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Friday, Dec. 15, 2023
Good morning to you!

Welcome to the Friday mailbag where you will find some of the comments, questions and ideas sent recently by subscribers of this newsletter or our publications. They are edited for space and clarity.

‘Thank you so much for your daily editorial. I am pretty much a traditionalist on Christmas songs. If they weren’t written 100 years ago, they aren’t valid (Christmas songs, Dec. 6, 2023). But I have three very new favorites, less than 10 years old. ‘Away in the manger (forever Amen)’ by Phil Wickham. ‘Arrival’ by Hillsong Worship. ‘Manger Throne’ by Phil Wickham. These songs have absolutely changed my views on Christmas songs. Now some of the old ones don’t seem so powerful anymore.” - Donna

I am glad you didn’t list anything by Maria Carey or Pentatonix. I will be sure to give your suggestions a play. Thanks, Donna. - Shane

“Hi, Shane. I agree that the Christmas music that means the most to us is what we listened to growing up (Christmas songs, Dec. 6, 2023). My family's go-to artists in the 1960s and 1970s for Christmas music included Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Perry Como, Mitch Miller, The Carpenters, and instrumental albums by Bert Kaempfert, Herb Alpert and Percy Faith. My favorite Christmas movie (though you didn't ask!) is ‘A Christmas Carol’ (1951 version with Alastair Sim as Scrooge). Merry Christmas to you and your family!” - Tim

All the classics. I love it! - Shane

“My older brother, Rick, loved hearing Cheech and Chong's ‘Santa Claus and his Old Lady.’ He always got a charge when he got to hear it because it wasn't always in many playlists (Christmas songs, Dec. 6, 2023). So I use to listen for it, and then I would think of him. For me, it goes back to Ray Justice, AHS Choir Director, teaching us ‘Handel's Hallelujah Chorus’. Learned it well enough I have sung it with various church choirs and still don't need to have sheet music to cover the bass/baritone part. Just gives me a warm feeling when I hear it and sing it.” - Rex

That’s quite a Christmas song range, Rex. Enjoy the brownies. - Shane

“Shane, no doubt in my mind that ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ (1989) is the most-watched Christmas movie in at least the entire Midwest (Favorite Christmas movies, Dec. 11, 2023). It does not get searched for on the internet to boost its rankings because we all own it on DVD or VHS or both. I watch it at least two times each year around Christmas and laugh as much as I did the first time I watched it. I could be wrong, but Clark Griswold said it best: ‘If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn’t be more surprised.’ Merry Christmas!” - Kris

Save the neck for me, Clark. - Shane

Have a fantastic Friday, and thanks 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

A decent rain chance tonight into Saturday morning. Otherwise steady as she goes with mild temperatures for this time of year.

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.
1300 River Vista Drive
DesMoines, IA 50315
Nestled at the end of a tranquil dead-end street, this delightful ranch home sprawls across 1.2 acres in the heart of the south side. Its history is marked by the care and attention of a single owner who has lovingly maintained it for the past 50 years. Purposefully designed, the house maximizes winter sunlight while minimizing summer heat, a testament to its thoughtful construction.
See More Homes For Sale

For the first time, this year's Golden Globes Awards announced it will serve an "all Japanese menu," by Nobu Matsuhisa, who is Peruvian with Japanese heritage. Caviar, salmon tartare, sashimi salad and Nobu's legendary black cod (which isn't actually cod but sablefish) in miso. Hey, it's Hollywood.

Announcing that both the Wizards of the NBA and the Capitols of the NHL will move from DC to Alexandria, Virginia, officials mentioned that DC police presence at games has slipped from 27 cops to just 3. With average ticket prices for both teams over $180, maybe these teams' fans are not all in for defunding the police?

Something special for your holiday table? Old Station Craft Meats (450 Sixth St., Waukee) has "special" covered in beef, pork, lamb, goat and poultry. They source all meats from independent Iowa farmers and buy whole animals to butcher. That means lots of new treats to try. Pork is all from heritage breeds. They are open Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sat. 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: Family fights for tougher laws after death of 4-year-old

DES MOINES, Iowa — Dean Hunt’s grandmother, Tammy Farrell, clings tightly to his baby blanket as she recalls memories of her fun-loving, red-headed grandson... READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Iowa traffic related deaths for 2023 surpass five year average

DES MOINES, Iowa — It’s a milestone no one wants to celebrate. There have been 358 lives lost so far in 2023 due to traffic related deaths – an almost 13% increase from the five year average...READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Fleur Drive fatal crash suspect Keith Jones sentenced to 16 years in prison

In early November, Keith Jones was found guilty of six criminal charges in connection to the Dec. 13, 2022 crash that killed 4-year-old Marcos Faguada....READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Sports notes
NCAA Volleyball Semifinals: Texas takes down Wisconsin to advance to title game; Sweep! Nebraska defeats Pitt to advance to title game
NFL: Raiders score 63 points in historic rout of Chargers. Chargers 21 Raiders 63



Come see the "Ice Thorns" at Water Works Park
Stop by Water Works Park this season to check out the new “Ice Thorns” installation… a beautiful display of lights with some of the thorns shooting twenty feet into the air. It is a great spot for a chilly selfie this winter! Wright Outdoor Solutions is lending the park the Ice Thorns and installing them for all to see and interact with. Come see them near the Des Moines Biergarten and the Lauridsen Amphitheater.

From the Iowa Living magazines


Christmas card traditions

By Cyote Williams

If you’re one of the many who received one of the handmade cards from Jeanie Pontious, it’s likely you’ve held onto it.

“Oh, I just love sending cards. I do it all year round. For birthdays, sympathy, and just when I’m thinking of them,” she says.

When it comes to the holidays, no expense is spared when it comes to her hand-made cards, with every instrument imaginable at her disposal from punches, stamps, ink pads, embossing machine, heat gun and more.

“At first, I started out with a small toolbox that had everything I would need. Now I have an entire room,” says Jeanie. “It's relaxing for me. I can spend hours doing this.”

Read more in the Adel Living magazine.

Birthdays and notables!

These celebrities were born on this date: Alana Haim, Don Johnson, John Lee Hancock, Julie Taymor, Maude Apatow, Michelle Dockery Reginald Hudlin, Adam Brody, Donna Brazile, Garrett Wang, Geoff Stults

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

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

A man goes into a bank and he is holding up an uncooked fruit. What does he say? THIS IS A RAW BERRY (ROBBERY)! - Gail Tomlinson, Lori Bluml, Jayde Vogeler, Nick Noah. Or, Freeze! I need help setting up a slush fund! - Carolyn Rogers. Thanks for the joke, Cyote! Other answers from Rex Post.

Today's riddle


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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