A few years ago, if someone had written the words, “Duck the Halls,” you would have assumed it was a typo. Today, however, there’s a Christmas album out by that title from none other than “Louisiana’s most unlikely millionaires,” the Robertson family of the hit TV show Duck Dynasty.
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We are celebrating Christmas each day for the next week with short stories and memories about the Christmas season. Today we want to wish you a “holly, jolly Christmas.”
When you hear someone wish a “holly, jolly Christmas,” your mind probably jumps straight to Burl Ives. After all, he made the song famous, singing it on his own hit record and in the TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Many people assume Ives wrote the song himself. The truth is, the song was written by a little-known artist named Johnny Marks.
You’ve probably never heard of Johnny Marks, but y Read more →
As a writer, I’ve been encouraged to strive for that ever elusive idea of ‘perfection’ in my writing. I’ve been taught that every word should be viewed as valuable, every sentence re-worked until the least offensive combination of words was found. This, in and of itself is not a problem. As a teacher, I encourage my students to strive for creativity, and to re-work bits of their assignments that don’t fit, or could use some attention. I never mention perfection though. I’ve seen too many students get stuck on that idea and not let go. I’ve seen Perfection squash Creativity, both in my students and myself.
Through high school and college I thrived on the idea of perfection. The ‘A’ was the main goal for me. I wanted to please my teachers and my parents by showing them that I could obtain my desire of performing well as a student. I defined myself through the grade, through the praise that I received, or didn’t receive from others. I began to notice a problem with this thinking my senior year of high school, but I couldn’t name it. I just knew there was something wrong with my thinking. When asked to write creatively for a class, I would choke. What did the teacher want me to write about? What topic would impress? What formula would earn me that ‘A’ or that pat on the head that said yes, I had talent, and yes, I was ‘creative’ or a ‘good student.’
It was not until my senior year of college that I found out how destructive these thoughts could be. Read more →