Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: holidays

Announcing the 12th Annual Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert

We’ve all had a tough year.  Society is falling apart.  Social media has become a leading cause of our misery.  Russia is spreading fake news.  Our President spends most of his time picking fights on Twitter.   We mistrust each other, and are angry with the world.

We need some joy.  And fast.      Yay for the 12th Annual Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert.

This year’s concert will take place on Sunday, December 17, 2017 right here online.  But we’re doing things differently this year.   Before all the videos are published online on this space, there will be a ONE TIME CONCERT done in real time (well sorta), broadcast on Facebook Live directly from under the world-famous Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center.    How is that going to work?  Well, I’m going to brave the freezing cold and stand under the tree with my iPhone and introduce the pre-recorded videos one-by-one live on the official 12th Annual Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert Facebook page.   So if you are in the New York area on December 17 from 8-10, come on down to the tree and you can be a special guest!

It is time to hear YOU PERFORM!   YOU are the CONCERT.  That gives you about two and half weeks to work your magic.

Interested?  Sign up in the comment to perform.    Or contact me directly via email or Facebook.  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 Thursday, December 14, 2017!  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 Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert, in it’s twelfth year!

Tickets are free.   But if you would like to donate to a worthy cause in honor of the concert, this year we have chosen to be supporters of RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.

But be sure to join the Facebook page if you want to see the show live.  

Here are the past blockbuster concerts —

2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012 2013  2014  2015  2016

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 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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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

Get Ready for “The First Annual Blogger Holiday Online Arts and Crafts Fair”

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The meal is over. We’ve given thanks. We’re feeling spiritual. So, what do we do the next day? We fight over parking spaces in the mall and push old women out of the way so we can get our grubby hands on the latest “Touch Me Elmo” before the next person.

Is that any way to shop for Christmas and Hanukkah gifts? Do you really want to give your hard-earned money to Best Buy, home of “The Computer Salesman who Knows Less Than My Mother?” Do you really want to be stuck eating at the adjacent-to-the-mall Olive Garden ONCE AGAIN! (eh, screw you, Olive Garden lovers — tell it to my hand).

There is a better way. You can help support cool bloggers in their artistic endeavors. At the same time, you can give your friends and relatives very special, unique gifts — made by hand in someone’s kitchen in Tulsa, not in a sweatshop in Thailand.

Announcing —

The First Annual Blogger Holiday Online Arts and Crafts Fair!

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photo by OMSH

I love artistic people, especially those who are crafty or in the visual arts. I cannot draw. My photographs suck. The only class I ever failed in school was Woodshop. I hated it. I was scared of using the saw. I ended up with a ridiculous-looking final project — a “chicken” paper holder without a chicken head. I wonder if my mother still has it at home? I am in awe of your artistic talent.

The Arts and Crafts Fair will be held next weekend,  November 30 – December 2, right here.  This gives the artist time enough to send the purchase before Hanukkah and Christmas.  To participate as a vendor, it is is very easy:

1) Send me a photo of one of your art pieces or crafts as an example of your work. This can be your knitting work, your photography, your paintings, etc. — as long as you created it and want to sell it as Holiday gifts! NONE of this has to be holiday-themed at all. It can be anything you want. The photo is just a sample of your work.

2) Send me a link to your online store, Etsy, etc. and to your blog. At your own store, you can sell anything or as much as you want. The fair is here to introduce others to your work.

3) Write a description of your work, if you want to.

All the links will go back to your blogs or stores, where you must deal with the shipping, etc. This exciting event is open to all bloggers, and artists of all skill levels. Show your stuff and promote your work!

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This event will be a highlight of the Holiday season. If you need a gift, come on by! Even if you aren’t in a gift-buying mood, stop by and window-browse. The event will be more than just artwork and crafts here at Citizen of the Month. There will be food, laughter, and juggling (all virtual, of course). Artists, knitters, photographers who sell their work — start sending me a photo of your work today!

(and I mean YOU —Ascender, Caron, Ellen Bloom, Susannah, Leahpeah, Leesa, Ms. Mamma, Nabbalicious, Stacey, Kyran, 180/360, Sarah, SAJ, Stacy Elaine, Liz Elayne, Stepping Over Junk, V-Grrrl, Jen Lemen, Di, Abigail, Schmutzie, Kyra, Shoe of Salvation, etc. — did I forget anyone?)

(Coming up next — the announcement of the biggest event of them all — The 2007 Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert)

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Passive-Aggressive

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On any given day, I receive hundreds of emails from women who either want to marry me or see photos of my Adonis-like naked body.  The truth of the matter is that I’m not a perfect specimen of manliness, despite what you think.   I have one fatal flaw, my Achilles heel:

I am passive-aggressive.

I’m not a very combative person in general.  But if I feel that I’m wronged, I have a habit of storing that information in the back cages of my mind, where it waits, like a Belgian tiger in heat, ready to leap out and attack at the most opportune time.

Forget what I just said.   That was literary bullshit that doesn’t convey me at all.  My passive-aggressive nature is nothing like a Belgian tiger in heat.   That is way too aggressive for Neilochka.  My approach would be more like the sneaky snake, slowly trapping my prey in a devious manner.

Or as Sophia likes to say to me on more than one occasion:

"Neil, you’re such a woman."

Hey, it’s not me stereotyping women as devious sneaky snakes.  Blame Sophia.  But when you tell her this, just beware that she is like the Belgian tiger.

Last night, we went to Sophia’s parents house for Passover.   As we’re driving, Sophia wanted to see the cake I bought.  She wasn’t happy with the choice I made and told me so.  This irritated me, because I thought Sophia was acting too picky, but I let it slide, mostly because I know Sophia gets nervous when visiting her mother.

The meal was delicious until it was time for dessert.  Sophia’s mother didn’t like the cake and told this to Sophia.   Sophia said that her mother was too picky and defended my choice of cake, even though the cake really was bad.

Now imagine we’re driving home afterwards.  Would it be stupid of me to bring up to Sophia that she had acted before JUST LIKE HER MOTHER?   Do most women really want to hear this? 

Or was I being passive-aggressive?

I have this bad habit of remembering hurts from as long as ten years ago.  Maybe I should take a lesson from blogging:

  1. You write a post. 
  2. You get your comments. 
  3. And then you put that post in the archives. 

Have you noticed that hardly anyone ever reads you old posts once they’re done.  Sure, you get some spammers and some crazy people still talking about Lindsay Lohan, but mostly the past is past.  It used to bother me that I would write a cool post and then after a day or so, no one would care anymore.   But maybe this is a good approach for real life. 

How can you be passive-aggressive when you put all your old issues into your archives and never again look at them?

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