Thursday, January 05, 2012

Il Divo

Rod bought me a couple of Il Divo CDs for Christmas. I'd discovered them on my Pandora "Josh Groban" station awhile ago.  It's different than other music I have, but a nice change. Here are some songs from the two albums, "The Promise" and "Wicked Game".




They are usually classified by genre as "Operatic Pop" or "Classic Crossover". The group was formed in 2003 by Simon Cowell after a worldwide search for accomplished soloists who could  also come together to make great music. Each one comes from a different country (but all speak English):

David Miller (tenor), USA 
Urs Bühler (tenor), Switzerland
Sébastien Izambard (tenor), France
Carlos Marín (baritone), Spain

Hope you enjoyed it!


What did you get for Christmas?

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's Christmas Once Again In Santa Barbara

A Christmas song from my hometown.
The picture is the view of the beach and foothills from Cabrillo Boulevard. -Sheila

The Santa Claus Tree

Earlier this month, we put up our little Christmas tree that we've had for over 20 years. Over the years, I've collected various Christmas wrappings, tags, stickers, ornaments and other decorations from city pickup piles, yard sales, friends and the like. The latest acquisition was Christmas goodies from a yard sale we helped with a couple months prior. 

We now have enough stuff to choose from to put up a "theme" for the tree for the past couple years. I asked Rod what he wanted this year, and he didn't really know. I pulled out a tree skirt we acquired a couple years ago that had Santa and "Ho Ho Ho" all over. We'd never done a Santa themed tree before, so I thought, "Why not?" We'd always been a little reticent to have Santa prominently displayed as opposed to Jesus or angels or something else, but we're at a different place in our lives now and are more willing to have some fun with things.

I didn't have quite enough Santa-themed ornaments, but then remembered some large "Father Christmas" gift tags I'd gotten in my last yard sale "haul". I attached some tree hangers on them and--voilá!--tree finished!  I'm pleased with how it turned out.  

My favorite ornaments on the tree are the "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" ceramic paired ones we've had for several years. One has a picture of Virginia O'Hanlon writing a letter and on the back a mock-up of her letter to the Sun newspaper in 1897. The other is a picture of Santa Claus and an excerpt of Francis Church's unsigned editorial response on the back. I'm not one who gets too sentimental about stuff, but those two ornaments are just so sweet!


Choosing the ornaments out of the bunch



What did you do for Christmas decorating this year?

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