Y is for Yule

Yuletide carols. Yule singing. Yule log. Yule goat. Yule boar.

Yule or yuletide is a pagan Germanic winter festival later absorbed into the Christian festival of Christmas. It was originally celebrated from late December to early January on a date determined by the lunar Germanic calendar. The festival was placed on December 25 when the Christian calendar (Julian calendar) was adopted.

95% of German families will snuggle up and watch TV on Christmas Eve and Day, and TV has actually been compared to the hearth (Feuerstelle) of the olden days. So I propose a new word: Yule TV!

This yule log video was looped on TV in the NY-metro area on Christmas Eve and morning throughout the 1980s.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

X is for exult

Kiri Te Kanawa sings Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate with the Royal Opera House Orchestra, conducted by Stephen Barlow, in Greenwich.

I grew up in the joyful German Christmas Eve tradition, thanks to my mother, who brought her beliefs and practices to the US. Whatever your religion and practice, peace, joy and love to you this evening and always.

The Book of Habakkuk, 3:18

New International Version (©1984)
yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

New Living Translation (©2007)
yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.

GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
even then, I will be happy with the LORD. I will truly find joy in God, who saves me.

King James Bible
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

American King James Version
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

American Standard Version
Yet I will rejoice in Jehovah, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

Bible in Basic English
Still, I will be glad in the Lord, my joy will be in the God of my salvation.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But I will rejoice in the Lord: and I will joy in God my Jesus.

Darby Bible Translation
Yet I will rejoice in Jehovah, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

English Revised Version
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

Webster’s Bible Translation
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

World English Bible
yet I will rejoice in Yahweh. I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

Young’s Literal Translation
Yet I, in Jehovah I exult, I do joy in the God of my salvation.

Christmas quiz about what can go wrong at Christmas.

W is for who

IMG_0019

2 little whos — ee cummings

2 little whos
(he and she)
under are this
wonderful tree

smiling stand
(all realms of where
and when beyond)
now and here

(far from a grown
-up i&you-
ful world of known)
who and who

(2 little ams
and over them this
aflame with dreams
incredible is)

Have a laugh on me: I made a Christmas quiz about what can go wrong at Christmas.

T is for thee

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” is the beginning of possibly the most beautiful love poem ever written, of William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18.

Pity that there is no “Du” in English. The intimacy of “thou, thee, thine”, the “du, dich, dein” we have lost in English, is one of the things that makes German my language of love.

For those of you who were hoping that T is for test, here is a great test of Shakesperean pronouns.

Here’s David Gilmore of Pink Floyd interpreting Sonnet 18:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate;
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

– William Shakespeare

Thank you to Leslie of English Desk for this video.

S is for Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel, 1904-1991) is pronounced “Zeus” in English, like the Greek god. And he is a, if not the, godhead in the pantheon of English literacy. In a hilarious reading of Green Eggs and Ham, the Rev. Jesse Jackson called him a “latter-day saint”. He was a third-generation German-American who grew up speaking both languages, with German being spoken at home. Words fascinated him from an early age. His zany drawings and poems are unmatched.

In his first book, The Cat in the Hat, Dick and Sally are latchkey children alone at home with their fish. The Cat in the Hat comes, causing chaos with his two sidekicks, Thing One and Thing Two. In the end, the kids get the Cat in the Hat and (the) Things under control, and the Cat in The Hat tidies everything up… just in time, before Dick and Sally’s parents come home!

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do. And that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” – Dr. Seuss

“…adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.” – Dr. Seuss (quoted in his obituary in Time Magazine)

Dr. Seuss (Image: Wikipedia)
Dr. Seuss

To read them is to learn them by heart. Ten quotes:

Hop on pop: “We like to hop. We like to hop on top of pop. / Stop! You must not hop on pop.”

One fish two fish red fish blue fish

Fox in Socks: “New socks. Two socks. Whose socks? Sue’s socks.”

The Cat in the Hat: “I will pick up the hook. / You will see something new. / Two things. And I call them Thing One and Thing Two.”

Horton Hears a Who: “A person’s a person no matter how small.”

Horton Hatches the Egg: “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant./ An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent.”

Green Eggs and Ham: “I will not eat them, Sam I Am!”
Video: The Reverend Jesse Jackson reads Green Eggs and Ham

Put me in the Zoo: “They should not put you in the zoo. / The circus is the place for you!”

Oh, the places you will go! “You have brains in your head. / You have feet in your shoes. / You can steer yourself / any direction you choose.”

How the Grinch Stole Christmas: “The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! / Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.”