Christmas Day With The Pups

Our puppy Brody sits among his many Christmas toys
Baby boy Brody was very happy with his holiday haul of toys

I updated this post to include some photos of our first Christmas with the new pups.

Cue to obligatory ‘torture the kids in holiday hats’ photo 🙂

Michael and Scarlett and Brody and I wish everyone a happy, happy holiday and Merry Christmas.

Merry merry, everyone!

Brody in full-on play mode as Scarlett strikes a pose
Brody in full-on play mode as Scarlett strikes a pose
Hubby Michael with Scarlett and Brody on Christmas Day
Hubby Michael with Scarlett and Brody on Christmas Day
Brody helps unwrap presents as Scarlett chills in my lap
Brody helps unwrap presents as Scarlett chills in my lap
The family photo as we put the pups through wearing silly holiday hats
The family photo as we put the pups through wearing silly holiday hats
Michael and I pose with the multiple photos of Snoopy we gave each other
Michael and I pose with the multiple photos of Snoopy we gave each other
Several dog toys strewn across the yard the day after Christmas 2020
Several dog toys are strewn across the yard the day after Christmas 2020

Melania Dragged For Maskless White House Christmas Tour

First Lady Melania Trump with children wearing face masks at the White House

First Lady Melania Trump is probably very happy to be done with her last Christmas in the White House.

Yesterday, her official Twitter account shared a short video showing her showing the White House decorations to young children (all wearing face masks) while she didn’t bother to wear a mask even though that’s the official position of the CDC.

That, plus the leaked audio of a conversation with a former aide where she complained about having to oversee the holiday decor of the White House (“Who gives a f*ck about Christmas stuff and decoration…?”), is probably the most transparent perspective we’ll have of the soon-to-be-former First Lady.

Twitter wasn’t amused.

Christmas Music: Idina Menzel & Billy Porter ‘I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm’

Idina Menzel & Billy Porter (screen capture)

What’s hotter than two fabulous Tony Award winners – Billy Porter & Idina Menzel – wailing on a big band holiday tune?

Shining bright in the music video for “I Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” the duo throws down some fierce musical magic accompanied by back-up dancers and sparkles, sparkles, sparkles.

The track is from Menzel’s holiday album, Christmas: A Season of Love, which debuted at #1 on Amazon’s Classic chart.

In addition to Porter, the gorgeous holiday collection teams the Wicked star with Ariana Grande, Josh Gad, and her husband, Broadway veteran Aaron Lohr.

Both artists are in seemingly perpetual motion this holiday season.

Menzel’s latest movie project, the 2019 animated blockbuster Frozen 2, break all kinds of records scored the biggest global opening of all time for an animated feature and has so far banked over $1.5 billion.

Porter, an Emmy Award winner for his star turn on the FX series Pose, will be co-hosting Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest this year.

Porter will also appear at Menzel’s Carnegie Hall concert on December 11.

AND – make sure you catch both artists performing during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

#Busy

 

 

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#MacysParade rehearsal with the @ypcofnyc:✅! Tune in Thursday at 9AM (all time zones) on @NBC!

A post shared by Idina Menzel (@idinamenzel) on

Tonight: Free Streaming Broadway Concert ‘Home For The Holidays’

A stellar lineup of theater favorites will show there’s no place like Broadway for the holidays as they welcome you into their homes and hearts during Home for the Holidays on Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

The free concert is produced by and benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

You’ll feel the holiday spirit when some of Broadway’s most celebrated stars perform songs based on traditions from their homes and from where their shows are set. With songs from comedic to heartfelt, it’s your perfect seasonal variety show.

From the welcoming warmth of Come From Away‘s Gander, Newfoundland, to the rich culture of South Africa through cast members from The Lion King, you’ll escape into a world where Broadway can help make the season merry and bright despite today’s challenges.

A shortlist of the illustrious lineup includes Alan Cumming, André De Shields, Ed Dixon, Heather Headley, Ramin Karimloo, Karen Olivo, Nina West and the Grammy Award-winning Broadway Inspirational Voices.

Every dollar donated will help those across the country affected by HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 and other critical illnesses receive healthy meals, lifesaving medication, emergency financial assistance, housing, counseling and more. The donations also support and champion organizations focused on social justice and anti-racism.

Click here to watch the free stream beginning at 8 pm Eastern on the Broadway Cares website, or you can catch the show in the YouTube above.

The stream will be available through December 19.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular Cancelled For 1st Time Ever

Some of the world-famous Rockettes onstage at Radio City Music Hall (via Instagram)

For the first time since its debut in 1933, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the world-famous Radio City Rockettes, is being canceled.

From the New York Post:

MSG Entertainment, which owns the glamorous Radio City Music Hall where the Rockettes perform, made the decision to close the curtain on the popular show amid ongoing uncertainty tied to the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s performance, known for iconic dance numbers like “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and the “12 Days of Christmas,” had been slated to run from Nov. 6 to Jan. 3.

The events company, which also owns Madison Square Garden, also announced plans to lay off 350 people — about one-third of its corporate workforce — as the pandemic continues to squeeze venues that rely on live performances.

Its sister company, MSG Sports, which owns the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers, is cutting 50 jobs, or about 15 percent of its corporate staff.

Running for two months plus rehearsals, I can remember as a dancer in NYC the Christmas Spectacular was a job a LOT of theater artists folks prized each year. Paid well and you got to be home in NYC for the holidays.

If you’ve never seen it, you should there’s a reason why it’s run for all these decades. Festive, fun and very family-friendly.

InstaHunk Round-Up: Christmas Edition

Fitness guy Nik has the perfect package for you (via Instagram)

Spending some Christmastime with the InstaHotties:

First up, fitness guy Nik (above) has the perfect package for you this holiday season.

Joel Green is giving you full-on Florida #BlackSanta realness:

Mitch Fit got a huge sword from Santa and looks like he knows how to use it:

Super-fit paleontologist Francesc Gascó and friend want everyone to eat, smile and be happy:

Shoutout to the ModernBearMedia guys for knowing a real Santa when they see one:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6d7DaBJNTw/

Fitness expert Ramses Principe wants to know if you landed on the “Naughty” or “Nice” list this year?

Simon Dunn and Felix Maisey-Curtis are looking adorable in matching stripes and their big Weiner:

ABC News reporter Gio Benitez and hubby Tommy Didario are playing the matching outfits game as well (down to the socks!):

Jim Newman got a really, really nice package from his boo:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6gG5zolepJ/

Photographer Michael Stokes offers his own take on elf shenanigans:

Gorgeous Steve_in_LA is spending his holidays in gorgeous Salzburg, Austria:

Rick and the Griffopotamus celebrate gay penguins with an invitation to kiss under the mistletoe:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6d0hCZga-9/

Spanish fitness model Jonathan Guijarro is giving you sexy eyes on Christmas Day:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6f1GSIoasx/

Max Emerson sends holiday greetings from Thailand:

Rodiney Santiago offers his Christmas Eve greetings in classic champagne glass:

We are totally loving artist Silverjow’s take on Santa Claus and reindeer: 

‘Biblical Believer’ Asks Miss Manners Most Polite Way To Disinvite Gays To Christmas

Miss Manners’ Judith Martin (image via official Facebook)

Advice column Miss Manners recently received a letter from some ‘Biblical believers’ asking the most polite way to tell a gay family member their significant other isn’t welcome at a family Christmas celebration.

It seems the matriarch of the family discovered a distant gay relative living in her city some years ago and has since made it a point to invite him to holiday gatherings.

But the homophobe of the brood is apparently dismayed the family gay brings along his ‘male friend’ to the holiday festivities.

“As committed Biblical believers, we believe homosexuality to be a serious sin and do not like being put in the position of appearing to condone it,” reads the missive.

The writer adds that they haven’t said anything to the ‘distant relative’ yet because “we also feel that each person should have the right to make their own judgments.”

After emailing family members saying they would like to come up for Christmas, the advice seeker was appalled the gay relative chimed in saying he and his ‘man friend’ would be available to join in.

The bigot concludes their query by writing, “I feel this is presumptuous but am at a loss to know how to put a stop to it without causing offense.”

Miss Manners’ Judith Martin clapped back with a perfect balance of good taste and common sense.

“What strikes Miss Manners as ‘presumptuous’ is the idea that your attending a party with this relative and his partner condones homosexuality any more than your presence amounts to a referendum on the private life of anyone else present,” wrote Martin.

BOOM!

Miss Manners went on to suggest that “a bit of goodwill toward all would be appropriate for the holidays.”

You know – that whole ‘Christ-like’ thing…

But if the judgmental relative can’t make the leap to goodwill, Miss Manners suggests a Plan B.

“People have the right to make their own judgments. And if yours precludes extending that, you should make other Christmas plans.”

Miss Manners for the win.

(source: Mercury News)

Trans People Go Home For The Holidays In #BeautifuLGBTQ Pantene Ad

Since 1943, the wistful holiday classic “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” has resonated deeply for those who can’t go home for the holidays.

While the song was written with World War II soldiers in mind who were separated from their families, LGBTQ people often have their own difficulties in heading home for the holidays.

Pantene has partnered with GLAAD and the 42-member Trans Chorus of Los Angeles on an inclusive ad for this Christmas season featuring the song with the hopes of raising awareness of the challenges LGBTQ folks face during returning home at Christmas time.

“137 million Americans will travel home this holiday season,” reads an official statement from Pantene for the ad. “But, 44% of LGBTQ+ people feel they can’t come home as their true selves, fearing their identity (including hair, makeup, and personal style) won’t be accepted.”

“Let’s make the most wonderful time of year wonderful for all,” the message continues. “Because no matter when you come home, where you call home, or who you come home to—coming home should be #BeautifuLGBTQ.”

Procter & Gamble Vice President Ilaria Resta said in a statement, “Inclusion is at the heart of Pantene’s mission to celebrate the beauty of all transformations and of all people.”

In addition to the ad, Pantene has also produced several videos with Trans Chorus members who share their personal struggles with family acceptance.

“Hearing these LGBTQ individuals speak about the trials and triumphs of going home for the holidays — as well as their irrepressible desire to be their true selves — will inspire others in the community and remind us all what true beauty is about,” said Resta.

Earlier this year, Pantene promoted Spirit Day and National Coming Out Day. As part of this collaboration with GLAAD, the hair giant has pledged to donate $100,000 to Family Equality, a group dedicated to making sure LGBTQ people have the same opportunities and parental rights as heterosexual couples.

The campaign also includes videos sharing the personal stories of Chorus members Crystal S., Steven H., MJ and Miliana S.




Excitable Baby Dragon Featured In 2019 John Lewis Christmas Ad

UK retailer John Lewis has released its annual Christmas ad for 2019 as a collaboration with its sister chain Waitrose.

Set in a fairytale village in Hungary, the short video tells the story of a little girl named Ava and her dragon friend, Excitable Edgar.

Using Bastille’s cover of the 1980s hit, “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” the Christmas spot shows Edgar unable to control his excitement about the impending holiday as he accidentally melts a snowman with his fiery breath, defrosts an ice rink where children are skating, and accidentally burns down the town’s Christmas tree.

But eventually, Ava discovers a good use for his accident-prone talent — toasting the Christmas pudding.

Via press release, John Lewis shares the theme of the advertisement “centers around the theme of bringing people together at Christmas time through delicious food and thoughtful gifts, which show loved ones how much you care.”

“Our story this year is all about the magic of friendship and how one thoughtful gesture can make all the difference,” says the retailer. “Edgar’s excitement around the festive season can often lead to fiery consequences, but Ava sparks an idea for the perfect present to help him light up Christmas in his own special way 🔥”

Last year’s ad featuring pop superstar Elton John showcasing the power of a gift received more than 14 million views.

First Posthumous George Michael Track Released – ‘This Is How (We Want You To Get High)’

Photo of George Michael by Andrew Macpherson
Photo of George Michael by Andrew Macpherson
George Michael (Photo: Andrew Macpherson/Universal)

Some 35 years after the release of the smash-hit “Last Christmas” by Wham!, George Michael’s millions of fans get another festive treat.

“This Is How (We Want You To Get High),” which was recorded during George’s final studio sessions, is his first original material to be released in seven years.

George died on Christmas Day in 2016.

A funky, upbeat soon-to-be-classic, “This is How (We Want You to Get High)” has a seductive George Michael hook and melody. The lyrics, written exclusively by George, see the star addressing society’s ills with his trademark blend of self-deprecation and wry humor.

Work on the track began in early 2012, was subsequently recorded in sessions at Air Studios in London, and ultimately received finishing touches in late 2015 during George’s final recording sessions.

With its uplifting vibe and socially-conscious message, “This is How (We Want You to Get High)” will be featured during the credits of the upcoming Last Christmas, Universal Pictures’ new romantic comedy. The film was inspired by the eponymous Wham! hit, and has a soundtrack featuring three Wham! tracks and twelve songs from George Michael’s solo career.

Hit the play button below.