christmas, music, holidays, feliz navidad

5-year-old Milo puts his all into his performance of "Feliz Navidad."

It's December, which means we hear familiar holiday songs everywhere we go, from the mall to the grocery store to restaurants. Soon we might see and hear carolers singing out the sounds of the season with Christmas classics such as "Winter Wonderland," "Silent Night," "Carol of the Bells," and, of course, the always festive "Feliz Navidad."

It's already hard not to bop along to that bilingual favorite, but a video of a 5-year-old joyfully performing it has taken the tune to another level. Alexis Fuller shared the video of her son Milo playing "Feliz Navidad" on Facebook last Christmas season and it is pure delight.

"This little guy was too excited for this one..." Fuller wrote. "Happy holidays everyone."

How could anyone not be happy watching this little guy play his guitar and sing?

The kid's got it all, doesn't he? The sweet smile, the upbeat energy, the in-tune vocals and some impressive guitar prowess for such a young age. And the way he stood up and kicked that stool back as he broke into the chorus? Milo's got a bright future ahead of him.

The story of "Feliz Navidad" itself is a delight as well. José Feliciano wrote the song more than 50 years ago, when he was recording music in Los Angeles far from his home in Puerto Rico during the holidays. "It was expressing the joy that I felt on Christmas and the fact that I felt very lonely. I missed my family, I missed Christmas carols with them. I missed the whole Christmas scene," he told NPR.

The fact that the song has endured for so long has surprised and delighted him. He told the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers last year that "there is no greater reward than writing a song that has become everybody's Christmas anthem, and all the joy that it brings fills me with joy."

I hope Feliciano has heard Milo singing his song to see how much joy it really does bring.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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