Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Monday, December 25, 2023

Celebrating No-L Day: Embrace the Challenge of Linguistic Limitations!

 Merry Christmas, everyone! Today is also called A'phabet Day or No-L Day. Wasn't sure what to write, so I asked my friend ChatGPT, the Artificial Intelligence engine, to write it for me...


Language has a marvelous way of connecting people and expressing thoughts, but have you ever wondered what it would be like to communicate without a particular letter? Enter No-L Day, a delightful linguistic challenge that encourages us to embrace creativity and explore alternative ways of expression. On this special day, participants voluntarily refrain from using words that contain the letter "L," opening up a world of linguistic exploration and amusement.

No-L Day provides a unique opportunity to challenge ourselves and break free from linguistic comfort zones. It encourages us to think outside the box and find creative solutions for communication. By temporarily removing the letter "L" from our vocabulary, we unlock hidden potential and discover new ways to articulate our thoughts.

During No-L Day, individuals can tap into their imaginative side and explore alternative words and phrases to convey their ideas. This challenge sparks a sense of curiosity and playfulness, encouraging us to find words that are equally expressive and enjoyable to use. It's astonishing how our minds adapt and create linguistic alternatives to compensate for the absence of a single letter!

No-L Day is not just an individual challenge; it's also an opportunity to engage with others in a fun and inclusive way. By participating in this linguistic adventure together, we can share laughter, exchange clever wordplay, and bond over the delightful complexities of language. Whether it's through conversation, social media, or organized events, No-L Day connects individuals and fosters a sense of camaraderie.

No-L Day is a celebration of linguistic creativity and the power of communication. By temporarily abstaining from words that contain the letter "L," we embark on a playful journey that expands our linguistic horizons. This day challenges us to think outside the box, find alternative expressions, and engage with others in a delightful and inclusive manner. So, let's embrace the linguistic limitations and celebrate No-L Day with enthusiasm, laughter, and a renewed appreciation for the beauty and versatility of language!

How will you celebrate No-L Day?

Monday, December 4, 2017

Do the Holidays Influence Your Blog

December is ripe with holidays from several religions and cultures. Has any of the celebrating come to your blog? Some bloggers adopt a new color scheme (red and green or blue and silver). Others add holiday music that plays on page loading. I've even seen my mouse pointer turn into Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

So tell me, A to Z bloggers, who among you is bringing the holiday spirit (or anti-spirit in some cases)?
  • Where can I click to find kittens in Santa hats?
  • Has anyone done a book review guide on the best eight books to give this Hanukkah?
  • Is there a craft blog with instructions to make a shimekazari for Omisoka?
  • Is there a recipie for a Kwanzaa dish?
  • Any blog posts out there with tips on what card to send to my favorite atheist scientist?
  • How about a list with the very best movies to watch this month?
  • Is anyone posting about the best games?
  • What about the mythology behind all the December celebrations?
  • Who has the best history post about the Greek letter "Chi"?
  • Is there a web comic to explain Boxing Day to Americans?
  • Any lifestyle bloggers giving insight to the fasting, introspection and prayer that takes place during Ramadan?
  • Is there a great personal blog out there with posts about what a certain holiday means to that blogger?
  • Which photography blog has the best pictures of the Rockefeller Center tree, and which has the most unique pictures of another December icon?
  • Have any of you poetry bloggers written a poem to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe?
  • Has there been a travel blog post showcasing a Saturnalia traditions?
  • How many writers out there have a sale special going in December? (Perhaps a naughty special from the Adult Content bloggers?)

The holidays in December are a wonderful time to explore our diversity and to show the very best parts of our religions and cultures. Be good to each other this month. And please share some links to entertain me!

by J Lenni Dorner
Reference and Speculative Fiction Author
A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer
Please visit the blog of @JLenniDorner Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer @JLenniDornerFollow @JLenniDorner on Twitter please WhatAreThey is the Facebook fan page of @JLenniDorner — Please click Like and Follow!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas stories to discover

Had enough of The Gift of the Magi for a lifetime, and always found The Fir Tree and The Little Match Girl sort of depressing? (Our teacher used to read them to us every Christmas in class, and I don't think I'll ever recover from it)
Here is a list of books you can explore for funny, heartwarming, less well-known, and lovable Christmas tales - most of them traditional.

Midwinter Folk Tales
Written by legendary storyteller Taffy Thomas, published in 2015. A collection full of winter tales from Taffy's own repertoire - free to tell for anyone who takes a fancy to them. He does not only include the best of his stories for the season; he also tells little anecdotes about how each story came into his possession, and what hidden importance they might have. It is an entertaining, lovely collection, written in Taffy's original voice and sense of humor.

Joy to the World: Christmas stories from around the globe
Okay, so not a recent edition, but one of my newly discovered favorites. Beautifully illustrated book, with well selected stories. I am including it with an extra recommendation because it features one of my favorite Christmas legends, the story of the Little Camel from Syria. In Syria, children who celebrate Christmas believe that their gifts are brought by the little camel that traveled with the Three Wise Men. It's one of the cutest stories ever.

Tell Me a Story for Christmas: Traveller Tales
A seasonal collection by another legendary storyteller, Scottish Traveller Duncan Williamson. Once again, not a recent edition, but many copies are still available from online stores and libraries. I highly recommend reading other books from Duncan Williamson as well; he is a huge name in the storytelling world, and did incredible work to preserve the oral traditions he grew up with.

The Other Wise Man 
Okay, so this is a more well known one, but also one of my favorites, so I will include it, in case it's new for some people. Written by Henry van Dyke in 1895, it is an original Christmas tale about Artaban, the fourth Wise Man that somehow got left behind. I love telling this story, and audiences respond to it really well. Also, there is a famous sapphire named after it. In case you like shiny things like I do.

May your days be merry, and full of books!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

'Tis The Season

'Tis the Season to Hit the Road. . .

and buy those presents!

Photo Credit

My family knows what they’re going to receive from me each Christmas. The only surprise for them is what book is hidden inside the glittery wrapping. And each season I search for both the classics and something new. I thought that since some of you might be on the hunt for book gifts I’d share what I’m considering putting under the tree. Family: DO NOT PEEK!

The Classics for young readers’ libraries

The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Accord Publishing
The Elf on the Shelf by Carol Aebersold
Night Before the Night Before Christmas by Natasha Wing
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
Olive, the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Dream Snow by Eric Carle
A Wish to be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe
The Christmas Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood
The Nutcracker by Alison Jay
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Reindeer Christmas by Mark Kimball Moulton
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Random House

Christmas Activity Books for the really young ones

My Very Merry Christmas Coloring and Activity Book 
Christmas Carol Activity Book, Book 2
A Very Krabby Christmas
The Berenstein Bears' Christmas Coloring and Activity Book
Christmas Is Coming
The 12 Days of Christmas: The Story behind a Favorite Christmas Song
Christmas Jigsaw Book

Some not so Christmasy ones, but great gifts for mature readers in the family

The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Book Thief
Women of the Silk and The Language of Threads (Series)
Bel Canto
The Suspect
Boy Toy
Marcelo in the Real World
The Kite Runner

Photo Credit

Merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Characters Who Blog

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and I am in the Christmas mood! Anyone else out there experiencing the same thing? I've got my tree all decorated and my Pandora station blasting out some holiday tunes. But most importantly, I've made a list of all my favorite Yuletide films and I'm checking it twice. Hands down the best Christmas movie of all time . . . Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (that's the original animated one of course, not the much less awesome Jim Carrey version)!

And I've got to say, if any Christmas character deserves a blog of their own, it's the mean, green, present-stealing Grinch himself. Check him out as he counts down the days to his very least favorite holiday . . . 

I hope you all enjoyed a little Grinchy blogging, and no matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year, I hope they're filled with joy and laughter. Happy blogging!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Organization - What? At This Time of Year?

My office is NOT this organized!

Organization. It is a word at once ominous and yet freeing. For me I find I am very organized right up to a certain point, and that point always changes depending on the things I have to do. Right now I must prepare for Christmas (yes, not the only one I know), blog, study marketing and begin a rough outline of a marketing strategy, try to get some writing and reading done, pay bills (notice where they are in the lineup!), and still remain sane.
From Point A to Point B
I have a group of “online” friends who I correspond with regularly. I find that I turn to them at least once a day to help keep my head organized. Not because they tell me what to do, because they don’t. But having a "point A" to go to whenever I need to get back on track seems to help, like an outline does while I’m working on a story, or a road map does when I'm traveling. Checking in with them helps me return to my path when I’m way out in a field somewhere.
And you? Do you have a method that helps you stay on track? If you share it, we might be able to incorporate something new into our “staying sane” check list. That said, I wish you all happy holidays, and, I’m looking forward to “seeing” you in 2015!

Images from:

Lisa Buie-Collard is the author of "Evangeline's Miracle". Her new release "The Seventh Man" is coming to in January 2015
Contact her at:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Seasonal Take on the A to Z Challenge from Hilary Melton-Butcher

A – Z: seasonal take for The Blogging 

from A to Z Challenge ...

see how easy it can be ... an ABC of the Aspects of the British Countryside to an A – Z about our Christmastide ... come join the fun – April First 2012 is our starting day – but you’re not a fool to take part ...

The Nativity
by Charles-Francois Poerson, 1667
Advent – from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” – Advent Sunday is the start of the Advent season – fourth Sunday before Christmas Day.

Brandy Butter – an essential addition for Christmas Pudding and Mince Pies

Christmas – Christ’s Mass is derived from the Middle English Christemasse and Old English Cristes maesse, a phrase first recorded in 1038.

 Deck the Halls: 
Green Holly and Ivy
Decorations – from pre-Christian times, people in the Roman Empire brought branches from evergreen plants indoors in the winter.  In the 15th Century in London it was the custom for every house and all the parish churches to be “decked with holm (Holm Oak), ivy, bays, and whatsoever the season the year afforded to be green.  “Deck the Halls” ... a traditional Yuletide/Christmas carol and New Year carol.

Extras: Bread sauce, chestnut stuffing, bacon rolls, turkey gravy from the juices, cranberry sauce, bowls of nuts, custard, creams and chocolates ...  

Family Christmas
Feast 1940s
Flowers to decorate the table – Christmas roses, hollywreaths ...

Grandparents and all family the essentials to Christmastide ...

Holly – was seen as a protection against pagans and witches, its thorns and red berries held to represent the Crown of Thorns worn by Jesus at the Crucifixion and the blood he shed.

Ivy – the heart shaped leaves are said to symbolize the coming to earth of Jesus

Mistletoe postcard,
circa 1902
Jingle Bells – an American secular Christmas song

Karpfen in Bier: a traditional Christmas Eve dish in Germany – “Carp in Beer” ... poached, served with a sauce made from the liquor, with brown ale and gingerbread

Leftovers ... sliced ham or turkey, chipolatas, devils on horseback (bacon wrapped around prunes), fresh bread, baked potatoes, pickles and salads ...  then bowls of rich turkey soup, turkey or ham ‘muck up’ ... fried Christmas pudding with brandy butter .... yummmeeee ....

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
at King’s College Cambridge
 – December 2010 – c/o Phillip Cooke
Mince Pies with brandy butter or cream – may be eaten before a snatched kiss under the mistletoe

N for Nativity – Commemoration of Jesus’ birth – popularised by Saint Francis of Assissi from 1223

O Little Town of Bethlehem – one of many traditional Christmas Carols sung in Church or at Carol Services

Plum Pudding .... on which a sprig of holly is set, brandy poured over and set alight, before being served with brandy butter, cream or custard ...

Trafalgar Square, London
– Christmas Tree
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert introduced the Christmas tree to Britain: they were enamoured seeing a tree hung with lights, ornaments and presents placed around.

Remember our loved ones – with a Christmas card, personal telephone call or special handwritten letter --- especially those thank you letters and cards.

Christmas stocking
Santa Claus – leave out gifts for Santa to thank him for his visit  ... Stilton, Mince Pies with a glass of sherry

Tradition – Christmas is a strong Christian tradition, from which over time a variety of Christmas celebrations have developed, that incorporate regional and local cultures.

Units of weight – you’ll be dieting off in January 2012 – sorreeeeee!

Vegetables – roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, roast onions, Brussels sprouts, carrots, red cabbage ...

Wassail Cup
Wassail cup – historically mulled cider, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger spices, roasted cider apples to decorate and topped with slices of toast, acting as sops.

X - the great unknown .... xxx or perhaps that KISS under the Mistletoe

Yule Log: Buche de Noel – a traditional dessert served at Christmas time particularly in francophone countries and former French colonies.  A sponge cake in the form of a log – filled with chocolate buttercream, covered in a chocolate ganache or frosting, decorated with powdered sugar to resemble snow.

Z       Zizz it all off – just don’t hibernate ‘til April ....

Blogging from A - Z
Lee’s great suggestion of the A – Z posts can be filled with so many ideas ...  good for our creativity, while greeting old friends and meeting new bloggers – come join the fun.

I so enjoyed the Challenge last year - thanks so much Lee for the Christmas opportunity – Happy Christmastide to one and all .. with a very successful 2012 ahead ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher

         And as Hilary says, The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is as easy as ABC.   Come join us.  Sign ups will begin on January 30, 2012.  Thank you, Hilary, for this special holiday A to Z post.


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