Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Clay Aiken + Christmas Music = Holiday Magic

HAPPY HOLIDAYS - Graphic by AmazingCA with photo by toni7babe.

Clay Sings Songs of Season

Montages Echo Holiday Cheer

Whether you are busy wrapping gifts or baking goodies for holiday festivities, there is no better accompaniment than Clay Aiken singing songs of the season.

With that in mind, the Carolina blog will intersperse memorable CA performances and direct you to YouTube where there are countless more. Search for just about any Christmas song AND Clay Aiken -- and that baking schedule will have to be adjusted.

In 2008, SueReu created a montage that spotlights a fan favorite -- "Don't Save It All for Christmas Day -- from several holiday tour/TV performances.

Four Years of 'Don't Save It All for Christmas Day'
View montage by Sue Reu full screen at YouTube.

'Beautiful Star' Special Gift for Papa

During the Raleigh concert of the 2005 Joyful Noise Tour, Clay surprised his beloved grandfather and the audience with a special gift when he sang the bluegrass carol, "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem." Papa Aiken, unofficially adopted by the Clay Nation at that concert, passed away in 2009.

Hosaa's montage begins with the singer speaking about his grandfather, who died in 2009. The passage below is from the audio version of Clay's 2004 bestseller Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music of Your Life.
My papa has Alzheimer's now. When we see each other, his eye widen with recognition, but he has trouble saying the words. We hug instead, and he doesn't let go for a long time.

Granny says he can't remember much about his past and has difficulty processing the present. But he does ask about me. And if I happen to be on TV at night, he'll sit up and watch, no matter how late.

Recently Granny told me that Papa doesn't listen to the Grand Ole Opry at bedtime anymore. He listens to my CD's. Every night she asks if he might like to hear something different, but he refuses. Instead, he puts in my music and pushes "play."

It's as if I am still there, like I was as a child, lying beside him and singing him to sleep as the darkness falls.
- Clay Aiken in 'LTS'

Clay Aiken: Papa's 'Beautiful Star'
View montage by hosaa full screen at YouTube.

The final video features Clay singing the jubilant "Joy to the World" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" in the 2003 Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade. Enjoy!

Joy to the World/We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Clay performs in 2003 Walt Disney Christmas Day Parade.
View video full screen at YouTube.

Holiday Vote Blast Set for Thursday

In the midst of the holiday season whirlwind, National Inclusion Project supporters continue their mission to make December the month the foundation secures the $50,000 Pepsi Refresh grant.

The NIP is one of eight children's charities calling for a massive Holiday Vote Blast to bring in 100,000 votes on the next two Thursdays -- Dec. 23 and Dec. 30. Make plans now to engage many more voters for the all-day vote blast.

No doubt you have seen art for the occasion at Facebook and other sites. Click on the image below to expand, and add it to various websites throughout Cyberspace.

NIP Supporters Find New Voters

Ingenious ideas for enlisting new voters are shared on Clay Aiken message boards daily. Queenmama247, who keeps several high profile sites in her community (library, bank, beauty shop) well-stocked with fliers, seems to be one great idea after another. Her latest post may spark some for others:
I stopped by the home and workshop for the disabled and dropped off about 200 fliers. That night were having their Christmas party, and 300 people were expected. The director of activities is really impressed with the NIP.

The only time I am a pain is when I see someone with a cell phone. I just ask people if can use their phone for a second and then text in a vote. My sister-in-law is coming over today, I told her to bring both of her cell phones.

WFI Introduces Others to Inclusion

As the Pepsi Refresh campaign has done, Wrapping for Inclusion stations throughout the country are introducing the foundation, its mission and programs, to countless citizens this holiday season.

In addition to wrapping 50 Barbie dolls all in pink, volunteers have become ambassadors for inclusion, passing out NIP fliers and Pepsi voting cards to those who stop by. For PDF links to download fliers like the one above, see the 12/6 Carolina entry: Clay Aiken Fans Vote, Wrap for Inclusion.

Below is a WFI report from Winston-Salem, NC, wrapper FearofH2O:
Although we are raising serious money, we are also getting many people to text and/or vote.

We have had many high school student volunteers vote, and many of the people we wrap for take home the printed instructions for themselves or their kids to vote. They seem really interested in helping.

Reciprocal Votes Boost Support

Reciprocating votes with partnering charities from North and South Carolina to Montana and Wyoming, the Inclusion Project has maintained a top 10 position throughout December's drive for a Pepsi Refresh grant.

Number 2 would be an appropriate finish for a charity co-founded by Clay Aiken, but NIP followers will be pleased with a funded conclusion -- 1, 10, or anywhere in between.

Most recent charity partners are linked in the brand new second widget in the Carolina blog's sidebar and are a perfect place to send holiday visitors with mobile phones.

Created by Scarlett, both widgets -- NIP Voting Links and More NIP Voting Links -- contain the Internet/mobile ballot info for current alliances and partners of the foundation.

Below are clickable holiday graphics from AmazingCA
, 1, 2, 3, 5 (photos by PermaSwooned, 1, and toni7babe, 3) and cindilu2, 4, screen cap from video by jojoct.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas Week!

Holiday signature by Linda


SueReu said...

Clay Aiken and Christmas just go together. I'm so hoping we get another tour in 2011 - maybe even a new Christmas CD!!! I'd LOVE it!!

Gorgeous graphics by AmazingCA and cindilu2. Hosaa's montage always puts a tear in my eye - she does beautiful work.

I continue to vote and cheer and push the Pepsi Refresh Project!!!! We're down to the last 9 days, here's hoping (and praying) we make it this month!!

Thanks for the blog and, if I don't see you, Merry Christmas to you and yours!! ESPECIALLY those precious grandkids - I expect pictures :D

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great blog about Clay, Christmas music and Clay's charity NIP. Christmas time means we get to hear Clay on the radio. Top of my Christmas list would be to hear Clay on the radio 12 months a year! Also at the top is that NIP wins the Pepsi Challenge in December.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.



Anonymous said...

Hi Caro,

What a wonderful blog, going down memory lane......Papa's Beautiful Star always puts tears in my eyes and a smile on my face, it's so, so heart warming.

Oh how I hope we get that fifty thousand this month, what a awesome Christmas gift that would be.

I agree with "SueReu" another Christmas CD for 2011 would be really nice.

Wishing you and your family a Blessed Christmas......and I hope it is warming up for you all in North Carolina.

Big Hugs,

gerra said...

You know, I haven't been very good lately about commenting on my favorite blogs. Just wanted to say, great blog, as always, with both and fun and informative items. Thank you for the work that you do. Merry Christmas.

CCOL4HIM said...

Another great post! Christmas and Clay seem to go together very well. I'd love to see Clay do another Christmas tour(since I haven't seen him in one live), especially if it came to my neck of the woods. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. Take care & God bless. Love Always, Cynthia

Anonymous said...

Love Clay Aiken and his Christmas music. Thanks for posting 3 of my favorites songs by Clay.

I am so busy now with company coming tomorrow but taking time to vote on the Pepsi Challenge.

Wishing all a Merry Christmas.


kta said...

I love those videos. Thank you for a great blog!

MissSally said...

"Beautiful Star" brings tears no matter how many times I watch the video. What a wonderful moment!

The new widget looks great, and all of the voting may just payoff this month (fingers crossed here).

claniac24 said...

FABULOUS blog, as always, Caro. Thanks so much for your beautiful work in support of Clay and NIP. Love the videos!

T said...

Merry Christmas With Love, Caro. You've always inspired us with your beautiful blogs and wishing you the best for the New Year!

It's always this time of the year that we reflect on those wonderful and special moments. Thanks so much. Appreciate the friendship always.

I love the videos and seeing all the beautiful Christmas graphics. Many thanks.

Have a blessed Christmas.

((Hugs)) ♥


Anonymous said...

U do a awesome job and those videos do keep me in trouble.(do not get much done but oh well..).lol.. thanks ! so much for your blogs ,enjoy the holidays!!!! Merry Christmas to U and Yours! Wi.

anaturegirl said...

Caro, what a beautiful blog for this very special Christmas Season. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas to you and yours. Thank you for all the wonderful news, montages and pictures of Clay you bring to your blog for us.