Sights and Sounds – A Holiday Post

It’s the day before Christmas and I’ve been cleaning and cooking all day (getting stuffing ready for tomorrow and pot roast for tonight), but I wanted to wish everyone a happy holiday, however you celebrate. My daughter Mary will spend the night – we’ll eat pot roast and watch Star Wars VI. We’ve been watching all the movies in preparation for Star Wars VII. The plan is to see it next week for her birthday. My older daughter Beth will be here in the morning – one of the few times in the year that the stars align and we can all spend time together. We’ll try to Skype with Josh and family in Iowa – my idea of a perfect day. Christmas is precious to me for many reasons.

I don’t keep a lot of traditions during the year, but this season is my favorite and I have a few traditions I like to keep, both old and new. One of the more recent is a trip to San Francisco. I live fairly close, so the trip itself is no big deal. I go many times a year but I especially like to go near Christmas.

I especially like to go with both my daughters – get something to eat, do a little shopping. Mary was working and unable to get away so she didn’t come. Beth was escaping to a cabin in the snow the following day and I had some music I wanted to give her (some of which will be in a review next month). I figured I could go up to the city, do a little shopping, then pick her up from work (downtown) and take her home.

This may sound like no big deal to most people, but it’s sometimes a real crap shoot for me – whether it’s “fun” or just completely overwhelming, which I usually avoid like the plague. And I almost didn’t go, but I’m glad I did. I always am.

Union Square is always a pretty cool place, but at Christmas it’s extra sparkly and noisy and crowded. The Christmas tree is huge,

and there are lights in the palm trees, of course. This is California, after all. There is seasonal ice skating,

which I haven’t been brave enough to try, but want to – one of these years. I haven’t ice skated since I was about ten. I’m sure I’d spend most of the time on my butt on the ice. But it’s fun watching others and certainly adds to the holiday atmosphere.

Then there’s Macy’s.

We usually spend some time there, but it wasn’t my goal this day. There are, however, kittens.

Many, many kittens, all available for adoption.

Unexpected was the free entertainment further down the street. There was this guy,

and a host of other strange performers looking like they had escaped from a Cirque du Soleil troupe; actors in Victorian garb reading, I assume, from appropriate Dickensian texts (I didn’t stop long enough to listen carefully); and a neat animated mural.

I always enjoy street performers (if they’re any good) and I appreciated this guy,

before reaching my goal, the Market Street shopping center, where I got Mary a cute jacket and Beth a nice shirt. Shhh….don’t tell them. We’re having a “small” Christmas this year. Not that we ever have really “big” Christmases, but this year none of us has much extra to spend and that’s not the point anyway. There are a few gifts under the tree, we’ll have a nice meal, and we’ll spend time together. That’s all that really matters.

I hope your holiday, whatever you celebrate and however you spend it, is peaceful and happy and perfect. I’ll see you in the New Year!

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All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2015 B B Shepherd and China Blue Publishing.

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Christmas Greetings and Wishes

Okay, I owe you guys big time, but it’s Christmas, so the most I can do right now is spread some holiday fun and wish you peace, safety, and happiness for the new year.

First, if you’ve played Portal, these characters will be familiar. And if not, that’s okay. I think you’ll still enjoy the video:

The first time I heard Gaudete it was by an old British folk-rock band, Steeleye Span. There are no good videos of them though, and I LOVE Libera boys choir and found this by them. They do a beautiful version of Gaudete:

Finally, you need to full-screen this one, or look it up on Facebook as it only embeds as a small screen here, but this is a great flash mob type choir, beautifully sung and executed.

I’ll be back soon. Merry Christmas everyone!

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Twas a few days before Christmas . . .

. . . and I should have been cleaning and putting things away. I don’t even have the tree up yet; if I don’t do it soon it won’t be worth doing! This will be a quiet Christmas–just two of my close family–but I look forward to seeing two of my very best friends and my aunt too, later this month.

Back to what I should have been doing . . . .
In repacking boxes for storage (the ones that I have to get out of the way in order to make room for afore-mentioned tree), I came across some old videos. Some very old videos. Videos of family gatherings, musical performances, dance recitals. Videos so old they’re on video tape.

These videos include the most precious people on earth to me; some are just older now, but some are gone. How amazing to be able to watch them again, to feel their presence and hear their voices, especially their laughter. And look how young and skinny we all are!

Yes, I should be working right now, but I’m not going to feel guilty. I’m feeding my soul.

I hope to post once more before Sunday, but in case I don’t: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Here’s a couple of videos from members of the best steam punk band ever, Abney Park ๐Ÿ™‚

All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and chapters at the book’s website here:

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