Joyous Kwanzaa

Founded by Dr Maulana Karenga in 1966, Kwanzaa runs from December 26 to January 1. It is inspired by the First Fruits Festivals celebrated by the Nguni peoples of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and Swaziland; as well as Juneteenth (June 19, Freedom Day) celebrating the abolition of slavery in Texas in 1865. Kwanzaa (Swahili for firstContinue reading “Joyous Kwanzaa”

12 Days of Christmas

The 12 days of Christmas runs from December 25 to January 5. January 6 is Epiphany, celebrating the coming of Magi (3 Kings Day). Epiphany Eve, January 5 is also known as Twelfth Night. The 12 days of Christmas was originally a chant, with French origins. In 1780, it was published for the first timeContinue reading “12 Days of Christmas”

Christmas Waltz

Originally released as the B-side to the famous White Christmas, this fabulous Christmas tune was written on a hot, dry California summer day, at the request of Frank Sinatra. Merry ChristmasMerry ChristmasMay your New Year dreams come true Frosted window panesCandles gleaming insidePainted candy canes on the treeSanta’s on his wayHe’s filled his sleigh withContinue reading “Christmas Waltz”

Happy Hanukkah

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, will be celebrated in 2019 from sundown December 22 to sundown December 30. It commemorates the victory of the Maccabees, after a 3 year battle, to liberate the Land of Israel from the Syrian Greeks, who occupied it. Under Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Syrian Greeks had imposed their culture,Continue reading “Happy Hanukkah”

Solstice Evergreen

December 21 – the longest night of this year, also known by some as Midwinter. A time to celebrate the returning of the sun and the lengthening of days. It came as a scene from an old picture postcardof Victorian ladies with skates on their feetof ponds frozen over and boughs hung with ice tipsandContinue reading “Solstice Evergreen”

Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, then with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him. I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. When the rooms were warm, he’d call, and slowly IContinue reading “Those Winter Sundays”

I’ve Got Everything I Need, Almost

In 2019, Downchild has been celebrating 50 years of making sweet Canadian blues. The cherry on the cake has been having their song I’ve Got Everything I Need, Almost inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Congrats gents, long may you play! I got everything I need, almostI got everything I need, almostBut IContinue reading “I’ve Got Everything I Need, Almost”

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year.Continue reading “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

Snow Day

Growing up in the countryside of south-western Ontario, we definitely knew what winter was all about. We were bussed to school and the drivers were fearless. Some could navigate the unplowed roads and through near blow outs as they had driven the roads every day for years. I can recall one day having a neighbourContinue reading “Snow Day”

I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm

Need an upbeat winter tune to help get your gears in motion? Irving Berlin wrote a real treat in this one : I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm. It’s guaranteed to get you off of your chair, out of your blue funk, and ready to face those never ending lists of chores, parties,Continue reading “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm”