Wow, only two weeks left in a year of insanity! This girl, for one, is ready for a break. With that in mind, today is my last post for 2020 and I’m sharing some holiday favorites as well as some updates about the blog.
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Natty Guy and I are both off the next couple of weeks and looking forward to different, but still enjoyable celebrations. A friend’s pup (and one of Dolce’s BFFs) will be staying with us and it will be fun to take them on some hikes and outdoor adventures. Check out my Instagram stories for periodic updates!
A Few Holiday Favorites!
While I always love the redemptive theme of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, this year I find myself wanting to read O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi. At a super-short 26 pages, this tale of selflessness and sacrifice seems particularly relevant to 2020. While I know the story, from various takes on it (check out the Little House on the Prairie, Christmas at Plum Creek episode), I’m not sure I’ve actually read the entire original. It’s on my agenda for this snowy weekend, perfect for sitting next to the fire with a glass of wine.
Now, I’m normally not a country music girl. Sorry. It just isn’t my thing. But many years ago I was at a wedding where the celebrating couple compiled a CD of some of their favorites songs, both every day and Christmas-themed. It was a popular wedding favor at the time. On that CD were two songs by Slats Klug (a regional recording artist from Indiana) that both Natty Guy and I have fallen in love with.
I’ve looked everywhere for a video or full streaming version but haven’t been able to find one. The first (and our favorite) song is track 1 Slow as Molasses on Christmas and the second is track 4 Slow Sleigh Ride. You can listen to the previews here and, I guess, use the app or buy the CD if you enjoy them! Assuming you still have a CD player! I hold on to my ancient boombox specifically so we can play these two songs at Christmas.
Another favorite is Little Drummer Boy. I can vividly remember watching the animation TV version of the story as a child and being inconsolable after the scene where the lamb got hit by the speeding cart. The David Bowie/Bing Crosby rendition of the song below from 1977 is a lovely compilation by the two iconic musicians.
The Cleveland Playhouse has been very innovative in dealing with COVID. Tonight (I’m writing this on Thursday) we plan to watch their live-stream holiday short-film series! Look for more Theatre Thursday options in January.
Starting Sunday, they’ll be airing a new production, Songs from the First Noel. This is a half-hour on-demand stream featuring pop, gospel, and classics from the musical The First Noel. It’s a great (and budget-friendly) way to get your performance fix while supporting community theatre. And you don’t even have to be in Ohio to view it!
Year in Review & Planning for 2021
It’s been a tough year to be a blogger! When COVID first hit, I took the approach of “Keep Calm and Blog On“, holding to my original content calendar and trying to modify travel and lifestyle posts to be more socially-distancing friendly. But it’s been tough.
With the situation projected to remain through at least Q1 2021, I need to think about how to move forward. The reality is, two of my three content buckets have been largely kicked to the curb. So I’ll be giving this some thought over the next few weeks but also taking some time to celebrate a few blogging wins from 2020:
- ✅ Getting to attend the Style Collective conference in mid-March, the very weekend states started shutting everything down. Friendships made there and knowledge gained make me so grateful that the “show did go on” and I look forward to more blogging conferences once they are feasible again.
- ✅ Setting a new annual blog income record!
- ✅ Shattering previous page view and social media following records!
So YAY! 🥳 Not all bad! Thanks so much for riding this train with me. I appreciate each and every one of you. And I’m confident that 2021 WILL see a shift back towards some semblance of normalcy. So stay healthy, enjoy your holidays and I will catch you in 2021!
For more Christmas content, check out these posts and until next time…keep cultivating a simple, stylish and satisfying life!