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With the very best Christmastide and indeed New Year’s wishes to all my friends and readers, allow me offer such peace as one can in such a troubled and dangerous world.

Our thoughts are with our friends and families dear to us, whether living near or far, whether on this Earth or gone to a Higher Reward.

Fittingly, and at this wintry, bleak time of the year, when those of us of a certain age reflect upon the gifts of family and heritage that we have received, and which it is our duty to impart to the next generations, nothing can be a closer connection with the ethereal, nothing can evoke the spirit of the Christ child more than  Tchaikovsky’s Hymn to the Cherubim’s Song No. 3 (Херувимская песнь), the very reason we celebrate Christmas:

If this does not play, my apologies, please click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3xKTE64mDk&feature=relmfu

My extra-special loving thoughts are for my own wee family and indeed for yours, as well, but most particularly for the men- and women-in-arms deployed far away on the most foreign of soils.

In the Bleak Midwinter is a Christmas carol based upon a poem by the English poet Christina Rosetti written sometime before 1872.

Very sadly, Ms. Rosetti (1830-1894) never lived to hear her moving words set to music by the English composer, Gustav Holst (1874-1934).

The a capella version strips all of life’s frills away except for the gently and deeply moving, truly magnificent power of the music.

Happy Christmas!

I do hope we can ‘chat’ again sometime after the New Year.

If this does not play, my apologies.  Please click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjRXIiZ8bs0&feature=related

In the bleak midwinter

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,

earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;

snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,

in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;

heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign.

In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed

the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,

cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;

but only his mother, in her maiden bliss,

worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

 What can I give him, poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;

if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;

yet what I can I give him: give my heart.

 —###—

Hat-tips to:

San Francisco-based Chanticleer, Chanticleer website Twitter: @ChanticleerSF

Text: Christina G. Rossetti,

Music: Gustav Holst

The Holst Birthplace Museum in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England is well worth the trip.  Holst Birthplace Museum Twitter: @HolstMuseum