Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: holidays

The Tenth Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert

holidays

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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poster 1

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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