This year’s Christmas Carol gift for Karen is the obvious choice, although we’ll acknowledge there could be a little name confusion.
This popular tune is known both as “Up on the Rooftop” and “Up on the Housetop” as sung by a variety of cover artists.
This year’s carol is an obvious nod to our 2016 house remodel, which will actually stretch into early 2017. But the new kitchen is open, the look of the house has changed dramatically, and we’re thrilled the result. The Hallmark “Arts and Crafts Bungalow” ornament was not our design inspiration, but it lends itself nicely as a memento nonetheless.
Up on the Housetop was written in 1864, and is considered to be the second oldest secular Christmas song, outdone only by “Jingle Bells,” which was Jocelyn’s gift to her mother in 2003.
And speaking of our Remodel not being on time …
Also works for Holiday Cards. (Ours, like our home remodel that was supposed to be finished in November, won't be out until January.) https://t.co/FhLTlfcEpm
Time for our 14th Annual Christmas Carol! … Captured in a new snow globe ornament with pictures from our trip along the Icefields Parkway in the Canadian Rockies, a true “Winter Wonderland,” even in summer.
But, first an apology: If you only use our website to keep up with us, then we let you down in 2015. Two posts, both this week. Sorry about that. But over on social media (Twitter, Facebook, you missed a pretty incredible year!
Far and away the biggest fun in 2015 came from our three-week odyssey through Canada, culminating with the once-in-a-lifetime experience watching the US Womens National Soccer team win the FIFA World Cup!
In between games in Edmonton, we drove along the Ice Fields Parkway between Jasper and Banff. We’d been to Banff before — in the winter — so we wanted to see it the summertime, too. And it did not disappoint!
Of course, in our 14th year of Christmas Carol gifts to Karen, we’re not content just to announce a song and leave it at that. “Winter Wonderland” was written in 1934, and has been performed by more than 200 artists, including Guy Lombardo, Perry Como, Pat Boone, Paul Anka, Frank Sinatra, Barry Manilow, Bing Crosby, and Elvis Presley, to name just a few.
But it should come as no surprise that we’re specifically giving the Anne Murray version of “Winter Wonderland,” acknowledging one of Canada’s favorite vocalists from the 1970s & 80s.
We even managed to uncover a whole CD called “A Canadian Christmas, Vol 4” (yes 4!) that includes many other holiday favorites covered by performers from the great white north. We also found a YouTube slideshow someone put together with pictures of Niagara Falls set to Murray’s version.
David and the Girls spent three weeks this summer following the tournament from Montreal to Ottawa to Edmonton to Vancouver, with more family joining in as the games got more important. We had always planned to go the Final along with the Vancouver (WA) Kellers, but it was especially awesome of the US Womens National Team to join us there! And, yes, those early goals were all scored right in front of us! … Relive it on Twitter & Facebook: #mkWWC
No, not a sad Christmas … a celebratory one with some color-coded memories 😉
Your Christmas Tree tradition probably calls for an angel on top of your tree. So does ours, but our newest “angel” is “blue” … a scale model of a Blue Angels performance F/A-18 Hornet, built by the Girls and decorated for the holiday season!
Coincidentally, Elvis Presley entered our family playlist this year, thanks to the Girls seeing an Elvis impersonator perform in Maui with their grandparents.
Blue Christmas is also the song that saves everyone from The Year Without a Santa Claus. On the verge of a well-earned (and kid-approved) vacation, Santa gets a letter with these lyrics, inspiring him to take to his sleigh, just in time.
“Blue Christmas” (or “Longest Night”) is also the name for the longest night of the year during the Christian Advent season.
Separately — for those of you keeping score at home — we have added the two San Diego Missions to the Carol of the [Mission] Bells garland from 2013. We hope to finish our Mission Mission with our final 5 visits during in the summer of 2015.
Our 2014 adventures included cruising California’s Gold Country, surfing on Maui, riding hippogriffs in Orlando, chasing alligators in Miami, and riding ziplines in San Diego. And because that wasn’t enough, Jocelyn also spent two weeks in Costa Rica.
We’re off for a full family vacation in the southwestern corner of our fair state! That’s right: San Jose Unified just won’t drop this “Fall Break” nonsense, so we’re playing along for a week in San Diego.
Follow along on Twitter, and keep an eye on Storify!
Cash-in three airplane tickets from an abandoned trip to Cancun to go to Florida mostly so Jocelyn could fly direct to Costa Rica for her two-week Outward Bound adventure, that itself was rescheduled from her planned trip to Peru. Got it?