Magical Traditions

By KJ Philp, Nov. 20, 2014.

No matter how you celebrate this time of year, you likely have a tradition or two that’s stuck with you through the years.

Whether it involves an undying appreciation of the festive aesthetics the season has come to be known for or simply the chosen family you wine and dine with year after year, traditions make this season magical — just ask Patrick Stout, Community Church of Hope’s pastor and entertainer extraordinaire.

For the fourth year the community is invited to CCH’s annual holiday show: Magical Traditions. According to Stout, this year’s show, set for Dec. 5 and open to everyone, will differ slightly than the variety-style shows he put on in previous years.

“This year will feature just me on the piano sharing Christmas music, memories and fun,” he said. “The evening will be all about Christmas … It might even be called ‘A Christmas Evening on Steroids!’”

And Stout has a wide variety of songs and stories to share.

“This year’s concert will be a sharing of my Christmas journeys and experiences growing up,” he said. “It will also be a time that the audience will be brought into the sharing as I ask them to share their favorite gifts they’ve received (or did not receive) and some of their own Christmas traditions that are funny or sentimental. There will be time for tears and laughter.”

Stout will be joined by a few special guest performers and ask for audience participation during sing-a-longs, holiday readings as well as a few surprises.

“Ruth Carter will be performing my very favorite Christmas song of all time, Santa is making an appearance,” he said, “and a special reading of the story, Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus will be shared by Robbynne Archuleta.”

“This is definitely a night of entertainment, reflection and fun,” he said. “This is not a ‘religious’ church service. This will be a great way to share those warm and cozy feelings about Christmas and get the audience in the mood to get their decorating and shopping started hopefully with a new excited attitude about Christmas this year.”

Attendees will also have the opportunity to purchase holiday wreaths and centerpieces, made by community members and businesses, and all proceeds benefit the church.

“CCH is solely funded by attendees, fundraisers and our community,” he said. “This money will go to keep the church alive and available for the community.”

Additionally, CCH will host Christmas Eve services at 7 and 9 p.m. on Dec. 24. Following the services at the church, Stout will make his annual trek to Charlie’s at midnight for another candlelight service. Everyone is welcome at all three services.

“This also allows the attendees at the church and members of the community see me in a different light than as the ‘preacher’ that they see on Sunday mornings and at special events during the year,” he said. “The performances always open the door for people to visit with friends who might not otherwise visit the church [for] Sunday morning services. It’s a great time to laugh, cry and let it all loose as we share our hearts, music and fun.  This is also a great way to raise needed funds to continue to be available for our community.”

Keep reading Show less

National Margarita Day

A lot of us have really picked up an interest in tequila and it's no wonder. Its popularity is soaring in the U.S. and doesn't look like it'll be slowing down any time soon. The only contender would probably be whiskey. Meh, but they have their own day. Now, it's National Margarita Day and we put together some of the best margarita recipes around so you can pick one or maybe even all of them to try.

We have a few surprises in there too. Maybe it's not all about tequila but it certainly has a theme going on. Take a look at some of these great tequila brands and start making some amazing margaritas today!

Keep reading Show less
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Gender-Inclusive Universities and Student Privacy

For many students, attending university is a profound, often life-changing, transition. It is often the student’s first time living on their own without parental supervision. This lifestyle is also accompanied by a period of self-discovery, of defining and redefining a sense of personal identity largely independent of the influence of family and friends from home.

For students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, this rite of passage can also be a deeply empowering one. Indeed, attending university may be the student’s first real opportunity to explore their gender identity in a safe, comfortable, and accepting college.

Keep reading Show less

José Cuervo's Reserva de la Familia agave fields

Disclaimer: My trip was provided courtesy of a press trip but all opinions about the trip and events are my own. Please note there are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase.

I had the opportunity to visit Mexico for an event José Cuervo was putting on, the unveiling of their premium tequila brand, Reserva de la Familia. The trip was all about tequila, how to drink it properly, how to pair it with food, and of course, visiting various points of interest in Guadalajara while tasting tequila along the way.

Keep reading Show less