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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Tuesday, December 31 2002 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster Remains of the season and year

I've mentioned here in previous seasons my practice of playing nothing but Christmas music for the whole month of December. Normally, I play music in the car, which averages at least an hour most days, and using a portable MP3 CD player and earphones during my approximately one-hour daily workout at my club. For most of the year I don't play music in the house (a television usually on whether watched or not), but during "the season," as I'm moved, I often play Christmas music there, too, using the DVD player to play MP3 Christmas CDs through the stereo. Christmas music is the topping on the decorations, in my perception.

In previous years, while driving, I looked for what I could get from the local radio stations and, on longer trips, relied on my Christmas tapes, most of which were time-shifted from radio on Christmas days of the past, when there were always some local stations that played nothing but Christmas music, commercial-free, for 24 or 30 hours straight. But this year, with the installation of an MP3 CD player in my car the weekend after Christmas 2001, I've been able to keep a collection of 175 Christmas songs, better than any radio station's playlist in my reckoning, cued to play in random order on startup.

In fact, I have not intentionally listened to radio at all for this whole year, and what a blessing that has been! Hesychasm, the purposeful practice of silence, is one of the most potent spiritual weapons in the Orthodox arsenal, and the elimination of elective radio listening is a good beginning.

Not a few "Christmas songs" make references to keeping Christmas all year round, as does Dickens' classic work of fiction, A Christmas Carol. There's a sense in which that's the aim, but a larger sense in which it's not practical, in any sense other than keeping a spirit of hope, anticipation, giving, and charity alive. By New Years Day I find the Christmas music loses its power to charm me. The tree and the colored lights and other decorations start to seem superfluous. Time to get a fresh start.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

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 Stand up for America

A minister was preoccupied with thoughts of how he was going to ask the congregation to come up with more money than they were expecting for the repairs to the church building. Therefore, he was annoyed to find that the regular organist was sick and a substitute had been brought in at the last minute. The substitute wanted to know what to play. "Here's a copy of the service," the minister said impatiently. "But you'll have to think of something to play after I make the announcement about the finances."

During the service, the minister paused and said, "Brothers and Sisters, we are in great difficulty; the roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected, and we need $4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up." At that moment, the substitute organist played "The National Anthem."

—Sent by Frank Charney

Thought for the day

Golden Rules For Living, 3 (end of series):

If you don't know how to operate it, leave it alone.
If it's none of your business, don't ask questions.
If it isn't broke, don't fix it.
If it will brighten someone's day, say it!
If it will tarnish someone's reputation, keep it to yourself!

—Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz
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