the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Announcing the Seventh Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert!

I’m going to be honest with you.  I woke up this morning wondering if the time has come to stop celebrating the unity of mankind (OK, peoplekind… damn feminists).

2012 has given religion a bad name.   For many of us religion now means fundamentalism and fanaticism, repression and destruction, rather than good will towards men (I mean people).  From conflicts over the American election to fighting in the Middle East, even God has gotten bored with our stupidity.

And our online world is not helping our cause.  What is the blogging “mantra,” taught to us by every social media guru worth his salt:  Find your tribe!   Find your tribe!  Find your tribe!

Which raises the question:  why bother reaching out to anyone outside of your tribe if it is bad for business?  Why bother listening and learning from others when life is all about “broadcasting” your views to a select demographic of believers?

Luckily, my tiny corner of the blogosphere doesn’t think this way.   My blogosphere listens and learns.  We don’t judge a man (or woman) by his belief system, or the color of his (or her) skin, but by the quality of his (or her) inappropriate humor.  And kindness towards others.   It is plan that has worked well for me.  I’ve even learned to love Lutherans, a religious group that tends not to be very good with telling jokes.

Can Jew and Christian and Muslim, Atheist and Mormon, Black and White get along for once?  Should I cut the virtual red ribbon, marking the official announcement of the The Seventh Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert?


Angela from Fluid Pudding performing in 2007

This year we celebrate:

Christmas (Christian)– December 25
Hanukkah (Jewish) — December 8-16
Kwanzaa — December 26-January 1
Hijra (Islam) — November 15
Bodhi Day (Buddhism) — December 8
Day of the Covenant (Baha’i) November 28
Diwali (Hindu) November 13
Winter Solstice — December 21
New Year’s Eve — January 1

The online concert this year will take place on December 15, 2012, right here on this blog.   And this year, the concert will be published directly from New Zealand! (see my last post)

It is time to hear YOU PERFORM!   Sign up in the comments today.

Concert FAQ:

1.  Create an audio file or a video 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 create music on your iPhone.

4.  Once completed, you have the choice of posting it on your blog or YouTube and sending me the link, or emailing me the complete multimedia file.   Try to get me everything by Thursday, December 13, 2012, two days before the concert!  That gives you plenty of time to be creative.

5.  If you don’t want to sing a song, send me a holiday photo for concert decoration.  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 “Frosty the Snowman.”

7.  Most importantly — don’t be intimidated if you can’t sing.    We like to laugh at you.

8.  Here are the past blockbuster concerts —

2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011

Join us in the longest-running holiday concert online – The Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert, now in it’s seventh season!


  1. Loukia

    Yay! Thanks for this. It’s so fun every year to see everyone singing. Or looking festive. Or whatever. xo

    • Neil

      Can I tempt you this year to try singing? I know you do karaoke!

  2. Not Fainthearted

    Holy crap! Has it been SEVEN YEARS? Should I do this AGAIN? I mean how much ACCORDION can one online community tollerate? Who cares!? I’m in. When do you need stuff?

    And I’m totally taking that Lutheran remark as a shout out.

    • Neil

      Lutherans rock! And we love accordians.

  3. tracy@sellabitmum

    We are in this year. We’ll take Jingle Bells because even my husband knows the words to that one. I love this each year!

    • Neil

      Jingle Bells it is!

  4. Jana A (@jana0926)

    I’m so very excited about this, Neil. I’ve followed along for several years and since you personally invited me this time, I feel it’s time to join in. Looking forward to making a festive fool out of myself!

    • Neil

      Can’t wait to see you look like a fool.

  5. Juli

    Of course I will sing SOMETHING. From the South Pacific. Maybe in a flax skirt, with a ukulele.

  6. Jessica

    This is the best, too bad I have a crazy fear of singing or dancing in public.

  7. Angella

    Oh, you know I’m in. I haven’t missed one yet!

    • Neil

      Thanks, A!

  8. Sizzle

    I am in. I can’t miss this. Is this my 7th year submitting something? I think so. 🙂

    • Neil

      First as married woman!

  9. Varda (SquashedMom)

    Thia year I know better than to promise and not deliver a song. I will, however, contribute one of my father’s photos – probably a Santa eating a bagel & drinking coffee photos from the 1940s. Can;t wait to see (& hear) this year’s masterpiece of love & unity.

    Totally envious of your trip to NZ – one of the places I’ve always wanted to go. Enjoy!

    • Neil

      How cool.

  10. monstergirlee

    Looked it up and practiced I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas last night, doable on my ukelele. So I’m in for the first time, after watching for several years.

    • Neil

      Love the ukulele. Should be a treat.

  11. Nance

    Do people really say “Find your tribe”?

    • Neil


  12. Mrs. Wilson

    I’m in.

    • Neil


  13. Cheryl

    I’ll help with the heathen decorations by shooting you a photo or two. Yeehaw! We’re usually not welcome anywhere around this time of year.

  14. Alexis

    I’m in! Will even tune my guitar for you. 🙂

    I’ll sing “Christians and the Pagans”. It’s holiday-esque.

    • Neil

      I don’t know the song, but I already love it.

  15. Laurie

    Every year I say I’m going to do this and I don’t. I think this is the year to say I’m going to do it and do it. #Christmahanukwanzaakahnow

    I’ll also send some snow photos, because I’d like to have one of my pictures in there, too. I’m needy like that.

  16. Gwen

    I am in for a well sung (I hope) and badly played (piano is not my forte) Gabriel’s Message. My son may just join me.

    • Neil

      Gabriel’s Message is yours!

  17. agirlandaboy

    Yay! We’re in! Song choice forthcoming…

  18. Avitable

    I’m so glad that you continue to do this, Neil.

    • Neil

      Yours are always my personal favorite because I know how much time you put into them.

  19. Erin Lane

    I’m in! How about “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.”

  20. Stacy

    I am totally in. 🙂

  21. marty

    Finally not just a spectator. Thanks for the encouragement.

    I’m tossing in a little ditty called “Christmas in Mississippi.”

  22. Danny

    I’m in. I think I’ve exhausted the Hanukkah canon though, so I’m going to have to defy my Chasidic ancestors and sing about the birth of the Christ child. Hey, he was a nice Jewish boy–are there any songs about his bris?

  23. Vikki

    I have watched in years past but kinda want to join in this year. I have to think about it.

    Interestingly, my kids’ favorite song is 8 Candles (the one about the Maccabees) which is hilarious because we are not Jewish. Hell, we’re only barely culturally Christian. Weird kids.

  24. A'Driane Dudley

    (Deep breath) Ok. I’m in. My favorite Christmas song is “This Christmas,” originally sung by Donny Hathaway back in the 70’s. we listen to it every year while we open presents. I’m a horrible singer, but not too shabby of a dancer so I’ll either do both or only one of those 2. Thanks for the invite! Here’s to holiday fun…

    • Neil

      love the song.

  25. Homemaker Man

    Never have I participated in any such shenanigans before, but put me down for Hava Nagila

  26. Stimey

    I love your concerts. I’m going to try to do a video this year. I’ll find a song that my kid can play on the flute and I’ll sing with him. It is going to be TERRIBLE.

    • Neil

      Go for it!

  27. psychotoddler

    Neil, I have two things for you —

    • Neil

      Got it. Thanks Mark. So excited to hear your music.

  28. Camille

    Is it too late to sign up, and/or do you already have enough people?

  29. Otir

    I’ll bring a Chanukah song to the table. Maybe O Chanike, but in English I guess.

  30. Heather Davis

    I am totally going to blow your socks off with my rendition of Winter Wonderland. 12 years of piano lessons (and never leaving book 2) are finally paying off.

  31. Amy from Resourceful Mommy

    Count me in again!

  32. Lisa Frame

    I’m still deciding on song, but Peanut wants to sing with me! So will be a duet 🙂

    • Neil


  33. sizzle

    I just realized I missed last year so I better BRING IT this year. Still contemplating which tune. It’s too late in the game to learn a song on guitar (will start in January for next year’s concert) so you’re stuck with my singing.

  34. Nenette

    Okay, I’m doing it this year. I’ll see what I can come up with. Might be a Filipino Christmas song. Or something.

  35. Erin from swonderland

    A song just popped in my head out of nowhere today and I felt like I needed to use it for this, so I guess that means I am in! Will send it along.

  36. Nataliejanette

    I’m in for the first time. Will report back song selection tomorrow!

  37. Jason

    I’m in. Gonna do The Chipmunk Song. Chipmunk style.

  38. ohjennymae

    I’d love to sing a song I made up with one of my classes!

  39. KeAnne

    I’m in! I’m doing an a capella version of “Let it Snow.” Maybe I can also do a duet w/ my 3 year old on “Jingle Bells.”

  40. Jenny

    I’m in. I’ll do an acapella version of Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming.

  41. beta dad

    Prepare to have your face melted with my rendition of Gloria (in exelsis deo, not G-L-O-R-I-A)

  42. Fadra

    I haven’t filmed yet but I’m getting my props ready. Oh yes. There will be props. I was deathly ill last year so I’m making up for it this year with THE GRINCH.

  43. Suniverse

    I’m doing Home for the Holidays on my flute. Yay!

  44. Gwen

    OK, I finally got a take that I am not totally un-thrilled with. My son had better learn more than Up on the Housetop so he can accompany us on the piano next year. 🙂

    Twill also be posted on my blog in a few minutes.

  45. Peajaye

    Hey Neil, I guess you’re determined to stay out of the country while you host this thing. Hope they let you back in eventually.

    Here’s my entry:

  46. beta dad

    I’m late to the party, of course. I don’t even know if this is where the party is. Where am I? Can I just put my video here? [youtube

    Does that work? How about this?

    Anyway…Happy Holidays!

  47. Laurie

    Late too, Andy. I emailed him my link. Perhaps Neil will take pity on us and move us up the better seats. 🙂

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