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.
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 —
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!
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