Category Archives: Christmas

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and yes, Virginia, he knows that the world is ending in 2012

Quincy Christmas LightsBy Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper, 12/2009

“DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. “Some of my BFFs and Frenemys say there will be no Christmas in 2012 because the world is going to end on December 21, 2012 — four days before Christmas. Last year (and the year before, and the year before) you told me Santa Claus DOES exist. Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE FOXBORO REPORTER it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth; if Santa Claus does exist, what is he doing to ensure we have Christmas in 2012?

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Magic 106.7 FM Boston / “Magic of Christmas” Set list

Quincy Market Christmas - Ice Scuplture Stagecoach - GillisPhotos.com

Magic 106.7 FM Boston / “Magic of Christmas” Set list Compiled (with love) by Robert Gillis (robertxgillis.com) There are still some “Artist Unknowns,” can you help me identify them? CLICK HERE for main article on the Magic of Christmas and my quest to complete this list.


6pm


Hark The Herald Angels Sing by John Boswell / Festival Of The Heart Hey Santa by Wilson-Phillips / Hey Santa! I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Spyro Gyra / GRP Christmas Collection Volume II Joy To The World by Philip Lester / Carols Of The Nativity (Slightly different than broadcast version) Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring by Wind Machine / Portraits of Christmas Mary’s Boy Child by Bony M / (Available On Many Albums) Carol Of The Bells (Ukrainian Carol) by Canadian Brass / The Christmas Album God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Mannheim Steamroller / Christmas Must Be Santa by Mitch Miller And The Gang The Christmas Song (Chestnuts) by Jay Patten / Impressions Of Christmas White Christmas by Danny Wright / An Intimate Christmas Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer by Harry Connick Jr.

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Almost completed: The WMJX 106.7 “Magic of Christmas” set listing (updated 2017 with three more unknowns found!)

Quincy Market Christmas Lights and Treesby Robert Gillis

FINAL UPDATE 1/22/2010: As completed as possible!

THREE ADDITIONal SONGS FOUND THANKS TO THE “SHAZAM” APP IN 2017! 

STILL A FEW UNKNOWNS!

Since the early 1990s, Boston radio station Magic 106.7 (home of the famous David Allan Boucher “BEDTIME MAGIC” show) has played a beautiful 18 hour selection of traditional Christmas carols beginning at 6pm Christmas Eve. For the most part, the set list has been pretty much the same, with a few tweaks.

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Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, you betcha!

Christmas Wreathby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper 12/2008

“DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. Some of my BFF’s say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If Robert Gillis writes it in the Foxboro Reporter it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?” — Virginia Wassailing

OMG! Virginia, I wasn’t sure your letter was real because no child these days SAYS anything — you text it, you Twitter it, you instant message it, you post it on your blog or MySpace page, but none of you actually TALK to each other.

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Retro-Review: “A Christmas Carol” (1984, George C. Scott)


by Robert Gillis – December 2008

There have been countless adaptations of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” over the last century. One of my annual Christmas traditions is to watch several of them. This is one of my very favorites…

Version: 1984 (CBS)

Scrooge: George C. Scott

Cast: David Warner (Bob Cratchit), Frank Finlay (Marley’s Ghost), Angela Pleasence (The Ghost of Christmas Past), Edward Woodward (The Ghost of Christmas Present), Michael Carter (The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come), Susannah York (Mrs.

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Eileen Gustin and the Advent Wreath

by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter 12/2008 and 12/2005, and the Boston City Paper 12/2008

When I was a teenager, our friend Eileen Gustin worked at the information desk at nearby Saint Margaret’s Hospital on Cushing Avenue. Everyone liked her — she was like a wonderful aunt to all the neighborhood kids. She always had something good to say about everyone, and she was a person of very deep faith, with a strong love of God.

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Birthday cards for Jesus


by Robert Gillis
Published as a Letter to the Editor in the Foxboro Reporter 1/2008

On New Year’s Eve I took a ride up to Foxboro Common to get some new pictures of the Nativity Set.

As I approached the beautiful display, I noticed that there seemed to be some papers in the baby Jesus’ crèche. On closer inspection, I saw that the papers were three hand-drawn birthday cards from three different children, drawn in crayon.

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Um, about that Christmas card…

Foxboro Christmas - Snowy Lightpost Foxboro CommonMerry Christmas!

For the first year in my memory Sue and I didn’t send out Christmas cards this year — by choice. The reasons are many and varied, ranging from busy schedules to exhaustion, to my sincere desire to help speed up Global Warming. Wait, that isn’t right, or is it? Wait, Global Warming isn’t real, it’s fictional like Santa Claus or Al Gore.

Anyway, please know that the lack of sending a Christmas card in no way means you have fallen on my naughty list (or dear God forbid) Sue’s — we’re just embracing the bold experiment of sending out Christmas cards every other year (2007 being the other), and trying to find more time for some Christmas activities — actually getting the tree up and decorated before Christmas, shopping, making sure the bird has enough toys and isn’t too pissed at us, and if at all possible, sleep.

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Retro-Review: A Christmas Carol (1999) starring Patrick Stewart


By Robert Gillis

There have been countless adaptations of Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” over the last century. One of my favorite Christmas traditions is to watch several of them. This is one of my favorites…

Version: 1999 (TNT)

Scrooge: Patrick Stewart

Cast: Richard E. Grant (Bob Cratchit), Joel Grey (The Ghost of Christmas Past), Ian McNeice (Albert Fezziwig), Saskia Reeves (Mrs. Cratchit), Desmond Barrit (The Ghost of Christmas Present), Bernard Lloyd (Marley’s Ghost), Dominic West (Fred ), Liz Smith (Mrs.

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History of Christmas Traditions

Quincy Christmas Lightsby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 12/1997, revised 12/2007 and also the Boston City Paper, 12/2006

“Here we come a’ wassailing,” the Christmas song goes. The word “Wassail” comes from a Saxon expression “waes hael,” meaning “to your health.” The wassail bowl, something like our punch bowl, was very common in England at Christmas, and great fanfare and ceremony was made while drinking from it. As years went by, “wassail” meant any sort of Christmas toast.

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Yes, Virginia, there is a hilarious Christmas column from me

Christmas Still Life - Candy canesby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper 12/2007

Dear Editor —

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no humorous Christmas column from Robert Gillis this year. Papa says, “If you see it in The Foxboro Reporter, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, will Robert Gillis be writing a humorous Christmas column this year?”

–Virginia O’ Tannenbaum

Dear Virginia,

Thank you so much for your letter.

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Retro-Review: A Christmas Carol (1938) starring Reginald Owen

Retro-Review: A Christmas Carol (1938) starring Reginald Owen
by Robert Gillis6-27940-reginald-owen-in-a-christmas-carol-1354930160
Published in the Boston City Paper, 12/2006

There have been countless adaptations of Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” over the last century. One of my favorite Christmas traditions is to watch several of them. This is one of my favorites…

Version: 1938 (MGM)
Scrooge: Reginald Owen

Cast: Gene Lockhart (Bob Cratchit), Kathleen Lockhart (Mrs. Cratchit), Terry Kilburn (Tiny Tim Cratchit), Barry MacKay (Fred), Lynne Carver (Bess), Leo G.

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Foxboro Jaycees Santa on the Common

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter December 2006

Despite his extremely busy schedule this time of year, Santa Claus made time to visit Foxboro last Saturday, with help from the Foxboro Jaycees. Explaining to the crowd that his reindeer are still resting up for the big sleigh ride on the 24th, Santa arrived by way of the Foxboro Fire Department, who first shuttled him to the Jaycee Children’s party, and then with much fanfare to the common.

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Halifax says thank you with a tree

by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter 12/2005

Besides being the center of a recent controversy, the beautiful Christmas tree on Boston Common has a very interesting history. You may know that the tree used to be displayed at Prudential Center before being moved to Boston Common a few years back. You may know it contains nearly 15,000 lights. You may also know that the tree comes from Canada. What you may not know is that the tree is a thank you gift from the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!

Foxboro Christmas - Snowy Lightpost Foxboro Commonby Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter 12/2004 and the Boston City paper 12/2007

In recent years, and especially recent weeks, there has been a continued attack on all things Christian and God. Once again, Christmas is under siege. Department stores are especially guilty — don’t mention the C word (Christmas) but by all means make as much money as possible on it. No Christmas parties — it’s a holiday party. And no songs that use the C word.

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