Wednesday, July 17, 2019 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.


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On Christmas Day the traditional Brennan Christmas continued in full swing. It was wonderful that we could all be at home together. The girls set about preparing the meal while the boys rearranged the furniture so we could all sit around the table together. Eithne had just got a video camera and was skulking from room to room trying to catch everyone at their most embarrassing. It didn't take much to get us to act accordingly and the house was full of laughter and song.
On Christmas 1990


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It has something for everyone, except perhaps Irving Berlin, who attempted to get Elvis's recording of "White Christmas" banned from radio play, deeming it "vulgar and disrespectful". And it was, which is part of the reason why the drastically rearranged tune is so memorable, as the then-young singer masticated the contemporary classic, adding his idiosyncratic dynamics and trills ( the so-called educated yodels of one's vocal chords); equally irreverent and just as riveting is the King's gritty take on Leiber and Stoller's "Santa Claus Is Back in Town", one of the most sexually suggestive holiday tunes ever, and his rollicking "Here Comes Santa Claus". And who can forget the song that changed the hue of Yuletide, "Blue Christmas", or his wistful, definitive version of "I'll Be Home for Christmas", which cemented his reputation as pop's top dreamboat. Along with Phil Spector's "Christmas Gift for You", this is arguably the finest Rock & Roll Christmas album of all-time, a seasonal yet essential recording belonging under any Christmas tree".

Elvis Presley

The success of posthumous duets is often indirectly correlated to the respect with which the dearly departed is treated: the higher the pedestal, the less convincing the result. Wisely, the female country stars on “Christmas Duets” try to match Elvis Presley’s mood, whether it’s Carrie Underwood’s tenderness on “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” (1957), or Wynonna Judd’s brawn on “Santa Claus Is Back in Town.” (1957), On a wild eight-minute “Merry Christmas Baby,” (1971), Gretchen Wilson saunters up to the song, full of attitude, before giving in; it sounds as if she’s flirting with Mr. Presley just across the bar.

Elvis Presley

That feeling of terrible emptiness when I touched him was like going into a house that you thought would be full of people you loved, only to find it empty, and even the furniture taken. You walk from room to room, hearing your footsteps echo on the naked floors. Your voice bounces back from the empty walls, where the lines of beloved photos still show like the line around a body at a crime scene. He was gone.

Laurell K. Hamilton

Oh, it’s home again, and home again, America for me!
I want a ship that’s westward bound to plow the rolling sea,
To the blessed Land of Room Enough beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.

Henry van Dyke

How full of trifles everything is! It is only one’s thoughts that fill a room with something more than furniture.

Wallace Stevens
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