Tag Archives: Christmas
Granted, our local churches aren’t Notre Dame… but we have lots of beauty right here at home in Gloucester. Here are some photos of St. Ann’s Church (Holy Family Parish) with the Christmas decorations up.
First, a shot from a night right before Christmas (Dec. 23) when several blocks in Gloucester mysteriously had a power outage over several hours. We rounded up extra candles and Christmas lights for the evening Mass in Portuguese:
Then a few shots with normal lighting:
Remember, Christmas isn’t over yet! Today is the 9th day of Christmas (as in, “9 ladies dancing”).
Santa brought me a few origami books! This Santa is from “Brilliant Origami”, by David Brill:
Send In Your Christmas Meal Pics And I’ll Post ‘Em
send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Gloucester native Geordie Keefe had brussels sprout for Christmas.!
No dreidel, no Festivus Pole, and most of all NO RUBBER DUCKS…just leg of lamb, fine wine and Shirley’s blueberry pie…good wishes to all..
"PJs and Paper Plates", our very laid-back Christmas brunch; lots of music, twice-baked potatoes, eggs, bacon and cookies. Also do home-made dog treats for pet friends.
Merry Christmas to all! May God bless you and give you joy, whatever your religious tradition and personal approach to the holiday season.
Remember: Christmas is just beginning! Traditionally, the Christmas season lasts for more than a week (for Catholics, until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which falls on Jan 13 this year). So, don’t rush to throw out those Christmas decorations! You can still enjoy them for a while yet – at least for the famous “12 Days of Christmas” until Jan. 6!
Gloucester is a great place to spend Advent and Christmas. Besides all the services, pageants and festivities in the religious context, there are lots of decorations and fun activities downtown. Click on the photos below to see a slideshow of images taken during “Family and Friends’ Night” and “Men’s Night” on Main Street.
I’ll be blogging from home in Connecticut for the next few days.
– Fr. Matthew Green
Last Thursday, St. Ann School had its Christmas concert. Kudos to their choir director, Lori L’Italien, for her great work with the kids! The cuteness factor of the little kids was off the charts. Here are a few photos:
Last weekend, Fred Bodin and I were both at a great Christmas party / sing-along with a lot of other guests. I guess I was feeling lazy, because I didn’t bring my camera. Fred, on the contrary, was on top of things and he used his camera to grab some video of our caroling. Here is a medley I put together from his footage. The last part is a snippet of a traditional Christmas Gregorian chant I sang with Kevin McDermott.
Thanks for the footage, Fred!
All are welcome to join us for our annual
St. Ann School Christmas Concert!
It will be held on Thursday, December 20 at 1:00 pm in St. Ann Church
(60 Prospect St. in Gloucester).
The children have been working very hard to prepare for this year’s concert, which includes many traditional Christmas carols.
We hope to see you there!
Michele Butler, Principal of St. Ann School
On Friday night I taught these four holiday decorations at The Hive. From top to bottom: a relatively simple Santa, a star-like ornament, a menorah, and a modular cube (made from six modules, each folded from a square of paper, and joined together without glue).
The origami class time for Tuesday at Art Haven is going to have to change from the 6:30 time slot I mentioned before, but I don’t have the details worked out yet. I will put up the info as soon as I have it.
Mary Ann and David are getting the fish onto the tree! Today I received a whole school of more than 200 wonderful origami fish folded by the students of St. Ann School (huge thanks to Gemma Amero Flavin, their art teacher!). I don’t have an exact total count yet, but with these new additions and those folded throughout the week, we probably have close to 700! Keep folding fish to help us reach our goal of 1000!
I’ll be folding a star for the top sometime in the next few days.
I will teach one or two of these at during my class tonight at The Hive tonight. (Apparently the class fee is $10, not $15 as I previously mentioned – and folding will start at 6PM. Fish first, then other ornaments).
We had fun folding fish for the Gloucester Origami Fishmash/Christmas tree on Saturday! We got more than a third of the way to our 1000 fish goal in just a few hours, thanks to lots of visitors, including a few who folded fish fast and furious!
We still need more fish, though, so if you know how to fold origami fish (no cutting, fish preferably no more than 3″ or 4″ long when folded), please fold some and bring them to The Hive during its open hours. Any origami sea life, from simple (anyone can do it!) to complex (Dr. Carbone, I’m talking to you!) are welcome!
Here I am folding fish with friend, GMG contributor, and FOB Rick Isaacs:
We hope to start hanging the fish on the tree soon (maybe by the time this post hits the web)!
- Fr. Matthew Green
Even 7 year old Beannie Weannie knows to keep the camera horizontally for video.
On Saturday night, I went to Chorus North Shore’s Christmas concert at Our Lady of Hope in Ipswich (almost Cape Ann), which featured Vivaldi’s Gloria, “Christmas is Coming: a festive cantata”, and other songs of the season.
Either the boar’s head is hollow (or made of styrofoam), or maybe Don has been hitting the gym. He held that huge boar’s head aloft until the whole verse was over.
Alexander Thompson (of Ma’s Brands fame, who has an amazing voice, but does not sing in this choir) was in attendance with pencil and paper – not taking notes, but drawing:
The concert was great! Kudos to all the performers, the director, the technicians, etc.!
Help us decorate Gloucester’s first (annual?) origami Christmas (or “Fishmas”) tree with 1000 origami fish!
For years, people have been decorating Christmas trees with origami for public display in cities around the world. For example, New York City has two famous origami-decorated trees every year: one in the American Museum of Natural History, and another in the Japan Airlines offices on 5th Avenue. I met with David Brooks of Art Haven and The Hive, and he loved the idea of doing one here in Gloucester! The current plan is to display it in the front window of The Hive on Pleasant Street.
Our project has two special characteristics. First, we are making the whole thing – tree included – out of origami. It’s not the first time it’s been done, but it’s not so common! Secondly, we want it to be Gloucester-themed, so it will be decorated with origami fish. This honors both Gloucester’s spirit and history as a fishing port, and the ancient Christian tradition in which the fish is a symbol of Christ, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas.
We want to get as many people involved as possible. In the spirit of the Japanese tradition of folding 1000 origami cranes, we are aiming for 1000 fish, so, we need a lot of help! Come to The Hive on Saturday, starting at 10AM, to help us fold origami
fish! We are folding a specific origami fish model – the “Twist Fish” by Gay Merrill Gross (from her book Minigami). It’s very easy to fold. I will be there teaching for a few hours, and I will teach a few other people so they can teach others when I’m not there. We will have plain paper at The Hive that you can use, but you can bring your own paper too if you want to use fancier origami paper. (You can get paper at Island Art and Hobby on Main Street, or at other art and craft stores.) Also, you can decorate the fish after you fold it – draw a face or scales, paint it bright colors, or whatever!
The tree itself is already in production. I spent several hours yesterday folding with David Brooks and Mary Ann DeLouise to get our origami conifer off the ground:
Plus, next week I will be teaching two classes on origami holiday decorations! We will fold Christmas and Hanukkah themed models and geometric decorations (the variety of models depends on how we do for time). Folding materials will be supplied.
- Here are the dates:
- Friday Dec. 14, 6:30-8PM at the Hive, for teens and adults ($15)
- Tuesday Dec. 18, 6:30-8PM at Art Haven, for children ($10)
I will try to post a more detailed menu of models I hope we can fold.
Advent-Christmas Concert at St. Ann’s Church
The choir of Holy Family Parish will be offering
its 8th annual free Advent-Christmas Concert
on Sunday, December 9, at 2PM.
In addition to the parish adult choir and the children’s choir, the pastor, Fr. John Kiley, will present some organ pieces. Not wanting to be left out of a musical event like this one, GMG contributor Fr. Matthew Green will also sing with the choir.
No tickets necessary! Come and enjoy the music!
Holy Family Parish is located just north of the intersection of Prospect Street and Pleasant Street. The entrance to the parking lot is on Prospect.
Be careful to avoid parking in the lot for Savour Wine and Cheese, which is across Pleasant Street from the church parking lot. Unless maybe you stop in to Savour and pick up some treats beforehand, and ask permission to stay in the lot…
He’s Baaaack! Our Elf (Not On The Shelf) Ziggy Made His Return Appearance December 1 (Send In Your Elf Creative Location Photos and I’ll Post ‘Em
What up Zig Master Zig?
Just Chillin Like A Mofo I see.
Send in your Creative Elf On The Shelf Location Photos to email@example.com I’ll post ‘em don’t forget to add in your elf’s name and family name. represent! Bonus points if you can include a GMG Sticka with your Elf Photo
For my second-to-last origami post during World Origami Days, I am going to address a popular misconception (and at the end put in another plug for a Christmas origami class here in Gloucester).
Often when I mention that I do and teach origami, people say something like, “Oh, that must be great for working with kids!” While it is certainly true that children often like origami, and that many origami books and kits are aimed at children, it is a mistake to reduce origami to a children’s activity. That would be sort of like saying that drawing or painting is for kids because there are a lot of crayons, magic markers, and watercolor kits are marketed to children.
One’s enjoyment and ability at origami have little to do with age. For example, at the annual origami convention in New York City, participants range in age from small children to senior citizens. There are active origami clubs at prestigious universities – some of the most impressive origami I’ve ever seen has come out of the MIT’s origami club, OrigaMIT. Check out OrigaMIT member Brian Chan’s “Attack of the Kraken” (the photo is from his website):
Over the past couple of decades, origami designers have brought complex math skills to bear upon the difficulties of creating complex models, with stunning results. Some of the greatest origami masters are trained mathematicians and scientists. One of the most well-known is Robert Lang (PhD in applied physics from Caltech). Here is one of his models:
Again, that’s one square sheet of uncut paper. Lang has written an in-depth work on designing origami models using mathematical methods.
It’s not just the case that origami benefits from math and science; the same goes the other way around. Origami ideas and principles have been used in fields as diverse as biology (“protein origami”) and space technology (foldable satellite solar panels, etc.).
Origami really can be a refined art. Take the works of the recently deceased French sculptor Eric Joisel:
Or this alligator by Michael Lafosse, who, with his partner Richard Alexander, has his Origamido studio in Haverhill, MA:
Michael Lafosse has come to Cape Ann a few times to give classes.
These are examples of some truly outstanding origami artists who are using special materials. They are not alone: there are many more than I have mentioned here. However, most people are happy with much simpler work. My point is that, the next time you see an origami class offered, don’t just think, “that would be fun for my (grand)children.” Anyone who enjoys artistic activity, and maybe math, logic, etc., can find joy in the creativity and the challenges of origami.
That said, please leave a comment or contact me in some other way if you would be interested in the Christmas origami class that I mentioned in an earlier post. I’d like to get a feeling for what whether or not there would be enough participants to make it worthwhile. I would probably offer the class on the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 2, or thereabouts.
Tomorrow, my last “World Origami Days” post: Origami on Cape Ann.