Update for 2009: Cranberry Christmas is back on ABC Family. December 1, 7:30 PM EST and December 7, 11:30 AM EST. Check your local listings for channel numbers.
OCEAN SPRAY PROUDLY ANNOUNCES ITS FIRST TELEVISION SPECIAL “CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS” ON ABC FAMILY
Animated Holiday Special Features Original Songs by the Legendary Barry Manilow and Longtime Collaborator Bruce Sussman
LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass (November 10, 2008) –Already a star of the holiday table, Ocean Spray launches its first animated television special – “Cranberry Christmas” – airing at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Monday, December 8, on ABC Family as part of the network’s annual 25 Days of Christmas programming event. The special will re–air on ABC Family on Saturday, December 13, at 12:30 p.m. (ET/PT).
Link to full corporate press release
I decided recently not to get bent out of shape when Christmas advertising started earlier and earlier in the year. Remember how you didn't see or hear anything to do with Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving? Now decorations go up at the same time as Halloween in some places.
Christmas in our house is first and foremost a religious holiday. Sure we see Santa Claus, and the Coca-Cola polar bears, and the Pink Pig at Macy's, and all that stuff, but it's always secondary to and within the context of the religious aspects.
The great thing though is because of our nation's history, the goodwill of Christmas has expanded beyond just the Christian boundaries. Ulysees S Grant made Christmas a federal holiday in 1870 as a means of encouraging peace and unity after the devastation of the US Civil War. With conflict over every last thing in the media these days - including over whether the name "Christmas" is included in Christmas celebrations! - more time to think about that peace can only be good.
I get seriously reflective this time of year. Probably just a knee-jerk reaction to the advertising blitz. It was a long year this time. Pete reminded me that for months we were fighting more than we ever had. The Vegas trip was his way of forcing me to hit my personal "reset" button. But there was more to it than that.
A lot of people came in and out of my life this year that I never intended to. Or even wanted. It just sneaked up on me. And it's the people that make a difference when you're in some kind of need, even if you don't know it. Or admit it.
If you look through all of the Jewish and Christian scriptures, God's will and aid is usually brought about by people, or some element of the physical created world. There are a few instances of God acting directly without an intermediary, or of angels delivering messages, but most times it's people doing whatever it is they do, day to day, that makes the difference in someone's life.
Just like all of us here.
All of the new friends I never imagined - ones I met, ones I corresponded with, or noticed from a distance, or ones that I just see online from time to time - all have had a positive impact on my life and I didn't realize until now how much I needed it. You can't notice these sorts of things at the time. 20/20 hindsight comes when you stop and think - and feel.
So now I wonder what kind of impact has this blog and all of my ramblings had on others? I know you're out there! Sometimes the stats report will tell me the name of a server that a visitor is using to find this place, sometimes it's just a city or a region. And I wonder who found this and why? And did you find something in it to restore you that you needed and didn't think you would ever find?
When life held troubled times
And had me down on my knees
There's always been someone
To come along and comfort me
A kind word from a stranger
To lend a helping hand
A phone call from a friend
Just to say, 'I understand'
And ain't it kind of funny
At the dark end of the road
Someone lights the way
With just a single ray of hope
"Angels Among Us"
from the album Cheap Seats