Tag Archives: christmas

Merry Christmas

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Christmas:  that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance–a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.–Augusta E. Rundel

The elves in our writing shop penned a holiday newsletter filled with quotes, stories, fun and many interest links. Here is Our 20019 Christmas Wish.

Be sure to surf through the many Christmas posts in the By George Journal. They are sure to make everything a little merrier.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Christmas Toasts

eggnogHere is a selection of ten toasts for your Christmas gathering.

  • May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!
  • May peace, love and prosperity follow you always.
  • May the Blessings of Christmas be with you today and always.
  • May the closeness of friends, the comfort of home, and the unity of our nation, renew your spirits this holiday season
  • May the Good Lord fulfill you with His promises and bestow on you His many blessings
  • May the Holiday Season bring only happiness and joy to you and your loved ones.
  • May the Joy and Peace of Christmas be with you now and throughout the new year.
  • May the peace and joy of the holiday season be with you throughout the coming year.
  • May you have the gift of faith, the blessing of hope and the peace of His love at Christmas and always
  • Merry Christmas May God bless you richly throughout this holiday season.

Also, there are more sayings and toasts for both Christmas and New Years found on the By George Journal. Click here: For Your Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations.

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Christmas (in words)

It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air. – W.T. Ellis

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Our elf-wordsmiths at By George enjoy contemplating words that best frame the spirit of a moment or an event. We have our favourite words for just about every occasion… including Christmas.  In the days leading up to the 25th, we offered our readers, our favourite inscriptions, verse and quotes, providing the following links to past posts that have captured in words some of the best thoughts about this magical time of year. Enjoy.

Thoughts to infuse the spirit of Christmas

Christmas Toasts

Christmas Quotes

Humourous Holiday Quotes

We hope and trust you like all the Christmas-y content posted this year in the Journal.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

#1 Christmas Movie : “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Through the years, By George Journal has featured “It’s a Wonderful Life”, well, it’s the best Christmas movie we have – a moving account of a caring, community-minded, family man who struggles with inner-doubt and comes to fully appreciate the love of family and friends. In our crazy, mixed-up world, it doesn’t get better than this.

Here are quick links to our Journal’s posts on this must-rewatch-this-holiday film. 

Drop us a note and let us know when you view “It’s a Wonderful Life” this Christmas season. Enjoy!

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Eggnog has a rather rich history

  • Eggnog can trace its roots back as far as the 14th century, when medieval Englishmen enjoyed a hot cocktail known as posset. Posset did not contain eggs — the Oxford English Dictionary describes it as “a drink made of hot milk curdled with ale, wine, or the like, often sweetened and spiced’ – The first “eggnog” was likely a mixture of Spanish “Sherry” and milk.
  • In Britain, the drink was popular mainly among the aristocracy; dairy products and eggs were rarely consumed by the lower classes due to their high cost and the lack of refrigeration.
  • As a rich, spicy, and alcoholic drink, eggnog soon became a popular wintertime drink throughout Colonial America. However, since brandy and wine were heavily taxed, rum from the Caribbean was substitute – and Americans came to know the drink strictly as a rum mixture.
  • When the supply of rum to the newly-founded United States was reduced as a consequence of the American Revolutionary War, Americans turned to domestic whiskey, and eventually boubon, as a substitute.
  • In Colonial America, rum was commonly called “grog”, so the name eggnog is likely derived from the very descriptive term for this drink, “egg-and-grog”, which corrupted to egg’n’grog and soon to eggnog.
  • An alternative theory on the origin of the name eggnog is that the “nog” of eggnog comes from the word “noggin”. A noggin was a small, wooden, carved mug. It was used to serve drinks at table in taverns. Hence, an egg drink in a noggin could become eggnog.
  • Eggnog, in the 1800s was nearly always made in large quantities and nearly always used as a social drink. It was commonly served at holiday parties and it was noted by an English visitor in 1866, “Christmas is not properly observed unless you brew egg nogg for all comers; everybody calls on everybody else; and each call is celebrated by a solemn egg-nogging…It is made cold and is drunk cold and is to be commended.”
  • In the 1820’s author Pierce Egan wrote a book called “Life of London: or Days and Nights of Jerry Hawthorne and His Elegant Friend Corinthina Tom”. To publicize his work Mr. Egan made up a variation of eggnog he called “Tom and Jerry”. It added 1/2 oz of brandy to the basic recipe (fortifying it considerably and adding further to its popularity).
  • The United States first President George Washington was quite a fan of eggnog and devised his own recipe that included rye whiskey, rum and sherry. It was reputed to be a stiff drink that only the most courageous were willing to try.
  • An 1879 collection of recipes from Virginia housewives features a recipe that calls for 12 eggs, eight wine-glassfuls of brandy, and four wine-glassfuls of wine. Another recipe calls for three dozen eggs, half a gallon of domestic brandy, and another half-pint of French brandy.
  • It’s hard to top the devotion shared by a Virginia father and son in the late 19th century. In 1900, Good Housekeeping ran a story about the Christmas-morning eggnog traditions of Virginia, and it included this anecdote:  “So religiously is this custom of the eggnog drinking observed that Judge Garnett of Mathews County tells a story of rushing in on Christmas morning to warn his father that the house was on fire. The old gentleman first led his son to the breakfast table and ladled out his glass of eggnog, drank one with him, then went to care for the burning building.”
  • Today, if you pick up a carton of commercial eggnog at the supermarket, you’re probably getting much more nog than egg. FDA regulations only require that 1.0 percent of a product’s final weight be made up of egg yolk solids for it to bear the eggnog name. For “eggnog flavored milk,” the bar is even lower; in addition to requiring less butterfat in the recipe, this label only requires 0.5 percent egg yolk solids in the carton.
  • A relatively small four-ounce cup of store-bought eggnog boasts a whopping 170 calories (half of them from fat), nearly 10 grams of fat, and over 70 mg of cholesterol. (If you’re keeping score at home, that’s around a quarter of your recommended daily intake of cholesterol.)
  • Our own By George Journal’s recipe for traditional egg-and-cream eggnog is here:  EGGNOG 

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

For Your Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations

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From all of us at CG&A COMMUNICATIONS, we wish you the best through the holidays. Have a very Merry Christmas and we trust you will ring in a wonderful 2020!

For our season’s greetings, we present ‘Toasts, Quotes and Verse for the holidays.’ Below you will find toasts, quotes, terrific sayings, and verse for both Christmas and New Year’s. We hope you can use this collection of sayings to make that holiday toast a memorable one, to use as inscriptions in those special cards, or to spice up your conversations at family and social gatherings.

The best of the season! Cheers!

TOASTS, QUOTES AND VERSE FOR THE HOLIDAYS

CHRISTMAS TOASTS

— Let the special memories of Christmases past bring new joy and delight to your heart this Christmas!
— May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope; The spirit of Christmas which is peace; The heart of Christmas which is love. – Ada V. Hendricks
— I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. –Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol)
— A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world!–Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol)
— Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. – Hamilton Wright Mabie
— Christmas is not a date. It is a state of mind. – Mary Ellen Chase
— A Christmas Cheer: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.
— From Home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other –Emily Matthews
— May peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!
— May peace be more than a season, may it be a way of life!

CHRISTMAS QUOTES

— Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.–Norman Vincent Peale
— Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.–Calvin Coolidge
— Christmas is not just a day, an event to be observed and speedily forgotten. It is a spirit which should permeate every part of our lives.–William Parks
— Christmas–that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance–a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.–Augusta E. Rundel
— Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.–Washington Irving
— Best of all, Christmas means a spirit of love, a time when the love of God and the love of our fellow men should prevail over all hatred and bitterness, a time when our thoughts and deeds and the spirit of our lives manifest the presence of God.–George F. McDougall
— The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.–Burton Hillis
— There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions –Bill McKibben
— Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it “white”.–Bing Crosby
— Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas. All else is outward display–so much tinsel and decorations. For it isn’t the holly, it isn’t the snow. It isn’t the tree not the firelight’s glow. It’s the warmth that comes to the hearts of men when the Christmas spirit returns again.–Anonymous
— It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.–W. T. Ellis
— I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.–Harlan Miller
— The three stages of man: He believes in Santa Claus. He doesn’t believe in Santa Claus. He is Santa Claus.
— Time was with most of us, when Christmas Day, encircling all our limited world like a magic ring, left nothing out for us to miss or seek; bound together all our home enjoyments, affections, and hopes; grouped everything and everyone round the Christmas fire, and make the little picture shining in our bright young eyes, complete –Charles Dickens

CHRISTMAS VERSE

— “But I am sure that I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round…as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely.” — Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

— Whatever else be lost among the years,
Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing;
Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears,
Let us hold close one day, remembering
It’s poignant meaning for the hearts of men.
Let us get back our childlike faith again.
— Grace Noll Crowell, Let Us Keep Christmas

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

–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Christmas Bells

— When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow,
We hear sweet voices ringing from lands of long ago,
And etched on vacant places
Are half-forgotten faces
Of friends we used to cherish, and loves we used to know.
–Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Christmas Fancies

NEW YEAR TOASTS

— Here’s to a bright New Year and a fond farewell to the old; here’s to things that are yet to come and to the memories that we hold.
— As we start the New Year, let’s get down on our knees to thank God we’re on our feet.
— May all your troubles in the coming year be as short as your New Year’s resolutions.
— May your troubles be less and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.
— May the road rise up before you, and the wind be always at your back, and the good Lord hold you in the hollow of his hands.
— May your neighbors respect you, trouble neglect you, the angels protect you, and heaven accept you.
— Dance as if no one were watching, sing as if no one were listening, and live every day as if it were your last.
— Welcome are those that are here; welcome all, and make good cheer; welcome all, another year.

NEW YEAR QUOTES

— No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam. — Charles Lamb
— Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits.
— A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.
— The new year begins in a snow-storm of white vows.– George William Curtis
— New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday. — Charles Lamb
— Each age has deemed the new-born year, the fittest time for festal cheer — Sir Walter Scott
— The merry year is born, like the bright berry from the naked thorn. — Hartley Coleridge
— Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go. — Brooks Atkinson
— Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols. — Thomas Mann
— An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in; a pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. — Bill Vaughan
— Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve – middle age is when you’re forced to. — Bill Vaughn

NEW YEAR VERSE

— We meet today
To thank Thee for the era done,
And Thee for the opening one.
— John Greenleaf Whittier

— Then sing, young hearts that are full of cheer,
With never a thought of sorrow;
The old goes out, but the glad young year
Comes merrily in tomorrow.
— Emily Miller

— New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. — Hamilton Wright Mabie

— Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page. Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past. — Henry Ward Beecher

— The Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury its own dead. The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time. All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months! — Edward P. Powell

— And ye, who have met with Adversity’s blast,
And been bow’d to the earth by its fury;
To whom the Twelve Months, that have recently pass’d
Were as harsh as a prejudiced jury –
Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime,
The regrets of remembrance to cozen,
And having obtained a New Trial of Time,
Shout in hopes of a kindlier dozen.
— Thomas Hood

— Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true
— Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850

Again, Merry Christmas and the very best through 2020!

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Thoughts to infuse the spirit of Christmas

write_2These are tremendous quotes to scribble in blank cards or to inscribe on the inside cover of a book… they are some of our favourite…

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home! – Charles Dickens

There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions. – Bill McKibben

Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind. – Mary Ellen Chase

Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles. – Anonymous

If there is no joyous way to give a festive gift, give love away. – Anonymous

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. – Norman Vincent Peale

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. – Hamilton Wright Mabi

Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years… Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart. – George Mathhew Adams

From Home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other. – Emily Matthews

He who has no Christmas in his heart will never find Christmas under a tree. – Sunshine Magazine

What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace. – Agnes M. Pharo

The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others’ burdens, easing other’s loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas. – W. C. Jones

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. – Burton Hillis

I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month. – Harlan Miller

Our Dozen FAV Funny Christmas Quotes

  • A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together. — Garrison Keillor
  • Did you ever notice that life seems to follow certain patterns? Like I noticed that every year around this time, I hear Christmas music. — Tom Sims
  • Christmas is a time when you get homesick – even when you’re home. — Carol Nelson
  • Christmas at my house is always at least six or seven times more pleasant than anywhere else. We start drinking early. And while everyone else is seeing only one Santa Claus, we’ll be seeing six or seven. — W. C. Fields
  • There is a remarkable breakdown of taste and intelligence at Christmastime.  Mature, responsible grown men wear neckties made of holly leaves and drink alcoholic beverages with raw egg yolks and cottage cheese in them. — P.J. O’Rourke
  • The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other. — Johnny Carson
  • Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food, and beer…. Who’d have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment, and spirituality would mix so harmoniously? — Bill Watterson
  • The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C.  This wasn’t for any religious reasons.  They couldn’t find three wise men and a virgin. — Jay Leno
  • What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a new job the next day. — Phyllis Diller
  • Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people once a year. — Victor Borge
  • I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up – they have no holidays. — Henry Youngman
  • Next to a circus there ain’t nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit. — Kim Hubbard

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Top-10 Things to Say about a Christmas Gift You Don’t Like

10. Hey! There’s a gift!

9. Well, well, well …

8. Boy, if I had not recently shot up 4 sizes that would’ve fit.

7. This is perfect for wearing around the basement.

6. Gosh. I hope this never catches fire! It is fire season though. There are lots of unexplained fires.

5. If the dog buries it, I’ll be furious!

4. I love it — but I fear the jealousy it will inspire.

3. Sadly, tomorrow I enter the Federal Witness Protection Program.

2. To think — I got this the year I vowed to give all my gifts to charity.

 

And the Number One Thing to say about a Christmas gift you don’t like:

1. I really don’t deserve this.

 

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

This just in… Christmas is to be Downsized

Today’s global challenges require the North Pole to continue to look for better, more competitive steps. Effective immediately, the following economy measures are to take place in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” subsidiary.

  • The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree never turned out to be the cash crop forecasted. It will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance.
  • The two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. The positions are therefore eliminated.
  • The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the French.
  • The four calling birds were replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked.
  • The five golden rings have been put on hold by the management.
  • Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks appear to be in order.
  • The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day is an example of the decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel will assure management that from now on every goose it gets will be a good one.
  • The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times.
  • Their function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes and therefore enhance their outplacement.
  • As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought.
  • The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility.
  • Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching.
  • Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps.
  • Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords plus the expense of international air travel prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant because we expect an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year.
  • Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cut back on new music and no uniforms will produce savings which will drop right down to the bottom line.
  • We can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and other expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one day, service levels will be improved.
  • Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney’s association seeking expansion to include the legal profession (”thirteen lawyers-a-suing”), action is pending.

Lastly, it is not beyond consideration that deeper cuts may be necessary in the future to stay competitive. Should that happen, there will be a request for management to scrutinize the “Snow White Division” to see if seven dwarfs is the right number.

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

10 Guffaws to start the Christmas Partying

Here are some fun one-liners and jokes to get the laughter started at your Christmas gathering through this up-coming week.

  1. Why did no-one bid for Rudolph and Blitzen on Ebay? – Because they were two deer
  2. What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? – Claustrophobic.
  3. What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? – Frostbite.
  4. What do you get when you cross an archer with a gift-wrapper? – Ribbon hood.
  5. Why don’t you ever see Santa in hospital? – Because he has private elf insurance
  6. How did Mary and Joseph know that Jesus weighed 7lb 6oz when he was born? – They had a weigh in a manger
  7. What did the ghost say to Santa Claus? – “I’ll have a boo Christmas without you.”
  8. What do you call a kid that doesn’t believe in Santa? – A rebel without a Claus.
  9. How long should a reindeer’s legs be? – Just long enough to reach the ground!
  10. Knock knock.  Who’s there? Mary and Abbey.  Mary and Abbey who?  Mary Christmas and Abbey New Year!

 

Find more jokes and conversation starters in the By George Journal in articles tagged “Christmas.”

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

The iconic “It’s a Wonderful Life”

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in their National Film Registry.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in 1984, Director Frank Capra expressed amazement on the film’s elevated status: “It’s the damnedest thing I’ve ever seen. The film has a life of its own now and I can look at it like I had nothing to do with it. I’m like a parent whose kid grows up to be president. I’m proud… but it’s the kid who did the work. I didn’t even think of it as a Christmas story when I first ran across it. I just liked the idea.”

(According to American film historian Stephen Cox, in a 1946 interview, Capra described the film’s theme as “the individual’s belief in himself,” and that he made it to “combat a modern trend toward atheism.”)

BTW – Director Frank Capra later sighted this film as his personal favorite. Likewise, James Stewart said that George Bailey was his favorite performance.

Director Frank Capra on the set of “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Facts about “The Real” Bedford Falls

It’s time to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” (at least a few times over the next 72 hours).

Last year we listed ten memorable sayings from this classic holiday movie… such as Clarence’s poignant observation: “You see George, you’ve really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be to just throw it away?”

 https://www.bygeorgejournal.ca/?p=514

Recently we saw an article about George Baily’s hometown, Bedford Falls, and the actual village that this community was modeled after. Here are a few facts about “The Real” town….

  • Bedford falls was modeled after Seneca Falls, New York, a rural town on the shoreline of Cayuga Lake, a gateway community to the Finger Lakes region of the State.
  • Bridge Street Bridge stands today – the very location where George Bailey would take his fateful leap.
  • There is a plaque on the bridge that marks an act of heroism – Antonia Varacalli leapt into icy water in 1917 to rescue a woman and in the attempt drowned himself. The plaque has a guardian angel adorning it.
  • In the 1940’s Seneca Falls had globe street lights, hydrangea bushes, many Victorian-era main street buildings, and outdoor skating ponds.  The village also had a grassy median running along the main street and a train track running through town.
  • There are 116 factories in this small mill town – many dotting the riverside. One factory that remains is Knitting Mill, where George and Clarence would discuss life while drying George’s clothes.
  • Like Bedford Falls, Seneca Falls had a large Italian community, where neighborhoods of people with modest means could live comfortably, courtesy of the generous terms of a community leader. In the movie it was “Bailey Park,” named in honor of George Bailey’s family building and loan; in Seneca Falls it was “Rumseyville,” named after John Rumsey, the owner of one the town’s large pump manufacturers.  Rumsey helped immigrant workers by lending them money and building low cost housing.
  • It is a known fact that Frank Capra visited the town in late 1945. He was going to visit an aunt in nearby Auburn and stopped in Seneca Falls. He discussed the town’s activity with Barber Tommy Bellissima and he traveled over the Bridge Street Bridge on his way out of town.

Read more on this quaint community and its infamous connection to “It’s a Wonderful Life” here:

http://www.therealbedfordfalls.com/therealbedfordfalls.php

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

10 favourite lines from It’s A Wonderful Life

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Here are ten of my favourite sayings from this Christmas classic, It’s A Wonderful Life:

  • George Bailey: Well, you look about the kind of angel I’d get. Sort of a fallen angel, aren’t you? What happened to your wings?
  • Clarence (the angel): Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?
  • George and Mary – George: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary. / Mary: I’ll take it. Then what? / George: Well, then you can swallow it, and it’ll all dissolve, see… and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair… am I talking too much?
  • George: Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about…they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn’t think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped frustrated old man, they’re cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you’ll ever be!
  • Mary and George – Mary: Bread… that this house may never know hunger. [Mary hands a loaf of bread to Mrs. Martini] / Mary: Salt… that life may always have flavor. [Mary hands a box of salt to Mrs. Martini] / George: And wine… that joy and prosperity may reign forever. Enter the Martini Castle. [George hands Mr. Martini a bottle of wine]
  • Clarence: You see George, you’ve really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be to just throw it away?
  • George: Hello, Bedford Falls! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas, movie house! Merry Christmas, Emporium! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan! Hey! Merry Christmas, Mr. Potter!
  • Clarence: [In book inscription] Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends.
  • Harry Bailey: A toast to my big brother George: The richest man in town.
  • Zuzu Bailey: Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

5 Must-Knows about “It’s a Wonderful Life”

1.  The story is actually from a Christmas card – “The Greatest Gift” was a short story written and self-published as a 21 page Christmas card gift by Philip Van Doren Stern in 1943. It concerned a man named George Pratt who wished he had never been born. A stranger meets George on a bridge and grants him his wish. George gets to see what would have happened if he wasn’t around. Unable to get this story published, the author Stern sent the script out as a Christmas card out to 200 friends. A Hollywood agent got a hold of the card and bought the rights. When attempts at creating a script failed, director Frank Capra took over the rights and the rest is history.

2. Initial casting had Cary Grant as George and Ginger Rogers as Mary. The Hollywood agent who first bought the rights to “The Greatest Gift” was Cary Grant’s agent. He thought this might be a perfect project for his star. When Frank Capra took over, however, his only choice for George (now Bailey) was Jimmy Stewart. Before settling on Donna Reed for the role of Mary Bailey (this was her film debut!), other actresses were considered for the part. Among them were Jean Arthur, Olivia De Havilland and Ginger Rogers who turned it down because it was “too bland.”

3. By Hollywood standards, the original release of “It’s A Wonderful Life” in 1946 was a box office disappointment. The film cost around 3.7 million to make, but only generated 3.3 million in its initial run. That would be considered a bomb in anyone’s record book. Then along came television and public domain. Looking for fill-up programming hours during the holidays, local television stations got to broadcast “It’s A Wonderful Life” as many times as they wanted. This meant several dozen showings in one holiday season. The result is that folks fell in love with the classic and demanded it to be aired every Christmas. Today, NBC maintains the rights to the film and have managed to create their own traditions with multiple airings every December.

4. Before “It’s A Wonderful Life,” film snow was actually corn flakes painted white. The problem was all that crunching. Films that used corn flake snow had to go back and dub in the dialogue. Frank Capra wanted to record the sound live so he asked his special effects department for some new snow. They came up with a combination of soap, water and foamite (stuffed used for fighting fires). This new snow formula proved so successful it actually won a technical award from the Academy.

5. The snowy town of Bedford Falls was actually a Hollywood set (RKO backlot) in California.  It was built on the and spanned 4 acres (1.6 ha), assembled from three separate parts with a main street stretching 300 yards (three city blocks), with 75 stores and buildings, a tree-lined center parkway and 20 full grown oak trees. For months prior to principal photography, the mammoth set was populated by pigeons, cats and dogs in order to give the “town” a lived-in feel. The film crew was filming this winter wonderland Christmas classic in the middle of a California summer heat wave! If you look closely during the bridge scenes you can actually see Jimmy Stewart sweating! (BTW – Filming started on April 15, 1946 and ended on July 27, 1946, exactly on deadline for the 90-day principal photography schedule.)

SOURCES:

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Gift-receiving – the pessimist and the optimist

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A family had twin boys whose only resemblance to each other was their looks. If one felt it was too hot, the other thought it was too cold. If one said the TV was too loud, the other claimed the volume needed to be turned up. Opposite in every way, one was an eternal optimist, the other a doom and gloom pessimist.

Just to see what would happen, on Christmas Eve the twins’ father loaded the pessimist’s room with every imaginable toy and game. The optimist’s room he loaded with horse manure.

Christmas morning the father passed by the pessimist’s room and found him sitting amid his new gifts crying bitterly.

“Why are you crying?” the father asked.

“Because my friends will be jealous, I’ll have to read all these instructions before I can do anything with this stuff, I’ll constantly need batteries, and my toys will eventually get broken.” answered the pessimist twin.

Passing the optimist twin’s room, the father found him dancing for joy in the pile of manure. “What are you so happy about?” he asked.

To which his optimist twin replied, “There’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!”

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

10 facts about ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’

rudolph-rednosed-reindeer-facts-0Did you know that 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the beloved Christmas show “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?” To celebrate the longevity of this wonderful story, the By George Journal presents ten facts you should know about the timeless classic favourite.

  1. On Dec. 6, 1964, television audiences across North America watched ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ for the first time. The made-for-TV special was created in Japan by MOM Production Studios, led by Tadahito “Tad” Mochinaga, a pioneer in Japanese stop-motion animation.
  2. The show took about 18 months, 22 room-size sets and hundreds of puppets to complete. It took 24 frames to create one second of filmed animation.
  3. Animators spent days observing deer to create Rudolph. Mochinaga, the chief animator, and his assistant Hiroshi Tabata spent two days at Nara National Park studying thousands of wild deer to observe the movement for their animation and to inspire their image of Rudolph and his setting.
  4. The Rudolph puppet measured a mere 4-inches high and Santa stood just 8-inches. And though he appears relatively large on screen, the Bumble figurine stood only 14-inches tall.
  5. More than 200 puppets were carved for the production of Rudolph. Puppet maker Ichiro Komuro explained that each character’s puppet was re-carved by hand for various movements and expressions, rather than using plaster and a mold, because it wouldn’t have been exact, “and the plaster head is very heavy for animation.” All of the characters were built with joints, which allowed any part of puppets’ bodies to be moved, including their eyes, ears and mouth.
  6. The puppets were not meant to last forever – and, in fact, are no longer. Despite their best efforts not to soil the puppets (only the animator and puppet maker were allowed to touch them in the studio, and they wore gloves when working on them) the figures were sprayed with magnetic flock to diffuse reflective light from the cameras. The spray contained acidity which contributed to the puppets’ deterioration over time.
  7. Before Burl Ives was corralled to narrate, Larry Mann (the voice of Yukon Cornelius) performed the narration. Mann’s version has never been heard publicly, but those who have listened to the recordings say Mann put on a Brooklyn-like accent that was less than gentle on the ears. And “Silver and Gold” was also originally sung by Larry Mann, recorded 28 times in Cornelius’ voice, including multiple takes that end with comic sobs. Both narration and the song were reassigned to Burl Ives to complete the show.
  8. Hermey, the elf who aspired to be a dentist, has left fans in question over his real name. In 1998, some merchandise marketed the elf with the name Herbie instead. However, the elf is named Hermey.
  9. For decades, fans have focused attention on the little doll on Misfit Island because there was nothing visibly wrong with her. Though some wondered if it was her lack of a real nose, Arthur Rankin has said that she was depressed because her owner didn’t want her anymore and she felt unlovable.
  10. In the original special that aired in 1964, Rudolph, Hermey and Yukon Cornelius promise to return to visit Misfit Island, however, then never do so. This set fans into an angry frenzy and the studio responded to their bitter letters by changing the script. In 1965, the special added a new short scene at the very end of the show in which Santa and the reindeer deliver the Misfits to new homes.

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Some Christmas Humour

Cryptic Christmas Card

A man sent his friend a cryptic Christmas card. It read:

A B C D E F G H I J K M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.

The recipient puzzled over it for weeks, finally gave up and wrote asking for an explanation. He later received the explanation: “No L.”

 

The Real Santa?

The local newscaster was with the crowd of parade watchers, welcoming Santa as he arrived in town, and in a live interview asked a bouncy 4-year old girl if she had talked with this Santa yet to give him her Christmas list.

“No” she replied emphatically.

“Are you going to talk with Santa?” the newscaster asked.

“NO” once again was the most definite answer which was not the reaction that he was expecting at all!

“Why?” he curiously asked the little one.

“Because the real Santa is at the Mall.”

 

Who is the Real Virgin?

A ten-year-old, under the tutelage of her grandmother, was becoming quite knowledgeable about the Bible.

Then one day she floored her grandmother by asking, “Which virgin was the mother of Jesus?  The Virgin Mary or the King James Virgin?”

 

The Wrong Gift

The parents began to assemble the special Christmas gift they had for their children.   They had ordered a kit for a tree house and received the plans for it.   However, the materials they received were for a sailboat.

They wrote the company to complain.

The company’s reply:  “While we regret the inconvenience this mistake must have cause you, it is nothing compared to that of the man who is out on a lake somewhere trying to sail your tree house.”

 

The Seasonal Response

The store’s Santa Claus gave Jeanie a candy cane.  Her mother says, “What do you say, Jeanie?”  Jeanie looks up at Santa and says, “Charge it!”

 

God’s Not Deaf

Two young boys were spending the night at their grandparents’ house the week before Christmas. At bedtime, the two boys knelt beside their beds to say their prayers.

The younger one began praying at the top of his lungs:

“I PRAY FOR A NEW BICYCLE…”
“I PRAY FOR A NEW NINTENDO…”

His older brother leaned over, nudged him and said, “Why are you shouting? God’s not deaf, you know?”

The younger brother replied. “Yes I know God’s not deaf, but Grandmother is.”

 

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

25 Favourite Christmas Puns

  • What did Adam say the day before Christmas? – It’s Christmas, Eve!
  • What is a typical elf greeting? – “Small world, isn’t it?”
  • You better get spruced up if you’re going to sell Christmas trees.
  • Some children call him Santa Caus since there is Noel.
  • How do Santa and Mrs. Claus travel? – On an icicle built for two.
  • What do Christmas trees and bad knitters have in common? – They both drop their needles.
  • If a reindeer lost its tail, where could he get a new one? – At a retail store.
  • What do you call a reindeer who wears ear muffs? – Anything you want. He can’t hear you, anyway.
  • What is green, covered with tinsel and says, “Rabbit, rabbit?” – A mistle-toad.
  • Who delivers Christmas presents to little sharks? – Santa Jaws.
  • What do monkeys sing at Christmas time? – Jungle Bells, Jungle bells.
  • Where does Santa Claus go swimming? – The North Pool.
  • What would you get if you ate the Christmas decorations? – Tinselitis.
  • What do you get when you cross a Christmas tree with an apple? – A pineapple.
  • What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? – Claustrophobia!
  • What do you call a letter that is sent up the chimney on Christmas eve? – Blackmail.
  • What do reindeer use to decorate their Christmas trees? – Horn-aments.
  • Who makes toy guitars and sings, “Blue Christmas?” – Elfis.
  • What name does Santa Claus use when he takes a rest from delivering presents? – Santa Pause!
  • Where does Santa hide the presents he’s giving to Mrs. Claus? – In the clauset.
  • Why will Santa go down your chimney on Christmas Eve?- Because it soots him.
  • What does a reindeer say before telling a joke? – This one will sleigh you!
  • What do you call Santa when he goes to the beach? – Sandy Claus.
  • How long are an elf’s legs? – Long enough to reach the ground.
  • Do reindeer go to public school? – No, they’re elf taught.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.