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Merry Christmas!

We hope that you are having a wonderful and blessed Christmas surrounded by friends and family and those you love.

Our first year of being online, we posted Linus’ speech from “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” as it tells the meaning of Christmas and brings back so many fond memories. What we didn’t realize is that for years our friend William Teach over at the Pirate’s Cove had been doing the same thing – long before we thought of it. (Great minds think alike, we guess.)

Luckily for us, Teach even took the time to upload the video to YouTube and so we thank him for that.

Merry Christmas from all the writers, staff and contributors here at Raised on Hoecakes.

Luke chapter 2:

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
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Tracking Santa With NORAD.

norad

This year, as in every year for the 61 years, NORAD will be tracking Santa Claus as he flies around the world doing what he does while eating cookies and drinking milk.

For 60 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight.

The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.” The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.

In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created a bi-national air defense command for North America called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa.

You can follow the tracking of Santa at the NORAD website, on Twitter, and Facebook.




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Silent Night – John Denver And The Muppets.

This year, as is our tradition every year, we end our Christmas musical celebration with John Denver and the Muppets singing “Silent Night.”

Years ago we watched the Christmas special called “John Denver and the Muppets.” One of our favorite parts was the singing of “Silent Night.” At the time, were weren’t familiar with the story behind the writing of song. John Denver explaining the origins of the song is a nice touch. (We have since found out that the reason the organ in the church was not working was that mice had chewed through the bellows.)

So while it sounds funny, this is our favorite version of “Silent Night.” Not only did we learn something, but it is easy to sing with and not feel out of place. After all, unlike singing with recordings of wonderful choirs, no one is ever going to accuse Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Waldorf and Stadler or any of the Muppets as having great voices, but yet it works.




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I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Karen And Bing.

With this being the end of the week and Christmas on Sunday, we know that many people will be on the road starting today.

One of the staff members here tells the story that growing up, there was a sign (the type that you could get as a souvenir at Howard Johnson’s) that read

In life, as in baseball, it’s the number of times you reach home safely that counts.

HoJo’s have almost totally disappeared from the American landscape, but the message on that sign rings true.

Be safe out there.

Two versions of the song “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” are our songs of the season for today. The first version by Bing Crosby and the second by Karen Carpenter. (Age before beauty.) Both are rather timeless, in our opinion.


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Rudolph And Frosty – You Didn’t Think We’d Forget, Did You?

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without these two classics. (Well, it would still be Christmas, but for kids of all ages, these two songs make the holiday a little more fun.)

With regards to this version of “Frosty the Snowman,” we once again see that a person – in this case Jimmy Durante – does not need a great voice to sing a song in a great manner. It is like the Muppets. No one can seriously claim Durante or the Muppets can come close to great voices like Julie Andrews or Bing Crosby, but their voices work and resonate with us all because of that. We love to listen to great singers with great voices. We love singing with voices that aren’t so perfect.





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Thomas Aquinas College Christmas Choral Flash Mob.

We were looking back at some Christmas posts and came upon one concerning a Christmas flash mob with students from Saint Thomas Aquinas College at a mall we had posted in 2014.

The description if the video reads, in part:

Organized by sophomore Giorgio Navarini, the yuletide event is fast becoming a regular College tradition.

Tradition? We like traditions.

We went looking to see what they did last year and sure enough, the kids were at it again.

Bringing the joy of Advent and the promise of Christmas into the marketplace, some 150 Thomas Aquinas College students descended upon The Oaks shopping mall in Thousand Oaks, California, to stage a choral “flash mob.”

After stealthily gathering around the mall’s central Christmas display — by the Santa Claus photo center — the students simultaneously burst into song. They began with “Joy to the World” and “The First Noel,” and then concluded with a rousing rendition of “O Holy Night.” The mall’s surprised customers and employees seemed to delight in the performance, stopping whatever they were doing to take in the music, to sing along, and to cheer afterward.

Organized by junior Giorgio Navarini, the yuletide event is fast becoming a regular College tradition. The inaugural flash mob in 2013 was so widely and well received — generating nearly 50,000 views and coverage from EWTN’s World Over — that students have been enthusiastic about doing it again every year since, preparing in their spare time for weeks in advance.

We haven’t seen anything from the group for this year, but we hope they maintained the tradition of bringing music and joy into the lives of many.



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Mary Did You Know? – Kathy Mattea

Kathy Mattea has had a long career and sings this version of “Mary Did You Know.”

In our opinion, her voice is really special and is perfect for this song.




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The Night Before Christmas Song – Rosemary Clooney And Gene Autry.

Okay, we had no idea that this version was out there.

Boy, are we glad we found it.




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