the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Music and Giving

The Holiday season is all about joyful music and giving.  As many of you know, music means everything to me.  My friends never see me walking downtown or on the subway without my trusty iPod at my side, playing the latest tunes, an ABBA classic, or some duet from an old Broadway show.  One of the best aspects of living in Queens is that this borough has some of the finest stores in the country. I bought my iPod and all the accessories at J-OK Electronics in Flushing, Queens.  They sell EVERYTHING at terrific prices, and their knowledgeable sales staff, led by Jonathan Lui, treat their customers with respect.  From their lovely pre-war building in downtown Flushing, to their festively decorated “listening room,” J-OK Electronics “gets it right!”

Jonathan is the coolest guy.  When he received the latest iPod in his store, he wanted to give me one — for FREE!  I’m sure you are all anxious to read my upcoming review on this hot new product.  But then I felt a little guilty.  Why should I be the only one to have a happy iPod Holiday?!

I went to Jonathan and told him, “I want to thank all my readers during this season of giving.  I want to give away a brand new iPod to one of my online friends!”

And you know what — Jonathan of J-OK Electronics agreed to find me another iPod!

(editor’s note:  iPod giveaway is subject to availability.  If iPod is NOT available at time of giveaway, a photo of a PEAPOD with Neil’s face photoshopped inside will be substituted (signed by Neil AND his mother!)


So, how can you win a iPod*** from “Citizen of the Month” and J-OK Electronics?

(***editor’s note:  From this point on, the term iPod signifies either an actual iPod, or the photoshopped PEAPOD photo.)

Through music!  After all, this is the season of GIVING and MUSIC.

The rules:

1)  Record a Christmas or Hanukkah song.   Sign up here.
2)  Send it to me by Monday, December 22, 2008.  I must have it by Monday!
3)  On the following day, on Tuesday, all entries will be part of the Third Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert.
4)  My readers will then pick which entry best captured the “spirit of the season.”
5)  The winner will receive a brand new iPod from JOK Electronics!*** (see note above on restrictions and definition of iPod)

CONTACT ME IF ANYONE IS HAVING A PROBLEM RECORDING THEIR SONG!   This will be the last reminder until the concert.


Also, please send me some Holiday photos of your homes for decoration of the Holiday concert post!


  1. LVGurl

    That’s my kind of iPod! And signed by you and your mom? EVEN BETTER!


  2. Colleen - Mommy Always Wins

    Does a video of my four-year-old, dancing around the living room (and falling on the floor) to Feliz Navidad singing, “grblgrblegoldilocks” count as an entry? 😉 I swear he was speaking Polish!

  3. Neil

    Colleen – No.

  4. mommyknows

    Bwahahaha … a peapod, I’ll start recording!

  5. heather

    We will try.

  6. threeboys1mommy

    We used that costume the Halloween before last ( my baby looked WAY cuter in it) Won’t be on stage, but I can’t wait for the show.

  7. Jane

    Wait…did Jonathon make you sing for your free i-pod? I didn’t think so. But in the spirit of “giving” you’re making people give you their songs…their heartfelt homages to the holiday spirit?

    There really is no such thing as a free i-pod, is there, Virginia? Unless you’re Neilochka.

  8. 180/360

    HAHAHA… I love it! I’m still trying to find the time courage to record something.

  9. Amy Nathan

    A sort of giveaway that requires definite technical know-how.

    I’m out.

    But Tra la la to you and yours! Happy Hanukkah…don’t burn the latkes!

  10. Neil

    Amy — is a great free recorder. simple! Just record the singing and save it as an mp3 or .wav — and email it to me.

  11. Caitlinator

    I find it oddly quirky that if you look a J-OK Electronics as an acronym, it spells JOKE.

    Neil, I want to participate but I do not own a microphone. Or a camcorder. Or a camera that records sound. And I am too lazy to buy one. If you want to send one to me or lend me yours, I’m IN. You can bring it to cookies and cocoa on Sunday. We can get the whole party to sing a Christmas carol together and record that. It will be fun! But it all hinges on whether or not you come.

  12. Memarie Lane

    Ah but will Neil’s Penis sign it?

    I’m having technical difficulties. The CD I got with the dreidel song on it won’t actually play the dreidel song, which is track 19. The CD will only play through track 12. Plus my flip Video now seems to be missing. It seems like the universe doesn’t want me to sing. I can’t blame it, really.

  13. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

    Dude. Can we get your Mom to autograph a real iPod?

  14. Janna

    I’ve been waiting my WHOLE life for a picture of a peapod!

    Alas I have no musical talent. So I guess my dreams will have to wait.

  15. followthatdog

    You are a strange man, Neil. Funny, but strange.

  16. anymommy

    That peapod picture made my week.

  17. OldOldLady Of The Hills

    Hey Neil….Thanks for the card…!
    Are you now living in Queens permanently?? I am going to send you something there….!

    Great idea for a contest….I wouldn’t know where to begin! I LOVE music too…and I compose, as well as sing…But recording something and sending it??? LOL! Not going to happen…I do not have an iPod and never have had one…..It would be nice, but…..well, I wouldn’t know where to begin!

  18. mommyknows

    Here is a photo to decorate with:

    My house is too untidy for pics, but we made this cute gingerbread house.

  19. sizzle

    Oh crap. There will be voting?

    I’m so screwed.

  20. alejna

    So, when you say “by” Monday, do you have a particular time in mind? (Asks the woman who habitually puts things off till the last minute.)

  21. Jessica (aka @kikarose)

    Awww man. What a time for me to lose my voice! So unfair! Might have to sue you for discrimination against people suffering from laryngitis or something. Or I could shut up and just go listen to the iPod I already own and let some other poor deserving soul win. Good luck y’all!

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