I write this from a large house in Pennsylvania that my beloved extended family has rented for the week so that we can converge upon our newest member and rejoice in each others’ sweet, silly, insightful, and rambunctious company. That we are the types which like to make our own fun or enjoy things somewhat off the beaten path has prompted me to include two links to good cheer best enjoyed in such excellent company at Christmastime.

Although Chanukah, Diwali, and Eid are all past, I also include some links to family-oriented and fun activities for each, including plays. Hopefully folks will save these links to their calendars for those celebrations next year!

So here we go with some Yuletide delights. I do love many of the holiday-themed films, but there is something about radio that captures me and feels more real. Here is a link to my favorite Christmas radio episode, the Christmas Show of 1955 of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. The rendition of “T’was the Night Before Christmas” is not to be missed. Love the genre? Here’s another link to more Christmas Radio Shows, collated by Bill Hillman.

Secondly, I simply must have some Dickens, whether that means being in a staged version, a radio version, watching a film, or simply reading “A Christmas Carol” (or excerpts). Below is the opening of this wonderful little tidbit, followed by a link to the work in its entirety, complete with Victorian illustrations.

“I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.

Their faithful Friend and Servant,
C. D.
December, 1843.

Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.”

Here’s the link to Dickens (thanks Stormfax)!

Lastly, links for fun stuff to do at other light-oriented celebrations that often come this time of year:

candles 1Diwali (Hindu Festival of Lights); this year it was November 3rd.

BBC, Let’s Celebrate Diwali 

Eid al Adha, also celebration typically in the fall winter. This year “Little Eid” was in August, and “Big Eid” began on October 15:

Jordan Times, Eid is Fun


Priyo News, Comedy Play


Arab News, Comedy Plays

Chanukah/Hanukkah, which was at the end of November this year:

Untitled Theater, Plays About Hanukkah


Hanukkah Plays


P.S. The Dickens image is from the Stormfax website, which is the website that houses the work itself. The other images are by Thomas Hoebbel Photography and used with permission.