Thanks, But No Thanks
A new survey by Consumer Reports reveals that 25% of people say whiskey, vodka, rum, brandy and other spirits are the least desirable gifts. Other findings:
- 13% of people say flowers and home decor are the least desirable gifts
- 3% of people say a gift card is the least desirable gift
Once again, Keith Urban is releasing a calendar to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The singer, who started the project in 2002, has so far raised more than $850,000 for the worthwhile cause.
The 2015 calendar, available for purchase now, uses photos from his recent Raise ‘Em Up Tour as the artwork for each month. All of the photos in the limited-edition calendar were taken by his fans.
“I want to take a moment and thank every one of you who’ve been incredibly supportive, again, of St. Jude and the amazing work they do down there,” Urban says. “That raises so much money, but also a lot of awareness for St. Jude, too, and it’s very, very touching to me how you guys always step up to the plate and help them out. Thank you for that, and God bless every one of you.”
The ‘Somewhere in My Car’ singer is a longtime supporter of St. Jude. This year, he joined Hunter Hayes, Jennifer Aniston, Sofia Vergara and several other celebrities as part of St. Jude’s annual Thanks and Giving campaign. Urban designed a special holiday ornament, featuring one of his guitars, a ‘St. Jude Rocks’ design and his logo on the back.
Urban has big plans to ring in the New Year. He will headline a free show in Niagara Falls, Ontario, where he will be joined by Nick Jonas, Lights and Shawn Mendes
Read More: Keith Urban Releases 2015 Calendar to Benefit St. Jude | http://theboot.com/keith-urban-2015-calendar-st-jude/?trackback=tsmclip
First of all, this list varies depending on who does the survey though some of the same songs are in the top 25 list.
Merry Christmas!! That most wonderful time of the year is here, and the hustle and bustle of shopping, parties and tree-trimming is keeping you busy. But you can’t have the holidays without music, so The Boot has made our list — and checked it twice — and come up with our picks for the Top 10 Country Christmas Songs of all time!
10. Pretty Paper
Nelson wrote this holiday lament and first gave it to Roy Orbison, who had a huge hit with it in 1963. The Red Headed Stranger recorded it as the title cut of his first Christmas album in 1978 and since then, 'Pretty Paper' has been recorded by dozens of artists, including Chris Isaak, Carly Simon and Kenny Chesney. Its message of folks getting too caught up in holiday shopping and failing to spread good will during the holidays rings true in any economy.
8. 'Beautiful Star of Bethlehem'
This mid-20th-century classic comes out of the same rural tradition as Wynonna and Naomi Judd, making the popular bluegrass tune an instant favorite. The blended voices of mother and daughter rise like a mist out of the Kentucky mountains. Other neo-traditionalists including Emmylou Harris and Patty Loveless have also recorded it, ensuring the song's popularity for years to come.
7. 'All Is Well'
Carrie Underwood and Michael W. Smith
Carrie Underwood and Michael W. Smith debuted their new Christmas duet 'All Is Well' at the 2014 CMA Country Christmas event--Underwood's first time on the annual holiday show. The song, off Smith's new album 'The Spirit of Christmas,' It's a simple song reflecting on the meaning of Christmas, with Underwood's powerhouse vocals giving country fans a true gift during the holiday season. 'All Is Well' is beautiful enough to bring tears to your eyes in all the right ways during Christmas.
6. 'If We Make It Through December'
A reminder that the holiday season isn't always about twinkling lights and candy canes, this sobering look at the financial constraints that some families face during Christmas time was a No. 1 hit for Haggard in 1973, ultimately becoming the No. 2 song of the entire year. Now considered a classic, the oft-covered tune continues to resonate with listeners who struggle through the holidays.
5. 'Merry Christmas From the Family'
Robert Earl Keen
Only Robert Earl Keen could get away with such an acerbic take on Christmas. Forget about joy to the world, pretty paper and angels - this is Christmas in the real world, where you've got to drink heavily just to deal with the stress of seeing your extended family and all the complications a get-together can bring.
4 'Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer'
Elmo & Patsy
What list of Christmas tunes would be complete without this novelty hit? First sung by writer Randy Brooks at a hotel in Lake Tahoe, Nev., in 1978, it was recorded by husband-and-wife duo Elmo & Patsy Shropshire. Gaining momentum in the early '80's, the song about an over-served granny felled by Santa Claus' sleigh eventually reached Christmas cult status. In 2000, it even spawned an animated television special.
3. 'O Holy Night'
Few songs capture the full sacred meaning of the season as does this hymn. Fewer still are the artists who can handle the challenging vocal range of the song, let alone with the passion and sentiment befitting the lyrics. Written in 1847 by Frenchman Adolphe Adam, the carol is now a worldwide expression of hope. McBride's unforgettable version reached the country chart five years in a row, from 1997 through 2001. It is not to be missed.
2. 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree'
Lee was all of 14 years old when she recorded this song in 1958. It has since become one of the all-time holiday classics, landing at No. 4 on a list of the most popular seasonal songs of any genre. The rockabilly take on the tune will forever be linked to the versatile vocalist nicknamed "Little Miss Dynamite," whose influence is so vast that she has been inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
1. 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'
Our No. 1 spot goes to "the most famous reindeer of all." Written as a story for a children's coloring book in 1939 by Robert L. May, 'Rudolph' was commissioned by the Montgomery Ward department store as a holiday marketing giveaway. Autry's 1949 musical version (the original) has now sold more than 25 million copies and inspired the 1964 CBS-TV special, which remains the longest-running holiday special in TV history.
If you're interested in checkout out Miranda Lambert's bed and breakfast, here's the link:
Jake Owen got his beautiful hair cut this past Thursday.
Here's a before pic:
When it was all said and done...
While the St. Louis Rams continue to make headlines for their controversial nod to the Ferguson protesters, a former team member has taken up his own social cause on an entirely different field.
In 2012 -- after seven years in the NFL –- Jason Brown was let go from the Rams. Though other teams were interested in signing him, he left his career because he felt he had found a higher calling. Brown went on to become a farmer and to help the hungry with the fruits of his labor, CBS reported.
“My agent told me, 'You're making the biggest mistake of your life,'" Brown told CBS. "And I looked right back at him and I said, 'No I'm not. No I'm not.'"
While Brown, who was considered one of the best centers around, remained undeterred, it’s no wonder his agent was floored with his client’s decision.
In 2005, Brown was drafted to the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth round. He moved onto the Rams in 2009, where he was offered a competitive contract, and started every game but two from 2009 to 2011, according to the News & Observer.
When he said goodbye to the Rams in 2012, San Francisco, Carolina and Baltimore contacted him about potentially joining their teams, but Brown declined.
Though Brown had no training, he bought an 1,000-acre farm in Franklin County, North Carolina that year and teamed up with some experts to get his mission off the ground, according this his website.
The location was an apt choice considering that North Carolina's food insecurity rate is significantly higher than the national average.
Last year, 14 percent of American households were food insecure. Between 2011 and 2013, 17.3 percent of households in North Carolina experienced the same issue, according to Feeding America.
Brown picked up some tilling tips from YouTube and dubbed his initiative, “FirstFruits Farm,” because he donates the first fruits of every harvest to food pantries.
Brown partnered with Wisdom for Life, a Christian-based ministry, and committed 2013 to “getting the farm back into shape,” he wrote on his website.
He connected with a number of relief groups, including the Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina, and got hands-on help from local farming experts and 600 volunteers, according to his site.
This year he donated more than 10,000 pounds of cucumbers and 100,000 pounds of sweet potatoes to local pantries.
“When I think about a life of greatness,” Brown told CBS, “I think about a life of service."