(Found via Bull City.)
Here's one I'm late on, thanks to post-vacation catch-up, but I find this so jaw-dropping that I simply must share just in case you've missed it. In the universe of bad ideas, there are lots of whoppers. But few rise to the level of truly catastrophic, with as much epic-trainwreck potential, as the thought of Bob Dylan singing Christmas carols -- in just the crisp diction you'd expect, no doubt.
Then again, this is the man who gave us "Self Portrait."
ADDENDUM (8/27/09): If it's for real, the Bob Dylan GPS?!
I appreciated all my gifts this Christmas season -- all were needed and useful.
I chose the practical for my wish list, especially this year in these uncertain times, and my family came through.
But one gift in particular will keep on adding a little cheer long past the Christmas season.
It’s a gift from my brother-in-law who is quite the builder.
It’s not an necessity, but it sure fixes what’s broken and will serve to pick up my spirits just about anytime.
He gave me a gift card to a home improvement store and a promise to rebuild our window boxes, one of which is deteriorating, and one that’s not far behind it.
So soon, I’ll be able to have a window full of flowers once again.
Gifts that last and keep on giving are hard to come by and have a special cache. Especially when they are right on target.
One of my sisters, concerned about the intense consumerism of Christmas, asked me to wrap up some of my books and give them to her instead of buying a gift.
And still others, were thinking of others during their Christmas giving this year.
Kelly Lloyd, a customer service representative of Just Give.org, an organization that helps people give to international relief, fight hunger and poverty and promote education for children and youth, said gifts were up $300,000 this year to $2.9 million from $2.6 million last year. That’s even in a slumping economy.
Robert Tolmach, of Changing the Present, a similar organization there is evidence that giving charitable gifts is on the rise. Tolmach said people get a great deal of reward from making a difference in the world, and gifts that help do that, are receiving more attention now.
Changing the Present aims to match interests of people with matching charitable organizations.
For instance, a son who loved being read to by his father might give him a gift of donating to a charity that provides needy children books. A fashionista’s donation gift might buy a pair of shoes so that a child may go to school in Africa, or outfit a woman who needs job interview clothes.
You can give to save the Rainforest, a tiger, or even restore sight with an operation to remove cataracts.
Tolmach said hundreds of thousands of people gave gifts this year through the organization that celebrated its second Christmas in service.
These are gifts that really keep on giving and can be given not just at Christmas but for birthdays, Valentine’s or any other special day.
Tolmach said he had one for me -- persevering an acre of wilderness, “the world’s largest flower arrangement.”
Today brings one of my favorite annual rituals of the holiday season back around, the "alternative" gift guide of strange and unusual music-related artifacts for those looking to make a large impression. Click through for tons and tons more.
Last week I wrote this story about a decision by Sarah Michalak, who runs UNC Chapel Hill's library system, not to display two Christmas trees that for decades have greeted December visitors to two main campus libraries.
Well, I got plenty of feedback about that, as did UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp. In fact, a day or so later, Thorp released a statement explaining that plenty of places on campus do in fact display Christmas trees.
Now, the university has gone a step further, recording this short video and plunking it on its website. The 78-second video shows all the places on campus - the bookstore, Memorial Hall, the Carolina Inn, etc - where Christmas trees, wreaths, garland and the like are on display.
It's a lovely little video set to soothing music. Enjoy.
Today's Epicurean column (http://www.newsobserver.com/lifestyles/dining_clubs/epicurean/story/1327902.html) includes an excerpt from my annual list of restaurants that are open on Christmas Day. Here's the full list, below. I'll add more as I learn of them. And as always, feel free to add your own contributions.
The Carolina Inn, 211 Pittsboro St., Chapel Hill
4500 Crabtree Dr., in the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley, Raleigh
The Washington Duke Inn, 3001 Cameron Boulevard, Durham
2000 Fearrington Village Center, Pittsboro
8411-105 Brier Creek Pkwy., in Brier Creek Commons, Raleigh
The Grove Café
421 S. Salisbury St., in the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel, Raleigh
100 Woodland Pond, in The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary
The Siena Hotel, 1505 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill
901 W. Morgan St., Raleigh
431 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
Posta Tuscan Grille
500 Fayetteville St., in the Marriott City Center, Raleigh
239 S. Elliott Road, Chapel Hill
Windows at the Franklin
311 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill