe Deschambault

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God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and The First Noel performed by Laurie LaGrone of Foolery and Mac Caywood of the Orland Federated Church Jubilee Bell Choir

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Happy Christmahanukakwanzaakah performed by Leah, the daughter of Louise Gleeson of Late Night Plays

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noteSanta Baby performed by Anne Riotto

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White Winter Hymnal performed by Jenny of Oh Jenny Mae and her daughter Molly.

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merry
photo by Jennifer Gosden

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Petit Papa Noel performed by Oscar and Posey, the children of Bon Stewart of The Theory Blog

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Hanukkah at Christmas performed by Tamar Jacobson of Mined Nuggets

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Interrupting Jingle Bells performed by Dresden Julia Shumaker of Creating Motherhood and her son

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noteSaint Nuit (Silent Night in French) performed Natalie Helene LeBlanc

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jana
photo by Jana Anthoine of Jana’s Thinking Place

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O Holy Night performed by Elizabeth Flora Ross of The Writer Revived

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Oh Come All Ye Faithful performed by Paula Kiger of Green Big Pen

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Rock of Ages performed by Elisa Camahort Page of BlogHer

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I’ll Be Home for Christmas performed by Doreen Oliver

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New York Christmas
photo by Martin Karaffa of Deutschland uber Elvis

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Tom Lehrer’s A Christmas Carol performed by Celeste Lindell of Average Jane

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Dona Nobis Pacem performed by Lori Holden of Lavender Luz and her sisters

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer performed by Jenn Mattern of Jennifer Mattern, her mother Elaine, and her daughters Hattie and Sophie

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noteMaoz Tzur played on the accordian by Sister Becky Swanson

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Ellen and Larry
photo by Ellen Bloom of LA is My Beat

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Christmas in O’Hare performed by Tom Carrozza, music and lyrics by Tom Carrozza and Noel Katz of There’s Gotta Be a Song

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Good King Wenceslas performed by Alejna of Collecting Tokens and her daughter Phoebe

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You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch performed by Karl Erikson of Secondhand Tryptophan

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Joy to the World performed by Elizabeth “Kizz” Robinson of 117 Hudson and friends

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Kathy & Kloe
photo by Kathy Gottbert of SmartLiving365

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We’ve Got Christmas Magic by Danny Miller of Jew Eat Yet and Cinephiled with his kids, Leah and Charlie

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The Twelve Days in Florida performed by Aliza Worthington of The Worthington Post and Shoshana Kohn

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The Latke That Couldn’t Stop Screaming, a Reading by Lisa Rae Page Rosenberg of Smacksy and her son Bob

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Twas the Night Before Christmahanukwanzaakah, a NSFW NOT-family friendly version of the famous poem, written by Adam Avitable of Avitable

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joy
photo by Annette Kiesow

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Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas performed by Elizabeth “Kizz” Robinson of 117 Hudson and Sara of Sara Gardens

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Jingle Bells performed by the children of Deborah Grinter of Bright and Precious

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Jingle Bells performed by The String Bean, age 5, the daughter of Elizabeth Flora Ross of The Writer Revived

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tree
photo by Chrissy Wojdyla of Quirky Chrissy

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Hark the Herald Angels Sing performed by Jenny Gaskell of Tranquila Mama

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Don’t Be Fooled performed by Tara Livesay of Livesay Haiti and the Livesay family

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The Twelve Days of Christmas performed by Michelle Kosboth of Midlyfe Mama and her son Cooper

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O Holy Night performed by The DramaGeek.com team (Kristen Howerton, Austin Rivers, and Andre Goddard)

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Menorah
Photo by Carol Zwick of Buttercup Counts Her Blessings

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Elf… You Better Go Back Home, an original song performed by Linda Roy of Elleroy was Here

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It’s Hanukkah Time in the USA performed by Neil Kramer of Citizen of the Month

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Skating by Vince Guaraldi performed by Angela Reiner Downing of Fluid Pudding

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collage xmas
photo by Karen Delaney Dino of Journey Back to Self

Thank you for another year of online friendship, debate, following, unfollowing, laughs, and tears.

Nine years!  Can you believe it?

Here are the past blockbuster concerts —

2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012 2013

PeaceCard
photo by Melissa McLaughlin Tingley

The Ninth Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert

holiday concert

It is time for the announcement of the Ninth Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert, all new, all exciting for 2014!

Nine years!  Can you believe it?

Here are the past blockbuster concerts —

2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012 2013

This year’s concert will take place on December 18, 2014 right here on this blog.

It is time to hear YOU PERFORM!   YOU are the CONCERT.  That gives you about a month to work your magic.

Sign up in the comments today.

Concert FAQ:

1.  Create a video (or audio) file of you performing a holiday song.  If you need technical help, ask me.

2.  You must be performing in the audio or video.   Don’t cheat and have your cute kids doing all the work.

3.  You can sing, play an instrument, recite poetry, dance the Nutcracker, or write a symphony.

4.  Once completed, post the video on a place like YouTube and send me the link.   Or just send me the file via Dropbox or email, and I will post it on YouTube.   Try to get me all files and links by Tuesday, December 16, 2014, two days before the concert!  That gives you plenty of time to be creative.

5.  If you are too wimpy to sing a song, send me a holiday photo for concert decoration.  It could be of your tree, menorah, or plain ol’ winter solstice if you are a heathen.

6.  The comment section is the sign-up sheet.    By signing up, we can see who is performing what, so we can avoid having ten versions of “Let it Go.”

7.  Most importantly — don’t be intimidated if you can’t sing.    We like to laugh at you.

Join us in the longest-running holiday concert online — The Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert, now in it’s ninth season!

The Seventh Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert!

Welcome to the The 2012 Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert!  It is my honor to be with you here for the seventh year of this concert.

It’s been a tough year for many of us.   May the power of song help you remember the goodness, peace, and joy of your lives!

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“Christmas in Mississippi” by Marty Long of Don’t Take the Repeats (song written by Steve Deaton and sound engineered by Kevin Long)

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“Holly Jolly Christmas” by Vikki of Up Popped a Fox and her kids

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“Sevivon” by M of Psychotoddler and the Moshe Skier Band

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“Christmas is Here” by Jenny Mae of Oh, Jenny Mae and her daughter

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Merry Hedgehog
photo by Veronica of Compost Studios

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“The Real Christmas Story” read by Suebob of Suebob’s Awesome Brain

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“Ill Be Home for Christmas” by Erin Lane of A Parenting Production

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“A New Deal for Christmas” from the musical, Annie by Danny Miller and his daughter and son, Leah and Charlie

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“Winter Wonderland” by Heather of Minivan Momma

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photo by Kim of Live From the 205

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“I’m Happiest at Christmas” by Noel Katz of There’s Gotta Be a Song

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“Amy’s Christmas Poem: How to Mistletoe” by Amy Turn Sharp

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“Jingle Bells” by Tracy of Sellabit Mom and her family

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“It’s Darlin’ (Christmas is Coming)” by Erin of Swonderland

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Christmas Selfie © SHaggerty 2012 W-1
photo by Suzanne of 24 at Heart

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Mi Yimalel Remix 1 (of Traditional Hanukkah song) by M of Psychotoddler and the Moshe Skier Band

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Home for the Holidays” by The Suniverse

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“Peajaye, the Holiday Fairy” by Peajaye

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latkes-charlie
photo by Danny Miller

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“Silent Night” by Bridget of The Ivey League

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“Lullay Lullay” by Cindy of Strawberries Here

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“Blue Christmas” by Karl of Secondhand Karl

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“The Christians and the Pagans” by Alexis of  Wave the Stick

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pam
photo by Pam of Outside Voice

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“Gabriel’s Message” by Gwen of Left Coast Mama and her son, Aidan

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“The Twelve Days of Christmas” by Toni of A Daily Dose of Toni and the Singing Bloggers

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“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Kate of The Big Piece of Cake

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“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Ms. Sizzle of Sizzle Says

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“Last Christmas” by Neil of Citizen of the Month

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http://instagr.am/p/RvW0HhkOR6/
photo by Tanis of The Redneck Mommy

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“Angels We Have Heard Up High” by Beta Dad

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“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Fadra of All Things Fadra

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“Happy Just Bumming Around – a Kiwi Christmas” by The Travesties with Juli Ryan of Wellington Road

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“White Christmas” by Charlotte of Monstergirlee

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Marienplatz2
photo of the Munich Marienplatz Christmas Market by Martin of Deutschland uber Elvis

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“Jingle Bells” by Maggie of Magpie Musing and family

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“Oh Holy Night” by Amiryrah of 4 Hats and Frugal

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“Merry Christmas, Darlin’ by Laurie of Laurie Writes

“A Christmas Medley” by Jenn of Breed ‘Em and Weep

The Sixth Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert!

Welcome to the The 2011 Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert! This is the sixth year of this concert, and each year it gets better.

How time flies.  Six years!  The first year of the concert, all the songs were in mp3 audio. Now 95% of the songs are on video.  Next year, maybe we can do it LIVE ON SKYPE!

Enjoy. Happy Holidays. And to good blogging in 2012!

The Dove
performed by Tamar of Mining Nuggets

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Ding Dong Merrily on High
performed by Loralee of Loralee’s Looney Tunes with the American Festival Chorus

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Jingle Bells
performed by Kevin of Always Home and Uncool

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It’s Just Another New Year’s Eve
performed by Pearl of Pearlie’s of Wisdom

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Winter Wonderland
performed by Jessica of Bern This

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photo by Angella of Dutch Blitz

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A British Christmas
composed by Noel of There’s Gotta Be a Song

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God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
performed by Erin of A Parenting Production

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Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
performed by Elly of BugginWord

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Jingle Bells
performed by Amy of Resourceful Mommy

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Silent Night
performed by Katherine of Postpartum Progress

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photo by Martin of Deutschland uber Elvis

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Silent Night
performed by Christine of Pop Discourse and Boston Mamas

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All He Wants for Christmas
performed by Diane of Momo Fali

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Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
performed by Carrie of A Sassy Redhead

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I’ll Be Home For Christmas
performed by Trisha of Momdot

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside
performed by Amy of The Bitchin’ Wives Club

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Photo by Shana of Gorillabuns

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Haere Mai Everything is Ka Pai (New Zealand folk song)
performed by Juli of Wellington Road

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The Little Drummer Boy
performed by Kristin of Rage Against the Minivan and She Posts, with her family

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A Baby Just Like You
performed by Cameron of Cameron D. Garriepy

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zEVZWy-KRM

Oh Hanukkah
performed by Danny Miller of Jew Eat Yet
with his son, Charlie

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Christmas is Coming
performed by Dana of Feast After Famine
with family

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photo by Suzanne of Twenty Four at Heart

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Avitable Sings a Christmas Song
performed by Adam of Avitable

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It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
performed by Becky of Not Fainthearted

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A Christmas Carol
performed by Jason of ConnectedEd

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Chanukah – Maoz Tsur
performed by Otir of Un jour a la fois

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Happy Holidays from LOD and Friend
performed by Doug of Laid Off Dad

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photo by Devra of Parentopia

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Good King Wenceslas
performed by Bon of Crib Chronicles
and Daniel Lynds (@daniellynds)

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Winter Wonderland
performed by Michelle of MidlifeMama
with the Lasell College Jazz Group

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Christmas Carol 2011
performed by Tanis of Redneck Mommy
with her kids, Fric and Frac

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Jingle Bells
performed by Matthew of Child’s Play x3
with his family

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Of Father’s Love Begotten
performed by Carrien of She Laughs at the Days

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Photo by Veronica of Compost Studios

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Deck the Halls (iPhone App Style)
performed by Neil of Citizen of the Month

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgHKiEzqG0M

What Child is This
performed by Maria of Mommy Melee

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dciYWxdPd38

Jingle Bells
performed by Erin of Swonderland

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We Like to Celebrate Chrannukah
performed by Jenny Mae of Mommy Mae
and family

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Baby, It’s Cold Inside
performed by Alejna of Collecting Tokens

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Do You Hear What I Hear?
performed by Fran of FGHart

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The Christmas Song
performed by Leah of A Girl and a Boy
with Simon

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!

Announcing the Sixth Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert!

It is Thanksgiving time, and you know what that means.   Santa arrives at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.   Boxes of ornaments appear from dusty basements. Even the 99% and the 1% put aside their differences, form a circle around the tree, and drink egg nog.

Yes, it is that time of the year again — the announcement of the Sixth Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert!

The online concert this year will take place on December 18, 2011, right here.   Isn’t this the year when we finally hear YOU SING?!   Sign up in the comments today.

Concert FAQ:

1.  Create an audio file or a video file of you performing a holiday song.  If you need technical help, ask me.

2.  You must be performing in the audio or video.   Don’t cheat and have your cute kids doing all the work.

3.  You can sing, play an instrument, recite poetry, dance the Nutcracker, or create music on your iPhone.

4.  Once completed, you have the choice of posting it on your blog or YouTube and sending me the link, or emailing me the complete multimedia file.   Try to get me everything by Friday, December 16, 2010, two days before the concert!  That gives you plenty of time to be creative.

5.  If you don’t want to sing a song, send me a holiday photo for concert decoration.  It could be of your tree, menorah, or plain ol’ winter solstice if you are a heathen.

6.  The comment section is the sign-up sheet.    By signing up, we can see who is performing what, so we can avoid having ten versions of “Frosty the Snowman.”

7.  Most importantly — don’t be intimidated if you can’t sing.    We like to laugh at you.

8.  Here are the past blockbuster concerts —

2006  2007  2008  2009  2010

Join us in the longest-running holiday concert online — The Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert, now in it’s sixth season!

The Teaser

The Fifth Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert! — December 18, 2011

Official sign-up begins on Thanksgiving Day.

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