Celebrating: This Is Always Write’s 1,400th Post

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Featured Bloggers for Toys or Play

Since I don’t know all of your first names, I changed the format of Featured Bloggers somewhat to reflect your tagline or title. Your friendships mean so much. Thank you all for joining in. If I missed your post, please send me a comment. Not all Pingbacks come through.

IT’S EASY TO PLAY ALONG WITH #WQWWC

This weekly writing challenge runs from Wednesday through Tuesday. The only rule is to use a quote. If you want to participate, create a pingback to link your post. Not sure how to do that? See how to create pingbacks here. Be sure to link to the most recent post, not my page. I don’t see links to my page. 

#WQWWC #52 – Topic: Festive Celebrating

Definition: Festive: Cheerful, jovial, celebratory synonyms: jollyjolly · merry · joyous · joyful · happy · jovial · lighthearted · cheerful · cheery · jubilant · convivial · good-time · high-spirited · gleeful · mirthful · uproarious 

Other Challenges

Today, along with #WQWWC, I’m combining Amy’s LAPC #177, “Celebrating,” along with Sunday Stills – “Christmas Song Lyric Challenge“. I also want to include Jez’s Challenge, “Fan Of.”

My Celebratory Choices for This Week

I’m a fan of Christmas, but not a superior decorator. I enjoy visiting others and seeing their decorative choices rather than creating our own for a few to see.

“Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.”

–John Boswell

In Woodlake, the entire town came out for the Christmas parade. Along the way, we also enjoyed how people decorated their yards.

“Love the giver more than the gift.”

–Brigham Young
Woodlake Kiwanis Toys for Joy program

Friends from different service organizations, the Woodlake schools, and churches came together to provide a way for parents in need to pick out some beautiful gifts for their children.

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”

–Hamilton Wright Mabie

Many from Prescott and Prescott Valley come together for the lighting of Courthouse Square. The place for judgment becomes the place of beauty and joy during December.

“You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

–Maya Angelou

I laughed out loud at this quote. I am the worst offender, falling prey to frustration without using festive words to make it go away.

I grab the tangled sparkles away from my husband who stands perpetually fiddling with them. After giving them a good shake, I drop them on the floor. Then, finding one end that looks friendly, I start twisting and turning until I have a long string of lights. I immediately wrap the string of lights around my arm tangling it once again. Then we pass the retangled lariat of lights around the tree, fighting with our artistic fingers over which limb needs the light most. When it’s time to attach the next bunch, we discover that we started at the wrong end and there’s no place to plug in the next strand.

We saved $20 over the pre-strung Christmas tree. 🙂

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

–Edith Sitwell

It looks colder than it is with this plastic snowman. That’s as close as we could get in Central California to a white Christmas.

“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.”

–Mary Ellen Chase

What was really strange to me was department store Christmas windows filled with scenes of summer Christmas barbeques in Melbourn, Australia.

Sunday Stills: A Christmas Story and the Song

For Terri’s Sunday Stills post today, I’m sharing a 2008 version of a very old Christmas song our pastor shared at the end of his sermon today. The lyrics are embedded in the video. This version and the story of Longfellow made the song even more meaningful to me than it had been.

Christmas Day was written by Longfellow in 1864 at the end of the Civil War when peace was yet a dream. His own life had been troubled in the three years prior to that time. In 1861 his wife, Fanny was saving curls cut from their little girl’s curls. In the process, she dripped sealing wax on her dress. It started to smolder, and a gust fanned it into flames. She ran out of the room to save her daughters. Henry W. Longfellow tried to put out the fire, but even throwing himself over her only burnt him, and did not save her life. His December journal that year reflected his grim outlook and sad memories.

Two years later his eldest son was severely injured in the Civil War. He penned this poem on Christmas day, 1863.

Christmas Day

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."

December 25, 1863

“The English organist, John Baptiste Calkin, used the poem in a processional accompanied with a melody “Waltham” that he previously used as early as 1848. The Calkin version of the carol was long the standard. Less commonly, the poem has also been set to Joseph Mainzer’s 1845 composition “Mainzer”. Other melodies have been composed more recently, most notably in 1956 by Johnny Marks.Wikipedia

Many feel that way today about holidays. It is hard to celebrate right after losing a loved one or during other hardships in your life. If you are struggling with loss or sorrow, let the words of the poet soothe your emotions knowing that he too suffered greatly as he wrote this poem.

The Cedarmont Kids sang the first tune written by John Baptiste Calkin in 1848. This was the standby tune for many years.

This is the third version written by Johnny Marks in 1956. You have probably heard at least these two. I was not able to find the second version. Many famous recording artists recorded this version of I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.

Now it’s your turn.

Tell us what you are celebrating or why it is hard to celebrate this year. Thanks so much for stopping by and having fun with quotes. Have a wonderful holiday season, and enjoy the rest of your week!

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63 responses to “#WQWWC #52: Festive Celebrating”

  1. WQWWC # 55: Reflections/Memoirs – Marsha Ingrao – Always Write Avatar

    […] Celebrating/Festive – 115 views, 47 likes 62 comments, 11 Featured Bloggers, 3 links to other […]

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  2. Prior... Avatar

    Hi Marsha – the casting crowns song Plays as I type – quite a nice version
    and enjoyed your post.
    That ice-skating ornament is great
    and we heard it is usually better to go without pre-lit – we know a few folks who have had problems with the pre-lit trees – hmmm

    Like

  3. #Thursday: Doors, Trios FOTD: Shop ‘Till You Drop – Marsha Ingrao – Always Write Avatar

    […] #WQWWC 52– Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge: The topic this week is Candles/Lights. This post goes perfectly with the Lens-Artist Photo Challenge – “You Choose” and Sunday Stills – “Metalic Taste.” Many people paired with the seasonal link-up challenge “Festive Bon-Bons,” co-hosted by Deb’s World, Retirement Reflections, and Women Living Well After 50. Does anyone cook by candlelight? Quotes might include a recipe! […]

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    1. Marsha Avatar

      Lovely! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje Avatar

        Thanks 🙏🏼

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Feeling Festive – New2Writing Avatar

    […] After such a magical time, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more festive. […]

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    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks for joining, Diana.

      Like

  5. Celebrating the festive season – Keep it alive Avatar

    […] Written in response to WQWWC, hosted by Marsha […]

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  6. Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge: #Metallic Taste – Second Wind Leisure Perspectives Avatar

    […] Writer’s Quotes Wednesday challenge is “festive,” and I’m keeping it so with all this metallic […]

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  7. Manja Maksimovič Avatar

    Here you go, Marsha, I can add this post to your quote challenge since it indeed includes two quotes, both reposted in my blogging memories at the end. As you saw, it’s not a happy post, but sadnesses must be counted too.

    https://manjameximexcessive6.wordpress.com/2021/12/11/ppac-piran-4-safet-zec/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thank you so much, Manja. It fits perfectly. We don’t always think of sadness as part of celebrating, but it really is.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. robertawrites235681907 Avatar

    What wonderful Christmas decorations, Marsha. A lovely Christmas post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thank you so much Robbie. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. PPAC #26: Melbourne Mural Walk #3 – Marsha Ingrao – Always Write Avatar

    […] #WQWWC 52– Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge: The topic this week is Festive – Celebrating. This is my milestone 1,400th post and one year of WQWWC! So, celebrate with me. This post goes perfectly with the Lens-Artist Photo Challenge – Celebrating and Sunday Stills – Christmas Song Lyrics. You don’t have to limit yourself to Christmas or even winter holidays. Just pick times you have been festive. It’s a great chance to share pictures and stories of family gatherings, parades, or other celebrations. The only requirement is to include at least one quote with your post. Songs count as quotes – by the way. 🙂 […]

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  10. JohnRH Avatar

    Great celebration photos. Congrats on your 1400th! Who so few?!?! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      LOL! I deleted a few. I spent four years on a different website, and I combine challenges. Otherwise, I’d have probably 2,000, but no more than that. What about you, John?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. JohnRH Avatar

        Mine appears to be a meager 679 in 12 years. Alas alack… 😩

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          What can I say, I’m wordy!!! LOL

          Like

  11. Frank @ Beach Walk Reflections Avatar

    It tis the festive season … the lights, decorations, music, food, smiles, and more … so an excellent choice for your Wednesday. Unfortunately, I can’t think of a beach walk that fits!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Sad for me!!’ Nobody’s decorating the beach? I bet all the beach front hotels are resplendent.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Frank @ Beach Walk Reflections Avatar

        Bummer …. but Santa will appear on the beach. Give me time!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          You have all the time you want or need, Frank. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  12. #Thursday Doors, Trios and FOTD: Prescott Walk – Marsha Ingrao – Always Write Avatar

    […] #WQWWC 52– Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge: The topic this week is Festive – Celebrating. This is my milestone 1,400th post and one year of WQWWC! So, celebrate with me. This post goes perfectly with the Lens-Artist Photo Challenge – Celebrating and Sunday Stills – Christmas Song. You don’t have to limit yourself to Christmas or even winter holidays. Just pick times you have been festive. It’s a great chance to share pictures and stories of family gatherings, parades, or other celebrations. The only requirement is to include at least one quote with your post. Songs count as quotes – by the way. 🙂 […]

    Like

  13. willowdot21 Avatar

    A beautiful festive blog Marsha full of fun and colour 💜💜💜 HAPPY CHRISTMAS 💜💜.

    Like

  14. Tina Schell Avatar

    Well Marsha, I started out loving your festive photos and then whammo, you hit me with the Longfellow story! i’d never heard that and found it so very sad. I do, though, love that song. How he could come through that and end on a positive note is beyond me. I’ll get over it but it’s a good reminder that not everything about the holiday is joyful and there are many for whom this will be a very difficult time. Thanks for the reminders of both the joy and the sadness, and that we should remember both. And of course, thanks to linking to our challenge!

    Like

  15. photobyjohnbo Avatar

    What a festive post! Thanks for clueing me in on the carol. I had no clue the words were written so long ago. It is now even more so one of my favorite carols.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      How awesome. I didn’t know either.

      Like

  16. Jim Borden Avatar

    we always enjoy driving around to look at the Christmas decorations in our town…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Sounds fun. Woodlake was so small, I found these on foot. 🙂 LOL

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jim Borden Avatar

        that looks like an enjoyable walk…

        Like

  17. Leya Avatar

    Lots of lots of celebration! You are the perfect juggler of challenges! Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Wow, perfect? I’m honored.

      Like

        1. Marsha Avatar

          Your posts are always perfect, Leya. 🙂

          Like

          1. Leya Avatar

            ♥ Thank you for positive feedback – But always it can never be!

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Marsha Avatar

            LOL Oh well. almost always! 🙂

            Like

  18. Cindy Georgakas Avatar

    lots of fun in your post and love your pre strung xmas light tree and ice skate!!! NICE! 💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Cindy. Did you read my ice-skating story? I’ve probably written a poem about it somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cindy Georgakas Avatar

        I looked again… but don’t see it? 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          I’ll send you a link when I get home. You’ll appreciate my dilemma. 😂😂😂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Cindy Georgakas Avatar

            Oh good.. somehow I missed it!!💖

            Like

          2. Cindy Georgakas Avatar

            oh my Marsha.. what a great story shared and sounds mortifying with your wig falling off etc. you are right we don’t want to fall. Every fall creates impact and worsens as we age! Not sure how i missed that!! Thanks for sending!💖

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Marsha Avatar

            I wrote it a million years ago. Just one of those things you never forget.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Cindy Georgakas Avatar

            Such a memory in your consciousness. No, how could you forget that!💖🌷

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Marsha Avatar

            LOL impossible unless I develop Alzheimer’s!

            Like

  19. restlessjo Avatar

    Sadness mixed with joy and laughter. Like all of life, Marsha. I loved your tangled lights tale. I always leave them to Mick. We have quite a small tree but I have NO patience. And today is the 1 year anniversary of the only death from Covid that has really touched my life. The lady who set up our croquet club with her husband had to watch him die through a plastic screen, unable to touch or hold. A living nightmare for her. If you can survive that I think you can survive most things in life. They played A-Ha and the songs they loved at the funeral and I can’t hear one without filling up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Oh, that is so sad, Jo. I’m so sorry for your friend. I know some of my readers have recently lost family members, and the song and story about Longfellow made me think of them. I haven’t lost anyone close to me from Covid but one acquaintance lost his mother who was younger than I am. That always gives me pause.

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  20. Amy Avatar

    Beautiful Christmas lights and decorations you’ve captured, Marsha! Musics, friends, sweet memories… thank you for sharing with us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Amy. I don’t have nearly the number that you posted. I like the way many people thought outside the box of Christmas.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. ladysighs Avatar

    I don’t think I have ever heard all the verses of “I Heard the Bells.” I would probably give out after the first “Peace on Earth Good-will to Men”. We do need more of that.

    https://ladysighs.wordpress.com/2021/12/08/holidays-festive-celebrations/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      They probably didn’t put them all to music. Some of them reflect his great sorrow at the time.

      Like

    2. Marsha Avatar

      Awesome post, Lady. Thanks for joining in this week. 🙂

      Like

  22. Terri Webster Schrandt Avatar

    What’s not to love about your festive post, Marsha! Once again you expertly combined several challenges and made them all work! Firstly, I enjoyed your festive decor in Woodlake and now in Prescott. The courthouse looks very nice in its festive state. But I love that old song Christmas Day and didn’t realize what a history it had which Longfellow penned so eloquently! That last verse is awesome and is a wonderful addition to the variety of Christmas/holiday songs others have contributed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Terri. One of my contributors sang a song for her entry. Ladysighs. You will love it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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