By Request, ‘The Holly and the Ivy’

Thank you, Phoebe, for entering this beautiful hymn into our Christmas carol contest–The Holly and the Ivy, by the Robert Shaw Chorale. I don’t know about anybody else, but I’ve loved Christmas all my life and the older I get, the more it stirs my soul.

A Carol from Sweden

Bengt has sent us this entry in our Christmas Carol Contest–sent it all the way from Sweden: Peter Mattei singcs Giv mig ej glans (“Give Me No Splendor”). The album is “Christmas (Jul=Yule) with Peter Mattei.” He is in a class with the world’s great singers.

Cats & Treadmills: A Love Story

Most people don’t know that the treadmill was invented in the 19th century as a means of punishment, and was used in prisons until a judge ruled it cruel and unusual.

But here are cats finding all sorts of inventive ways to use a treadmill, all of them much more fun than anything a human might do with it.

That is probably why they don’t sentence cats to prison.

By Request, ‘Angels We Have Heard on High’

Here’s one that’ll soothe your soul–Angels We Have Heard on High, an instrumental by Rick Foster. Requested by Joshua, and entered into the carol contest: you might want to play this just before bedtime.

By Request, ‘Adeste Fideles’ (Pavarotti)

Phoebe asked for Adeste Fideles, so I have given her Pavarotti at Notre Dame Cathedral in Montreal.

Our Second Annual Christmas Carol Contest is off to a good start–I hope many of you enter. If you’ve never made a hymn request before, now’s as good a time as any to start.

Conversations with Your Cat

Do you talk to your cat? Does he talk back?

I’m convinced cats understand a lot of what you say to them. I think of our cat, Henry, arguing with me back and forth over possession of the pieces in my Strat-O-Matic Baseball game. He objected vigorously to my not letting him have the little plastic baserunners.

And I once said to Buster, while he was perched on a cabinet and looking out the window, “Y’know, your sister’s put on too much weight. Why don’t you chase her up the stairs?” And that’s exactly what he did.

I rest my case.

By Request, ‘Joy to the World’

Requested by Erlene, Joy to the World–and I can’t do better than Nat King Cole, can I?

Our Second Annual Christmas Carol Contest has begun; and don’t worry if the carol you want to request has already been posted. And don’t worry about us running out of carols!

Sing for Christmas!

By Request, ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear’

I hope these carols move you as they move me: open up our hearts, and let the light of Jesus Christ shine in.

Back to our carol contest! Requested by Erlene, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. Written in 1849 by Edmund Sears, performed here by Blackmore’s Night: vocals by Candice Night.

May God grant this Christmas extraordinary power to draw us to our Savior and our King.

By Request, ‘We Three Kings’

We Three Kings, sung by Steven Curtis Chapman–I’d never heard this before. Requested by TheWhiteRabbit, it’s entered into our Second Annual Christmas Carol Contest.

You can enter as often as you like, and the prize will go to whoever suggests the carol that gets the most views on the day it was requested. We had a lot of fun with this last year!

Cats & Christmas Trees (A Horror Movie)

The only time our Christmas tree fell over, the cats had nothing to do with it. It just fell. And landed on me.

We have a real tree, and it takes me a good two hours to decorate it. I am happy to say none of our cats ever brought down a Christmas tree. Eating pine needles, batting low-hanging ornaments around, rumpling the blanket–that’s about all the mischief we have to cope with.

Yeah, we can laugh at these videos. You sort of have to.