the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Announcing the Fifth Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert!

photo by Lotus at Sarcastic Mom

Dear God,

For four years we raised our voices in harmony, men and women of faith, and unbelievers alike (even with their dreary myths about dinosaurs and evolution), all in praise of the unity of man!

For four years, bloggers powerful and insignificant, those blessed with voices like angels and those who sound like Kermit the Frog, the confident and the theologically-confused, all came together to promote peace and harmony and love.  But when we look around our world, even after all our hard work, all we see is fighting and killing.

Are you not pleased with our songs and our delightful photos of our decorated trees, bright menorahs, and our cats wearing Santa hats?  Has our mission been a failure?  Are you telling us that our voices are not LOUD ENOUGH for you, that you are like the LA Lakers at the Staples Center, requiring us to stamp our feet and clap our hands, shouting, “We will, we will ROCK YOU!” just to get your attention?

I don’t know if I can promise you all that, oh, Creator of the Universe.  Bloggers are a tempestuous and a stiff-necked people.  But I do know we will be back for a Fifth time, in this familiar place,  bringing joy to others — and hopefully YOU — with our songs and photos and poetry, proving once and for all that we can be nice to each other, for at least one week out of the year!

And for 2010, we have a special treat.   Besides celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, we will be adding The Islamic New Year of Al-Hijira to the mix. (Arabic: رأس السنة الهجرية‎ Ras as-Sana al-Hijreya).  The Fifth annual concert will be renamed –  The 2010 Blogger Christmalhijrahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert.

Imagine, all three of your major Monotheistic Religions, all with roots in the dusty Middle East, all singing each others’ songs!  You should be kvelling, God!

This year’s concert will be on Wednesday, December 15, 2010, right here on this space.   I realize that this is date is too early for Christmas and little late for the Jewish and Muslim holidays, but Hanukkah and Al-Hijira are early this year (starting the first week of December), so all three religions will need to compromise.  It will be good practice for the real world.

See you there,  God!   Arrive early for a good seat.   There are no favorites online.

Bloggers FAQ:

You make an audio file or a video file of you performing a holiday song.  If you don’t know how to do that, ask me.

You must be performing in the audio or video.  Don’t cheat and just have your cute kids doing all the work.  They can perform back-up.

You can sing, play an instrument, recite poetry, or even dance the Nutcracker.  We even once had someone playing a Christmas Carole on her iPhone.

You can post it on your blog and send me the link, or you can send me the file, and I will publish it on my blog.  If you don’t want to sing a Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Islamic New Year song, feel free to send me a holiday photo of your tree, menorah, or plain ol’ winter solstice if you are a heathen blogger.

Please sign up in the comments.   This is the official sign-up sheet.  You don’t have to do it today, but add your name as soon as possible.  This way we we know who is performing what, so we can avoid having ten versions of “Frosty the Snowman.”

Don’t be afraid that you can’t sing.  Those are the favorite songs of each concert, because we like to laugh at you.

Try to get me all the files by December 13, 2010, two days before the concert!

You can check out what has been done in the past.





Come join the celebration in this tradition that is already as well known as Burl Ives –  the longest-running holiday concert online — The 2010 Blogger Christmalhijrahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert!

And remember to tell your friends.


  1. buzzgirl

    Wow. I can’t believe it’s been five years!!

  2. Piper of Love

    I’ll be there, with bells on 🙂

  3. Cecily

    I’m in! I’ve always wanted to be in. 🙂

  4. heather

    Wouldn’t be caught dead singing—even for you Neil! I’m so in for photos though!

  5. Cindy Allen

    I’m in. O Holy Night. K?

  6. unmitigated me (m.a.w.)

    I’m in, but I can’t think of a song right now, because Lynyrd Skynyrd is on the radio behind me.

  7. tiff

    I’m in again, plus I hope to rope in a real musician to help out. Being that he’s married to me, how can he say no?

    Looking forward to it, and thanks for doing it again.

  8. laurenne

    I LOVE this idea. How fun. I can’t sing, but I will happily do a Christmas rap. Yes! I’ll get you the song soon…. thanks!

  9. Momo Fali

    1. I’m in!

    2. I can NOT believe you just called Tanis, Kermit the Frog.

    • Redneck Mommy

      I look good in green. What can I say? Heh.

  10. lettergirl

    I’m in. In the Bleak Midwinter, I think.

  11. Josette at Halushki

    I’m in. I’ll think of something. Maybe I’ll skate.

  12. Elisa Camahort Page

    OK, I think I’m in. I’m thinking my childhood Hanukah song, Rock of Ages. Surely you know it.

    • kim/hormone-colored days

      I’m in! Gah! Not sure what song; I’ll take Rock of Ages is Elisa doesn’t. We’ll definitely to something Chanukah, though. We have this great sephardic song in Ladino if my son can teach me the words. I’m excited to take part.

  13. Otir

    Working on a video instead of a simple audio file. It will probably be “In my window”, with the complete round:

  14. Lotus / Sarcastic Mom

    Going to wrangle my husband into doing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with me. And photos! Of course. 🙂

  15. merrymishaps

    Of course I’ll be back! Hopefully less last-minute than usual, but I’m not good at planning 🙂

  16. Jenipurr

    I’m in again – last year was funny.

    I’m going to give The Wexford Carol a try. Possibly even with bagpipe accompaniment, if I can get my dad to play along.

  17. Redneck Mommy

    I’m in. Third times the charm, right? Snicker.

  18. jess

    i’m in and not looking so tired OR in pajamas this year!

  19. Secret Agent Mama // Mishelle Lane Photography


  20. Zoeyjane

    In. But we’ll see if I actually make it in front of the camera, in addition to supplying vocals.

  21. Shauna


  22. Avitable

    Alright, I’ll do it.

  23. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

    I’m so in.

  24. Bon

    the offspring – and possibly i – are in.

  25. Noel

    This year I have a blog AND a new, original holiday song.

  26. Karen from Chookooloonks

    I’m in. God help you all.


  27. Haley-O (Cheaty)

    Oh twist my arm. It’s time I did something Jewish and Bloggish. I, and the very charming backs of my kids’ heads, will be there with Hanukkah bells on.

  28. Saucy Britches

    I’ll be there with bells on… (not sure which song we’re singing yet)

  29. Sue Fisher

    Oh hell, why not? Only b/c I adore you Neil. Not sure what I’ll sing yet but I’ll let you know as soon as I figure it out.

  30. Angella

    I’m in! I’m not promising a video, but I can do a photo.

  31. Mel

    I’m in, though I’m struggling to come up with a Chanukkah song. If this were for Purim, I’d be able to whip 50 songs out of my back pocket. But I’m woefully ignorant with Chanukkah. Maybe Sevivon? Or Maoz Tzur? Seriously, I can’t come up with another Chanukkah song. Maybe I should do a general Jew-y song 🙂

  32. Miss Grace

    This is the year I don’t forget. I’m in.

  33. kristy

    I totally want to do this again! I tried to get a recording of my a cappella group last year, and it didn’t happen, but I’m feeling it this year…

    And congrats and thanks to you for doing this for the FIFTH straight year! It’s one of my favoritest holiday traditions. 🙂

  34. sweetsalty kate

    I’m in. I can’t tell you what for. It’s a national secret.

  35. Kristen

    How did I miss this last year? This is 27 kinds of awesome. I’m so in.

  36. sizzle

    Of course I am in. How could I stand you up? Though don’t ask me to pronounce the new name of this concert because I could barely pronounce it before!

    I will see what Mr. Darcy and I can cook up.

  37. Jenn

    Ohhhhhh! NOW I see! OH MY! How about Christmas burlesque? Boobies with Christmas elf hat pasties.

  38. thordora

    I’m in…and this atheist will do a painful version of o holy night. 😀

  39. Kristen

    PS I will sing “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”. It has a special meaning for us this year . . .

  40. Allison Zapata

    I’m in. Damn it.

  41. sesame ellis

    Yes please. Photo for sure, song maybe next year.

  42. Heather

    Fine. I’ll do it. But only because you asked so nice.

    I was totally going to sing “Percy, the Puny Poinsettia”…but might go with something more tame. You know, because I’m so…tame. Or something. Or maybe just boring. Either way. 😉

  43. Katja Presnal

    I’m in! Even though my singing talent is… You know how Cameron Diaz sings karaoke in My Best Friend’s Wedding? Well, let’s just say I’m not that good. And I’ll sing my Christmas song in Finnish. If I won’t qualify to attend, I understand 🙂

  44. scott

    What about a New Year’s song? Would that qualify? I hope so, because I saw this and thought, “What the hell” and I sat in my car at lunch and used my iPhone “Voice Memos” feature to record myself singing a song that I think of as a holidays song, but it’s a New Year’s song, so maybe it doesn’t qualify.

    Hello, Neil.

  45. subWOW

    I will only have one month to lose weight so as to send in a picture of myself that does not make me have a crisis. I figure you need a representative for the Heathen group…

  46. Lauren

    Yes! I want in! Eloise and I will do something, a dance? a song perhaps? Something British.

  47. ashbloem

    I’m in!

  48. Juli

    OK! Will try to wow you with sounds of summer in the South Pacific. Possibly will do “Pukeko in a Ponga Tree” (aka the 12 days of Xmas, but will not do all 12 verses). Or maybe just audio of tuis and a photo of the pohutukawa.

  49. Jack

    And for the fifth consecutive year I will “lurk” my way through it. Five years already, damn.

  50. Her Bad Mother

    I’ll do it. Sure, yes, okay. But whatever will I sing? WHAT WILL I SING?


    • Loralee

      I have no idea what you should actually sing, but I want you to use your Celestial Soul Portrait as your back drop. Or, you could just hold it up in front of your face so we can all fully bask in its beauty. 😉

      P.S. Count me in, Neil. xo

  51. sam{temptingmama}

    Alright, alright… I’m in. I think I can find a good Mariah Carey song kicking around… or at least a picture! 🙂

  52. A Vapid Blonde

    Since my last live performance was a mere 35 years ago I would say this dying pterodactyl is ready to sing out loud…or something. Actually I am here because my I saw subWOW.

    Am I really in?…sigh. This means y’all might see my really really bad new/old growing out hair cut that looks a little Jamie Lee Curtisish.

  53. Jen

    Sounds like fun!

  54. agirlandaboy

    Yeeeeeeeesssssss. Me and my beau will raise our voices and instruments in sweet harmony for all to hear. Rejoice!

  55. flutter

    I am totally in.

  56. Jessica Bern

    Okay, I am in. I will be singing a Hannukah song, although I’m pretty sure you might wonder if that sound that is coming out of my mouth is actually singing.

    if my voice therapist guy forbids me, then I will be sharing the song through dance.

    This could be good or really humiliating. Either way, I’m in.

  57. Loukia

    OH MY GOD. I am going to need to drink a bottle of tequila first!!!!!!!!!! I don’t know if I can do this. But I’m going to try. And practice. And if I think it will be acceptable – considering the fine talent you’ve got lined up here – I’ll send you a video. 🙂

  58. Danny

    I’m in…as always. I feel I must return to my roots and do a Hanukkah song this year instead of Xmas but most of those songs are so inane. I’ll figure something out…

  59. Jenny Lauck

    All over this. Now, to figure out which song to abuse… Must read the comment thread.

  60. Blaiser

    This’ll give me a good reason to unpack the Web cam I picked up at my parents’ last weekend ’cause my mom has been applying heavy pressure to set up Skype so that she can Skype my son just like she does when he’s at his mothers……

    Maybe I’ll write a holiday-themed song about co-parenting….!

  61. Elly Lou

    Well I guess Herbert and I will perform something from Emmett Otter’s Jugband Christmas. Either “When the River Meets the Sea” or “Ain’t No Hole in the Washtub” or maybe “Barbecue.” Can I call first dibs on those then confirm closer? Is that cheating?

  62. kateanon

    I would love to sing – maybe a Britten traditional carol…

  63. ilinap

    Oh yes, I’m in! Nevermind that my sons don’t allow me to sing in the house (but the car is my domain!) and that my high school drama teacher specifically asked me to stop trying out for musicals. I’ll be there with bells on (just like when I played Tintinabula in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in high school).

  64. Nancy [Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas]

    I think we can manage a mashup of some sorts. No promises on the showgirls, though.

  65. Natalie

    I am SO doing this….I’ll contribute a Christmas song…sung in my native French..:*)

    Bravo Neil!

  66. Amy @ Bitchin' Wives Club

    You know I am so in. Not sure yet on the song, but I’ll check back when I figure it out. I love the holidays!!

  67. Backpacking Dad

    I will sing “O Holy Night”. I will hit all the notes. That’s all I can promise.

  68. Sally

    I’d love to participate. I think I have just the thing!

  69. Adventures In Babywearing

    Ok, I totally plan on submitting a video. I am thinking along the lines of Christmas For Cowboys (John Denver) or The Christmas song (chestnuts roasting on an open fire) if it’s not already taken?


  70. Cecily

    I’m singing Santa Baby with blogger lyrics. 😀

  71. Emma

    Keep forgetting to leave a comment – after Dec 8th, before Dec 13th, you will receive a video of a chorus of angels. By angels of course I mean Toronto-based bloggers or tweeters, a bunch of whom you know, who form a book club once a month. Me @emma_willer, @karengreeners, @cheaty, @kittenpie, @jforrest, @runanc, @ms_blue, and more…

    It’s going to be awesome.

  72. nova

    I will be performing Happy Xmas (War Is Over) on viola. I will try not to dampen the fun.

  73. Anna Lefler

    Dude, I’m in!

    I’ll be sending you a video that includes the song “We are Santa’s Elves.”

    Bing Crosby it ain’t.



  74. Pluckypea (Ashley)

    Oh, I’m in, alright…This makes all the painstaking effort it took to name The Jimmies Holiday EP worth it. (We settled in “Mama Said Nog You Out”.)

  75. Twenty Four At Heart

    Ok, ok, …. I’ll be there.

  76. rdl

    do we send it to neilochka @ ??
    can we submit a photo & a video? i have the perfect photo, but i’d like to try a video but in case i don’t (major procastinator). so only 1 submission per person?

  77. ParentopiaDevra

    I got some pictures I can share. : )

  78. MFA Mama

    Well hell, since you invited me…this should be fun 🙂

  79. Angela

    I can’t remember if I officially signed up! I chose my tune last night (Angels We Have Heard on High), recorded it this afternoon, am currently uploading the video (I’m not particularly proud of it—I always dream of more fireworks and/or skin. Also, less bad notes. Alas!), and will send the link to you as soon as it’s working.

  80. Hip_M0M

    Awesome! I love this idea – but the pressure…I have no idea what to sing or how I’m going to get the file to you in just two days but I will somehow make it happen. Thanks for inviting me to be a part of this great tradition. You’re the best.

  81. Genevieve

    I am late to the game, but I plan to send a video your way. What a wonderful idea. I can’t wait to see it.

  82. buzzgirl

    I honestly have no idea how to record an audio file.

  83. Katrina

    I shall attempt a rendition of Santa Baby, but you will probably not see my face in the video. That gives me plausible deniability if any of my friends happen to see it. 🙂 Where do we send the videos? I’m not cool enough to have a blog…

  84. Katrina

    Well crap, I just noticed Cecily claimed Santa Baby. If “blogger lyrics” means the words will be custom, I will still do the regular version. 🙂

  85. Nicole (Ninja Mom)

    Yes! Yes, by all that is Christmasey, yes. I just so happened to have written an original Christmas carol parody this year. I had no clue I’d have the opportunity to have myself laughed at by so many folks. I feel fortunate indeed.

    Is a link to the video on YouTube acceptable? Can you embed from there?

  86. slouchy

    Sent you an audio file of me *cough* singing *cough* Winter Wonderland.

    Not that it’s very recognizable.

  87. Imaginary Binky

    We put our stink on a classic.

  88. Fadra

    Public humiliation in the name of world peace?? I’m in. Can I send you a link to YouTube once the humiliation is complete?

    • Fadra

      Oh, and I plan to do a rendition of Christmas Island, one of my all-time faves.

  89. mommymae

    i sent a comment before, but it didn’t show up. i’ll do a chanukah song since there aren’t too many.

  90. mommymae

    i lied. i might knock out carol of the bells.

  91. pam || @nerdseyeview

    I sent a link a while back, but we practiced, and change the key, and then, we played open mic, and now, we sound like this.

    And we’d really like to be part of the concert, which is one of my favorite things that you do. It’s awesome.

    Happy season of all the everything, Neil.

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