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Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023
Good morning to you!

Christmas music makes me happy. I like some Christmas songs more than others, but I was not sure why. As such, I challenged myself to come up with a short list of my favorite Christmas songs, and I learned that the connections are mostly tied to memories of my youth.

“Snoopy's Christmas” is from the 1967 album “Snoopy and His Friends” by the Royal Guardsmen. I wasn’t born yet, but my brother Steve had this on a 45 record that was produced prior, and we listened to it continually for years to come on our plastic General Electric turntable. Songwriter Dick Holler wrote in 1962 of the real-life air battles against the Red Baron. Four years later, producer Phil Gernhard saw that cartoonist Charles Schulz was featuring a recurring storyline in his comic strip “Peanuts” of Snoopy imagining himself in the role of a World War I airman fighting the Red Baron. Gernhard wrote two new verses to the song, adding the character of Snoopy, and gave it to The Royal Guardsmen to sing. Some lawsuits followed, but writing of those would wreck the Christmas spirit.

“Blue Christmas” is a Christmas song written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson and most famously recorded by Elvis Presley. It was first recorded by Doye O'Dell in 1948. Elvis’ version was released as a single in 1964 and also featured on “Elvis' Christmas Album.” I first heard the sappy version on the 1974 stop motion TV classic, “The Year Without A Santa Claus.” Then I heard Elvis’ version, and everything changed.

Buck Owens and Don Rich wrote “Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy” in 1965, and Buck made it a hit. My mom was a big fan of Buck Owens, and his albums spun on our console stereo in the living room quite often. I never understood the meaning, which was good. Decades later, I bought Garth Brooks’ 1992 Christmas CD “Beyond the Season” that featured his version of the song, and it made me smile again — only this time as the daddy who looked a lot like Santa.

"Little Drummer Boy” was written by Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941 and first recorded in 1951 by the Trapp Family. In the lyrics, a poor young boy was summoned by the Magi to the nativity of Jesus. Without a gift for baby Jesus, the little boy played his drum. In 1957, the song was recorded with an altered arrangement by Jack Halloran, which is the one commonly sung today. It was released as a single in 1958 and later on the album, “Sing We Now of Christmas,” which was later retitled “The Little Drummer Boy.” Amidst all the commercialization of Christmas, this one connected with children in a meaningful way, or at least it did for me. The song served as a reminder — and still does — that we can all contribute to making this world a better place in some way.

What Christmas songs do you connect with? And why? Send me a note and let me know.

Enjoy the season, have a wonderful Wednesday, and thank you for reading.

Shane Goodman 

President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

View Shane Goodman's archived columns from past issues here.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
The polls have closed and a record number of readers have cast their votes in the latest CITYVIEW'S Best Of Des Moines readers' poll — the metro's original and largest poll of its kind.
Winners will be announced in the February 2024 issue of CITYVIEW!

Your Clear Mortgage forecast

Things start to warm up today through Friday. Expect breezy conditions at times. It looks as if we could see light rain Friday night and very light snow Saturday night.

For help with pre-approvals or refinancing, get in touch with Originating Branch Manager Carrie Hansen at carrie.mortgage.

Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
115 7th St. N.W.,
Altoona, IA 50009
Come see this move-in ready, 5 bed/3 bath ranch home that is nestled on a peaceful street and located a few minutes from the interstate as well as the shopping amenities Altoona has to offer. This home exudes a sense of character and warmth, set against the backdrop of mature trees and well kept landscaping.
See More Homes For Sale

Newsroom Tokyo reported that Japan's traditional holiday celebrants are scrambling to find whole salmon, considered an ultimate New Year's gift. Warmer waters are chasing the fish north. All the former top salmon fishing prefectures are reporting that restaurants and individuals are chasing salmon to Hokkaido, the northern most prefecture and suddenly the chief salmon sourcing part of the country.

As reported here last summer, the same thing is happening with shrimp and lobster in Maine. Maine lobster is now usually New Brunswick of Nova Scotia sourced.

Wednesday's special this week at Waterfront (2900 University in West Des Moinnes) is sea scallops.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: Des Moines police arrest 2 suspects for violent kidnapping

Police say early Saturday morning, a 32-year-old woman was kidnapped and taken to Indianola against her will. The Osceola Police Department contacted Des Moines police at approximately 2:30 a.m., saying she had been bound with duct tape and dropped off outside the hospital. ... READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Waukee School District rivalry game supports good cause

WAUKEE, Iowa — Waukee High School will face off Tuesday night against Waukee Northwest High School in a basketball doubleheader. The rivalry game last year sold out tickets in hours and brought out a huge crowd from the entire district. The schools are also competing to see which school can donate more toys to Toys for Tots. ..READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Des Moines addressing odor complaints with monitor system

The city of Des Moines took new steps to monitor what has been causing foul smells in the air for decades. Here's what we know....READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Sports highlights
NBA: Austin Reaves' clutch 3 sends Lakers to semifinals. Suns 103 Lakers 106
Giannis' 35 points powers Bucks past the Knicks and on to Vegas. Knicks 122 Bucks 146
From the Iowa Living magazines

Early risers
Residents share experiences working while most others sleep.

By Chantel Boyd

The weather calls
Megan Salois must be up long before most people; sometimes, she is up in the middle of the night. Salois is the morning meteorologist on WHO-13’s “Today in Iowa” newscast.

"Our show airs from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. with ‘Today Show’ weather cut-ins through 9 a.m," she says.

Salois’s morning schedule is contingent on the weather, much as it is for most Iowans.

"On a quiet day, I wake up at 2 a.m. and am at work by 3 a.m.,” she says. “On busy weather days, I may be up at 12:30 a.m. and in by 1:30 a.m. to take the handoff from Ed Wilson (meteorologist)."

Read the rest of the story in the Urbandale Living magazine!

Birthdays and notables!

These celebrities were born on this date: JoBeth Williams, Peter Buck, Judd Apatow, Lindsay Price, Rick Buckler, Tish Hinojosa, Bill Lloyd, Steven Wright, David Lovering, Ben Watt, Janine Turner, Ulf “Buddha” Ekberg, Johnny Manziel, Giannis Antetokounmpo

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

Why do giraffes have such long necks? Because they have such smelly feet! - Gail Tomlinson. Other answers: Rex Post, Carolyn Rogers.

Today's riddle

How are golf balls like eggs?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in this daily newsletter, contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

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