Tag Archives: Christmas

Video of the Day: Messiah


Two and a half hours, but don’t let that scare you. It’s gorgeous, one of the most polished performances I’ve ever seen. You may want it playing in the background all day.

From the Creator’s Heart #382

Luke 2:21

Handbells for Christmas (2022)


This is the season that calls out for handbells. Here are some wonderful performances.

Carol of the Bells, Bethel University Handbell Ensemble:

Marche from the Nutcracker Suite, Raleigh Ringers:

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, Daejeon Handbell Choir, South Korea:

Silent Night, Andrea Feist:

A Christmas Medley (Hark, the Herald Angels; The First Noel; Away in a Manger; Angels from the Realms of Glory; What Child Is This; O Come All Ye Faithful; all played by a soloist identified only as Mary; also, Good King Wenceslas occurs in the piano accompaniment):

Hallelujah Chorus, Forté Handbell Quartet:

Coventry Carol,  done on handchimes:

Sing We Now of Christmas Played by the Resounding Ringers:

Glory performed by The RingNYC:

Remember the Angels played by Bells Angels. This piece was written in memory of the victims of 9/11:

A Christmas handbell and orchestra concert from South Korea. This is over half an hour long but so good; if you can’t listen to it all now, do yourself a favor and be sure to come back to it:

A Ballade on Auld Lang Syne:

Tonight I’ll be playing handbells at one of my church’s Christmas Eve services.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Creative Juice #323

Creative Juice #323

Neat stuff floating in our creative juice this week.

Videos of the Week: Bluegrass Christmas


This is a Christmas playlist from the wonderful Petersen family musicians. There are 20 videos in this playlist; they should play one after another. I hope you will come back and enjoy them all weekend.

Tangles for Christmas 2022


Every December I spend my art-making time doing Zentangle designs. The tangle group I belong to on Facebook, Tangle All Around, has a challenge this month called The Gift of Tangles–31 designs to try out, many of them Christmas-related. I used some of those designs this month, and others I found online.

This one below is called Rambles. It reminds me of floral ribbon, the kind with wires in the edges that you can use to shape it.


On this journal page I tried out a bunch of patterns. They are labeled with their names and designers. (The first one is called Line Pine. Sorry about the typo.)

Line pine, pointsettia, Litez, Stella, Baubles

Usually Zentangle designs are not supposed to be used as representational art. But another member of Tangle All Around, Dorte Pedersen, drew a gorgeous grouping of Line Pines, and inspired me to try one myself. It’s my favorite piece this month.

Line pines

I took Line Pine one step further and used it as a string for other tangle designs. They are: Stella, Run CC by Yu Ru Chen (this is a variation), FleruiToo by Genevieve Crabe, All Boxed Up by Alice Herndon, S-Knot by Curtis, Tripple Tipple by Ina Sonnenmoser, Jetties, DEA by Marlene Graffig, Hugs by Sarah Harrison, and Circus by Angie Gittles.

Line Pine, Stella, Run CC (variation), FleuriToo, All Boxed Up, S-Knot, Triple tipple, Jetties, DEA, Hugs, Circus

Spiteria by Wanphai:

Spiteria by WanPhai

Betweed by Maria Thomas looks to me like a star woven out of pine trees or palm trees. Even though I like it better in black and white, to test my theory, I inked some of the trees with green. Is it just me, or do you see trees too?


5 C Wiggles by Ina Sonnenmoser, Jingles by Jan Easter, Ice Flakes by Nicole Dreyer, Snowflowers by Linda Rae:

5 C Wiggles, Jingles, Ice Flakes, Snowflowers

Want to see more Christmas Tangles? Here are some from the ARHtistic License archives: from 2021, 2020201920182017.

I’d Rather Be Dancing Christmas Dances


These videos make me want to get up and join right in. Some were made by dance studios, some by fitness studios.

There’s still time for you to get together with your siblings and choreograph a dance like this:

Teachers dancing for their students. Funny, most of the kids aren’t nearly as impressed as I am:

We’ve lived in Arizona for 33 years, but I know when we lived in New Jersey I went to the Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall at least once (though I can’t tell you what year. . .).

Want to watch more Christmas dances?

Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden


The Desert Botanical Garden is one of the popular attractions in Phoenix (see another post about the Desert Botanical Garden). At Christmastime, the Garden is open at night, with luminarias lighting the paths (and some of the trees and cacti and sculptures are lit as well). The handbell choir I belong to at my church has a long-standing Christmas tradition of spending a December evening at the Garden, starting with a tailgate dinner in the parking lot, complete with festive desserts.

This year’s expedition took place last Friday night. We chose the date because one of our favorite area handbell choirs was scheduled to perform. They must have canceled, because when we got there, we were told the only handbells they had were on the first four nights of December. We were bummed.

There were other musical groups performing, though. A quartet of carolers serenaded us at the entrance. Further in was a string trio, Simply Three.

We caught the last song in their set. I apologize for the awkward camera angle. Their style reminds me of the PianoGuys. Actually, one of my former students turned me on to Simply Three ten years ago. They have their own YouTube channel if you want to hear more of them.

We went to Dorrance Hall where HarpSynergy was playing. We caught the last song of their set as well.

We were able to speak to one of the musicians afterward. She said their arrangements sometimes double parts, but in some of their pieces, all members of the quartet play totally different parts.

For most of the two or so hours that we were there, we walked together through the 140-acre gardens. Someone said her FitBit logged about two miles while we were there. Most of the pictures I took outside with my phone were pretty horrible, but I can give you a little idea of what it was like.


8,000 luminarias line the trails through the Garden. They are hand-lit every night, and they are also hand-extinguished (I think the extinguisher is like a turkey baster–you squeeze the bulb and air puffs out).

Liberty Wildlife, a wildlife rescue agency, shared a booth with two owls and a snake.

Owl 1
Owl 2
This guy was brought to the shelter with a broken neck. He can never be released into the wild.

The full moon was gorgeous, but this was the best shot I got of it.

Moon Through the Trees

The best part of the evening was spending time with dear friends. That’s me at the end of the line in the face mask.

Ringing Praise at the Desert Botanical Garden

Video of the Week: Would it Be Christmas Without Pentatonix?


From the Creator’s Heart #339

Luke 2:8-11