winter Twin Cities Christmas

Classical Christmas Music  |  Popular Christmas Music  |  Christmas Plays  |  Craft Fairs  |  Best Gifts  |  full December calendar
Classical Christmas Music

Christmas in Christ Chapel mixes choirs, orchestras, brass, handbells, and dancers at Gustavus Adolphus College on Dec 5-7th.

Concordia College Christmas Concert plays Orchestra Hall with more than 400 Concordian musicians on Dec 11th
Festival of Christmas at Bethel University's Benson Hall in St Paul on Dec 4-6
Glory of Christmas Concert fills Grace Church in Eden Prairie on Dec 18th
Handel's Messiah by the Dakota Valley Symphony is at the Lakeville Area Arts Center on Dec 12-14th.
Handel's Messiah by the Minnesota Orchestra is at St Paul's Cathedral on Dec 11th & at Orchestra Hall on Dec 14th
Michael W. Smith's Symphony Tour, featuring Melinda Doolittle, plays the Xcel Energy Center on Dec 6th
Minnesota Orchestra plays a Scandinavian Christmas at Orchestra Hall on Dec 17-18th.

National Lutheran Choir sings at the Basilica of St. Mary on Dec 12-13th
Northwestern College runs from Dec 5-7
St. Olaf Christmas Fest in Northfield on Dec 4-7
The Singers from the Minnesota Choral Artists will sing at the St. Olaf Catholic Church in Minneapolis on Dec 6th, at the Lord of Life Church in Ramsey on Dec 7th, at the Wayzata Community Church on Dec 13th, and at the Nativity Our Lord Church in St. Paul on Dec 14th.
Sounds of the Season at the Ted Mann Concert Hall on Dec 5th
Twin Cities Womens Choir's Illumination is sung at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Minneapolis on Dec 14th
VocalEssence's Star of Wonder is at the Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis on Dec 6th.
VocalEssence's Welcome Christmas carol contest is performed at the Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis on Dec 7th & 14th, Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater, MN on Dec 12th, and Normandale Lutheran Church in Edina, MN on Dec 13th.

Christmas Music on the Radio
KQQL 107.9FM - kool108 (mid-November through December)
WLTE 102.9FM - Lite FM (mid-November through December)
The Story of Christmas

Christmas is an evolving holiday that started with the hotdish mixture of the birth of Christ mixed with the traditions of a handful of other cultures.

Mistletoe originated with the Druids of Britain in the 2nd century BCE. Xmas, as an abbreviation of Christmas, began with the Greeks in the early Christian church, X being the first letter of the Greek word for Christ, Xristos. Santa Claus was originally from the Turkish town of Lycia in the 4th century. The Christmas tree was a German custom from the 8th century. Advent began with the forty days of St. Martin and dropped down to twelve days in the 12th century. The nativity scene originated with St. Francis in Assisi, Italy in 1220.  "A Visit From St. Nick" (T'was the Night Before Christmas) by Clement Moore added to the Christmas lore in 1822. Poinsettias originated in Mexico and became part of Christmas in 1828. The first preprinted Christmas cards were printed in England in 1843, the same year as "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. The look of Santa Claus took shape with drawings by Thomas Nast in 1863. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was created by the marketing department of Montgomery Wards in 1939.

And Christmas is when Christ was born, except that Christ wasn't born on December 25th.

The December 25th date came from a rival to Christianity, either Saturnalia or Mithraism. Saturnalia celebrated Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, "the birth of the unconquered sun." Mithraism celebrated both the feast of the Saturnalia and the birthday of Mithra. The early Christian church was celebrating the nativity on December 25th by 354 AD.
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Christ was born

Christ was born when Herod was king of Judea (Matthew 2:1). According to the 1st century historian, Josephus, Herod died soon after a lunar eclipse, probably the March 13, 4 BCE eclipse; he had ruled for 34 years... or 37 years, if it was the eclipse of January 9, 1 BCE.

Christ was born when Quirinius was governor of Syria (Luke 2:2). Publius Sulpicius Quirinius ran the Roman census in Syria between 8 and 5 BCE and was legate from 6-12 AD.

Christ was born when shepherds were "out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night"(Luke 2:8). Shepherds kept watch over their flocks night and day only at lambing time in the spring. In the winter, the flocks were kept unwatched in corrals.

Christ was born during the fest of Tabernacles. "The Word was made flesh and tabernacled among us" (John 1:14). The Feast of Tabernacles is the 15th day of Tishri (September-October-ish).

Christ was born under the star, you know, the Star of Bethlehem. Wise men came from the east and went west because they saw the star in the east  (Matthew 2). Mapquest has given that kind of directions to me, too. The star may have been a meteor or supernova or a comet or a planet or a conjunction of planets...

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Popular Christmas Music

Aaron Neville (soul) plays the Grand Casino Hinckley on Dec 7th (watch)

Blenders (acapella soul) at Pantages Theatre on Dec 4-7 (watch)
Boston Brass (jazz) plays Bethel University on Dec 12th (watch)
Curtis and Loretta (folk) plays The Cedar on Dec 12th (watch)
Eartha Kitt (jazz) with the MN Orchestra at Orchestra Hall on Dec 12-13 (watch)
Empire Brass (brass ensemble) plays Orchestra Hall on Dec 16th (watch)
Go Fish (acapella hiphop) plays the Target Center on Dec 14th (watch)
Harry Connick Jr (jazz) plays the Orpheum Theatre on Dec 9th (watch)
Irving Berlin's White Christmas (musical) at The Ordway, Dec 2-Jan 3 (watch)
JazzMN ChristmasConnie Evingson (jazz) play the Hopkins HS on Dec 20th
Jingle Bell Doc (jazz) is Doc Severinsen, Minnesota Chorale, Ascension Youth Choir, & the Twin Cities Bronze handbell choir play Orchestra Hall on Dec 21st
John Trones will be at the Pantages Theatre with Joanna Jahn and Jen Burleigh-Bentz on Dec 8th at 7:30pm (listen)
Katie McMahon (Celtic) plays the O'Shaughnessy on Dec 13th (watch)
Kenny G (saxophone) plays Mystic Lake on Dec 5th at 8pm (watch)
Linda Eder (rock) at the State Theatre on Dec 4th
Lorie Line (piano) plays the State Theatre Dec 6-13th
Lyra Baroque Orchestra (soprano) plays the University Lutheran Church of Hope, Minneapolis on Dec 20th
Mall of America - Rotunda will have a mix of music from Nov 28-Dec 23
Mannheim Steamroller (electric pop) at the Orpheum on Dec 19-20 (watch)
Neal and Leandra (folk) play The Cedar on Dec 14th (watch)
Park High School Choir plays the Park High School on Dec 22nd
Peterson Family plays the Hopkins Center for the Arts on Dec 13th (watch)
Robert Robinson (gospel) is at Bethel University's Benson Hall on Dec 20th
Rose Ensemble: Early American Christmas plays the Colonial Church of Edina on Dec 18th, St. Mary's Basilica on Dec 20th, the Church of the Nativity in St. Paul on Dec 21st, and Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater on Dec 23rd (watch)
Theotokos (Greek) plays  St. Catherine's Victory Chapel on Dec 14th
Tillis Family (country) is at the Grand Casino Mille Lacs on Dec 13th (watch)
Trans-Siberian Orchestra (industrial rock)  plays the Xcel on Dec 7th (watch)

Christmas Plays

A Christmas Carol will be at the Bloomington Art Center, Guthrie Theater, Hennepin Stages, Park Square (Jacob Marley), and  Wellstone Center (Klingon).

The Nutcracker Suite will be Stillwater High School on Nov 28-30th, at Orchestra Hall on Dec 2-5th, the Orpheum Theatre on Dec 12-13th, the O'Shaughnessy on Dec 19-21st, and the State Theatre (
tickets) on Dec 19-24th.

A Christmas Carole Petersen by the Theater Latté Da plays the Ordway on Nov 28-29, Dec 3-7, 10-14, 17-21.
A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd will be on TBS and at the Mounds Theater in St. Paul.
A Sugar Plum Dream by the St. Paul City Ballet dances across the O'Shaughnessy stage Dec 5-7th.
All Is Calm - The Christmas Truce of 1914, as the title suggests, tells the WWI story of the silence of the battlefield truce -- a silence broken by a young soldier singing; it plays Dec 18-21st at the Pantages Theatre.
Best Christmas Pageant Ever plays the Stepping Stone Theater.
Black Nativity plays the Penumbra Theatre on Nov 28-30, Dec 3-7, 10-14, 17-21, 23-24, & 26-28.
The Christmas Window is a play that skates and sings at the North Heights Lutheran Church in Arden Hills.
Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol at Hennepin Stages Upper Level.
The Hanging of the Greens at the Lakeshore Players Theatre is a new play about an old tradition, Dec 4-14th.
The Radio City Rockettes kick off Christmas at the Target Center on Nov 11-12th.
Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus plays 'round the Lyric Arts Center in Anoka on Nov 21-23, 28-30, Dec 4-7, 11-14, 17-21.

Christmas comedies
All I Want for Christmas is $700 Billion plays the Brave New Workshop, Nov 21-Dec 31st. ($700 billion could give everyone on the planet $100. Or every American $2,000, but it'll actually cost each American more than $2,000.)
Best Christmas Pageant Ever at the Stepping Stone Theater,  Dec 5-7, 9-14, 16-23.
Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol at Hennepin Stages Upper Level, Nov 21-23, 28-30, Dec 4-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-28.
A Christmas Carol

The Nutcracker Suite
Christmas Holiday Arts Fairs & Crafts Shows

- Anoka Armory - Nov 22-23rd
Apple Valley - Apple Valley Community Center - Nov 8th
Bloomington - Bloomington Armory - Nov 28-29th
Brooklyn Park-Osseo -
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church - Dec 6-7th
Hopkins - Eisenhower Community Center - Nov 8th, 9:30-3pm
Maple Grove - Maple Grove Community Center - Nov 15th, 9am-4pm
Minneapolis - Midtown Global Market, Lake St & Chicago Av - Dec 5-6th
Minneapolis - Minneapolis College of Art & Design (MCAD) - Nov 21-22nd
Minneapolis - Minnehaha Academy, 3100 W River  - Dec 13th, 10am-7:30pm
North St Paul - St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 2499 N Helen St - Nov 1st, 9am-4pm
Oakdale - Oakdale Center - Nov 28-30th
Rosemount - Rosemount HS Choir - Nov 1st, 9am-3pm
Roseville - Har Mar Mall - Dec 5-7, 12-14th
Roseville - Roseville City Hall - Dec 6th, 10am-4pm
St Cloud
- St Cloud Armory - Nov 22-23rd, 9am-4pm
St Paul - College of Visual Arts, CVA Gallery, 173 Western - Dec 6th, 10am-4pm
St Paul - Landmark Center - Dec 4-6th
St Paul - Ramsey Jr High, 1700 Summit Av - Dec 6th, 10am-5pm
Shakopee - Canterbury Park - Nov 13-16th
Stillwater - Applewood Hills - Nov 12-23rd
White Bear Lake - White Bear Lake Armory - Nov 8-9th, 9am-4pm
The Star of Bethlehem

Normal stars, even supernova, arc from east to
west across the night sky as the Earth spins, or
northernmost stars make circles in the north. 
Meteors are too fast. Comets were astrological
harbingers of doom. A comet or a  supernova
would have been obvious to Herod and recorded
by the Chinese.

The wise men came from the "east," translated
from the Greek word "anatoli" which means east,
after having seen the star in the "east," translated
from the Greek word  "anatolae" which means east
or the helical rising -- where the sun comes up.

The only stars that show up in the helical rising
are planets. There is often a planet in the helical
rising. It's less often when there are two. Of course,
it's even more rare to have three, and even more rare
to have them appear in a particular sign of the zodiac.

In 1604  Johannes Kepler was interested in a particular
conjunction of planets, the conjunction of Jupiter and
Saturn in Pisces. Pisces was the sign of Judea. Jupiter
was the star of a king. Saturn was the star of time or the
messiah or something. And the wise men were Jewish
astrologers in Babylon.

A triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn occured in
Pisces in 7 BCE.

Here's some pros & cons of Jupiter & Saturn in fish
as the Star of Bethlehem in 7 BCE. And here's a story
of a different conjunction in 2 BCE.

Best Christmas Gifts - - The Greatest Gifts -- a Wish List
Book Readers
Read a fun novel about people chasing their hopes and dreams, while running around
Minnesota in the near future. Hopes and Dreams: Stuck on AutoDrive is a book about inventing the self-driving car and figuring out how to live happily ever after. (Amazon link & more info)

Creative People
If you watched Heidi Klum's Project Runway and thought "I could do better than those designers!" The Project Runway Fashion Design Challenge Sketchbooks is your chance. Spin the wheel for the challenge and sketch your design. More than 4,500 challenges will keep you creating. Or work in 3D using the Project Runway Fashion Design Runway Collection. Or buy the Accessories Design, the Costume Design, the Dressmaking Set, the Handbag Design, Hair Stylist, Jewelry Design, Shoe Design, or the Project Runway Fashion Design and Illustration Studio Set. Make it work.

Even simpler, make a paper photo cube from pictures of the Minnesota State Capitol or the IDS or Gopher Gymnastics. Or save one of those to your computer and use it as a template for making a photo cube from your own pictures!  Free!

DVD Watchers - Top DVDs
 1.  Kung Fu Panda - Jack Black
 2.  Radio City Christmas - Rockettes
 3.  Mamma Mia - Meryl Streep
 4.  Tinker Bell - Mae Whitman
 5.  John Adams - Paul Giamatti
 6.  Dark Knight - Christian Bale
 7.  Jeff Dunham's Christmas
 8.  Wall-E
 9.  Star Wars: The Clone Wars
10. Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow

Environmentally Concerned People
Have fun while learning to care for our world through the Earthopoly Board Game. You aren't a player so much as a caretaker of great places, trading carbon credits for clean air, and trying not to get sent to the dump.

Peace on Earth

Gadget People
They may have notebook computers and netbook computers, iPods, Blackberrys, and cell phones, but do your gadget people have a solar charger to charge all those batteries? The Solio Universal Solar Charger fans out to collect solar power.  One hour of sunshine provides an iPod about an hour of play time or a 25 minutes of cell phone talk time. Your results may vary.  Or get them the
USB Fridge or USB Turntable.

Pet Owners
The perfect gift for pet owners wanting to better understand their pets is the pet eye view digital camera. This tiny camera clips to the pet's collar and takes a picture every 1, 5, or 15 minutes. Discover what Rover is doing while you are away. See what Rover sees!
 ...then again, maybe you don't want to know what Rover sees.

TV Watchers with older TVs without cable or satellite
The perfect gift is the digital-to-analog converter box. The analog signals will stop February 17, 2009. The digital signals are being transmitted right now. So the converter box is a practical gift for analog convertion.

Save at Barnes & Noble .com - November 7-16th
B&N members save 15% on one item using this link & coupon code
B&N non-members save 10% on one item using this link & coupon code
The discount will be applied to the most expensive eligible item in the order. Exclusions may apply.

Twin Cities Calendar 2008-2009  -  December  |  January  |  February

See event website for details - Not responsible  for event changes or errors

©  Copyright 2008 Hopes and Dreams. All rights reserved.  Minneapolis - St. Paul, Minnesota
tree Read the novel -- Hopes and Dreams: Stuck on AutoDrivewinter