Category Archives: Stories, Stories, Stories

“GUESS the SECRET ITEM” CONTEST!

Once each week The San Francisco Music Box Company will select one item from our collection of musical gifts at www.sanfranciscomusicbox.com for our “GUESS THE SECRET ITEM” Contest.   Each business day (Monday-Friday) a clue will be posted on the San Francisco Music Box Company (SFMB) blog as well as the SFMB Facebook page that describes something about that item.

The FIRST person to correctly guess what the item is will win $50 towards any item we sell.  You may only guess once per day. Clues will be posted every morning, and your final guess must be submitted no later than Friday at 11:59 P.M CST.  All guesses are time stamped, so it’s important to get your guesses in early so you don’t miss out on your chance to be our winner!

There are two places for you to submit your best guess.  You may either post on The San Francisco Music Box Company BLOG page at blog.sanfranciscomusicbox.com, where the contest is shown, along with your name and email address, OR post on our San Francisco Music Box Company Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sanfranciscomusicbox).  Only one guess per day per submitter.  Any additional guesses from a submitter after their first guess, per day, will be disqualified.

Winners will be notified by email, using the email submitted with the entry on the SFMB Blog, blog.sanfranciscomusicbox.com, or by Facebook message, by Monday following the previous week’s contest.  The winner will have 10 business days from notification to accept their prize.  The winner and the correct answer will be announced on the SFMB Facebook page and on the SFMB Blog.

Note:
(1) Fans, Pages and Friends who have WON any SFMBC contest within the last 90 days are not qualified to enter this contest.
(2) Employees and families of The San Francisco Music Box Company and its affiliates are not eligible to win this contest.
(3) Submission of your entry for this contest denotes your agreement to have your entry posted on Facebook and the SFMB Blog, including any names or other associated information.

(4) The San Francisco Music Box Company reserves the right to use any contest submitted content, in its entirety or segments, for advertising or promotional purposes, newsletters, the official San Francisco Music Box Company website, blog and/or press releases.
(5) Winner will be required to provide contact information for receipt of award.
(6) The San Francisco Music Box Co. respects your privacy and will not share your personal contact information with any third party.

(7) The award of $50 will be applied toward the purchase of any SFMB item at www.sanfranciscomusicbox.com.  No Cash Value.  No Cash Refunds or Cash Returns.

(8) SFMB reserves the right to cancel this contest at any time upon completion of the week’s clues. 

 

 

 

The Wizard of Oz Dorothy’s Dress – Auction Value Contest

‘Wizard of Oz™ “Dorothy” Dress Value’ Contest

Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz

from The San Francisco Music Box Company

Submit your best guess of the auction value of the dress worn by Judy Garland as “Dorothy” in the classic movie “The Wizard of Oz” to The San Francisco Music Box Company and WIN one of our musical gifts – your choice of any ONE item, up to a $140 retail value.

From CBS NEWS, 10/8/12:  “Dorothy’s dress from “The Wizard of Oz” is going up for auction.

The white, puff-sleeve blouse and blue gingham pinafore worn by Judy Garland in the iconic 1939 film could sell for half a million dollars when it hits the auction block next month, according to celebrity auctioneer Darren Julien.

While several identical dresses were made for the production, the dress to be sold is the only version seen in the film and the only complete original dress to survive.

The outfit will be on view at London’s Stafford Hotel beginning Tuesday, before being exhibited at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, Calif., Nov. 5-9, prior to the auction Nov. 9-10.”

Submit your best guess via a post on The San Francisco Music Box Company BLOG page, blog.sanfranciscomusicbox.com, where this contest is shown, along with your name and email address.  Specify that the amount entered is for the “Dorothy Dress Value” contest. Enter for a SECOND CHANCE to win by visiting us at www.sanfranciscomusicbox.com and choosing your favorite item or the item you’d like to win!  Tell us about that item by posting about it on our San Francisco Music Box Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sanfranciscomusicbox) along with your guess for the “Dorothy Dress Value” contest.  REMEMBER, you must tell us about your favorite item from www.sanfranciscomusicbox.com in your Facebook post, along with your guess, for your Facebook entry to be valid for the contest.   Only two entries allowed per contestant – one via the Blog as posted above and one via Facebook with a favorite item and “Dorothy Dress Value” guess noted.

All entries must be posted no later than 11:59 P.M. CST on November 8, 2012.   No entries will be accepted after this deadline.   Entrants must be 18 years of age.  All entries must be in whole dollars,U.S.currency, and must specify that the amount entered is for the “Dorothy Dress Value” contest.   Three winners will be determined based on the three entries closest to the actual auctioned value, in whole dollars, without exceeding that auctioned value.

Winners will be notified by email, using the email submitted with the entry on the SFMB Blog, blog.sanfranciscomusicbox.com, or by Facebook message, by November 16, 2012 and will have until December 20, 2012 to accept their prize.  Winners will be announced on the SFMB Facebook page and on the SFMB Blog.

Note:
(1) Fans, Pages and Friends who have WON any SFMBC contest within the last 90 days are not qualified to enter this contest.
(2) Employees and families of The San Francisco Music Box Company and its affiliates are not eligible to win this contest.
(3) Submission of your entry for this contest denotes your agreement to have your entry posted on Facebook and the SFMB Blog, including any names or other associated information.

(4) The San Francisco Music Box Company reserves the right to use any contest submitted content, in its entirety or segments, for advertising or promotional purposes, newsletters, the official San Francisco Music Box Company website, blog and/or press releases.
(5) Winner will be required to provide contact information for receipt of award.
(6) The San Francisco Music Box Co. respects your privacy and will not share your personal contact information with any third party.

Taking a Look at Eric Carle’s Latest Book

“I am an artist…” is the powerful opening of the latest addition to Eric Carle’s wonderful library of new books, ‘The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse’. This beautiful children’s book tells of a child who pushes the boundaries of his imagination through art, but it is also semi-autobiographical of Carle himself.

Eric Carle's The Artist Who Painted a Blue HorseEric Carle describes the book as “an homage to the Expressionist painter Franz Marc.” Carle lived under Nazi rule in Germany until he was fifteen, but a teacher of his saw the artistic spirit in the young man and introduced him to art that was at the time forbidden. The author explains on his website www.eric-carle.com, “In WW11 Germany, my high school teacher Herr Krauss introduced me to abstract and Expressionist art during a time when works such as these had been banned. The so-called ‘degenerate art,’ paintings of modern and expressionistic art my teacher showed me were unlike anything I had been exposed to before. And really this experience changed my life, though I didn’t know it at the time.”

 

Franz Marc's Blue Horse

Franz Marc’s Blue Horse

“I am an artist and I paint a blue horse.” This rather innocuous opening statement gains meaning as the narrative continues. The story shows image after image of animals not looking quite like how they should. There is a blue horse, a red crocodile, an orange elephant, a purple fox, a black polar bear and a polka-dotted donkey. Besides these being some of the most beautiful and imaginative creations in Carle’s illustrious career, they are also teaching a lesson about not putting limits on creativity and imagination. Or as Eric Carle puts it, “Never color inside the lines.” The book serves as a gorgeous example of what can happen when creativity and imagination are allowed to run wild.

The personal connection between Carle and the book are what makes it resonate in such a true and powerful way. Growing up in one of the most historically repressed times in Germany’s history, he was still able to discover art and creativity that was frowned upon by his society and government. Carle’s lesson about unchecked creativity becomes so much more important when put into the context of what the artist experienced as a young man.

Here is a lovely video of Eric Carle discussing the making of ‘The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse’:

How Eric Carle Makes His Beautiful Art

Author and artist Eric Carle

Eric Carle’s books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar are linked in the minds of his faithful readers with his very distinctive and beautiful art. But how does he make the art and with what materials? We take a look at his process for making the images in the books and show you how you can do it, too!

Carle credits his influences for his style as ranging from Picasso, Matisse, Leo Lionni, and Ezra Jack Keats. His pictures are actually collages and not paintings. On his website at www.eric-carle.com, the artist says of his process, “I begin with plain tissue paper and paint it with different colors, using acrylics. Sometimes I paint with a wide brush, sometimes with a narrow brush. Sometimes my strokes are straight, and sometimes they’re wavy. Sometimes I paint with my fingers. Or I paint on a piece of carpet, sponge, or burlap and then use that like a stamp on my tissue papers to create different textures.” That’s a fascinating way to go about making a collage, by preparing lots of different surfaces to work with!

Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar

But what does he do with all of this paper? Eric Carle continues, “These papers are my palette and after they have dried I store them in color-coded drawers. Let’s say I want to create a caterpillar: I cut out a circle for the head from a red tissue paper and many ovals for the body from green tissue papers; and then I paste them with wallpaper glue onto an illustration board to make the picture.” Wouldn’t you love to look through all of those drawers of prepared papers?

Do you feel like running out to your local arts and crafts store to make your own collage, or do one with the kids? Carle says, “You might want to try it. It’s messy, but fun.” The artist has also created a handy instruction sheet on how to make a hungry caterpillar at http://www.eric-carle.com/EricCarleCollageMakingInstructionSheet.pdf. Be sure to share your own Eric Carle-inspired art with us! We’d love to see it!

The Lasting Power of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter was published one hundred and ten years ago, yet it remains a treasured favorite of children of all ages. Potter’s work has been adapted in song, film, ballet and animation and translated in multiple languages. What is it about the story that keeps it beloved by generation after generation?

Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

To explore the legacy of the book, first we will take a look at its author, Beatrix Potter. Born in 1866 to a privileged English family of artistic naturalists, Potter grew up with numerous pets who she would observe and draw constantly. As a student of both science and art, Potter developed a great reputation in the scientific community for her drawings of insects, fossils, archeological artifacts, and fungi. Her interest in the natural world and the arts led to her publishing The Tale of Peter Rabbit, first privately in 1901, and with wider distribution a year later. With the proceeds from the book and an inheritance from an aunt, Potter bought Hill Top Farm in the English Lake District. Her preservation and expansion of this land was left to the National Trust after her passing in 1943, which is now most of the land that comprises the Lake District National Park.

The illustrated book tells the tale of the mischievous and disobedient young Peter Rabbit who is chased through the garden of Mr McGregor. After escaping the garden and being cooked into a pie by McGregor, he returns home to his mother who gets him to fall asleep with chamomile tea. The story was created as a series of letters that Potter sent to her former governess’ ailing child and the characters in the book of Peter Rabbit and his sisters Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail were based on Beatrix’s childhood pets.

A creative person is at their best when they are passionate about their creation while remaining true to themselves. Potter’s story does just this, combining all of her passions and life’s experience into one grand children’s book.

It is the San Francisco Music Box Company’s great pleasure to work with the legacy of Beatrix Potter by presenting a collection of musical gifts, creating more timeless memories involving the rascally Peter Rabbit.

Peter Rabbit Gifts from San Francisco Music Box Company

Greatest Books for Kids

What are the ‘greatest’ books for kids?  A February 2012 release by Scholastic Parent & Child magazine listed the top 100 books for kids.  Who is the authority here?  What was it based on?   Well, several things were noted, including literary merit, popularity, a variety of genres, and cultural representation.  Literacy experts and ‘mom bloggers’ nominated over 500 books.   Here are a few, and one in particular that has a new home at The San Francisco Music Box Company:

“Charlotte’s Web” tops the list at #1. Who can not like this classic tale about a spider and farm girl who save a naïve runt of a pig?  It’s a little longer tale to read, but a sure winner!

 

 

“Goodnight Moon” came in a close #2.

I still recall the pictures in this classic book from the many times I read it to my children.  Still one of their favorites!

 

“Where the Wild Things Are” from Maurice Sendak listed at #5.   This wonderful story became a major motion picture in 2009 and is now on our SFMB list of targets for consideration. 

Can you picture some fun musical items in your child’s room of the characters from this great story?  It is especially relevant today with the fun monster craze inhabiting the lives of our 5-10 year olds.

 

Green Eggs and Ham,” the classic tale from Dr. Seuss, ranked # 7.   We read this story so many times that I still recall the words “I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.”   There are only 50 different words in this story! 

Dr. Seuss had an incredible knack for bringing fun into our story time with rhyming dialogue and crazy characters!

 

 

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle is our favorite at #12.  This book has sold millions of copies worldwide and is still a top-seller today.   The story of the caterpillar who ate through everything, eventually becoming a beautiful butterfly, is magical. 

 

Here at SFMB, we created some timeless musical items from this popular story, added a little more magic with some very classic tunes, and are excited to bring them to you in June, 2012!  Here are two of them for you to share with your friends.

 

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Apple Musical BankThe Very Hungry Caterpillar Musical Cupcake Rotating Figurine

See all our great children’s musical gifts at www.sanfranciscomusicbox.com.

Tradition meets “HIP”!

We’ve been in business for over 30 years and decided it was time to “SHAKE THINGS UP!”  What does that mean?  We have a New Attitude and a New Direction where ‘Tradition meets HIP!’  We’ve created a host of new musical gifts to share with you in 2012!  Our Magic Room has been a busy place… YES, it’s going to be an amazing year!

Eric-Carle-Apple-bank-Revised2-150x150The Very Hungry Caterpillar Musical Bank. We have new licenses with Eric Carle (author of the classic children’s story “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”)

 

 

Gone With The Wind (one of the all time ‘greats’ in film history!), and Bob Byerley (internationally known artist and painter of Our American Childhood).

 

 

 

“Jessica’s Bonnet” Musical Jewelry Box

 Our new formats include musical banks, musical candle holders, vintage music boxes, and glass music boxes with attachments.  We have new sound, with new digital recordings by original artists – you’ll want to get up and dance!

 

 

 

 

 

New categories include Fashion music boxes – glamour, fun, home fashion

Hearts and Kisses Glass Music Box

– and  Tweens – musical gifts for the 6-12 year olds, including gifts for boys and girls.

 

 

 

 

“Jing-A-Ling” Musical Banks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 And we have all new items in our classic categories with Looney Tunes,

 

 

 

Phantom of the Opera 25 Years Music Box

Phantom of the Opera (did you know that this year Phantom of the Opera celebrates 25 years??? – don’t miss our ALL NEW LIMITED EDITION pieces!),

 

 

 

and the Wizard of Oz….a true American classic!

OZ, the Great and Powerful Lighted Figurine with voice clip from original movie

OZ, the Great and Powerful Lighted Figurine with voice clip from original movie. A new movie comes out in 2012 about the Great and Powerful OZ – you’ll want to share in the fun!

 

That’s just a small sampling of what’s in store at The San Francisco Music Box Company.

Top Ten Christmas Traditions

Every year we celebrate the Christmas holidays with so many wonderful traditions.  Some of our favorite traditions for the season are here in our TOP TEN CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS.

NUMBER 10:

ADVENT CALENDAR

The Christmas season begins for many with the start of Advent.  Advent, from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming,” is the time of preparation and waiting for the celebration of the Nativity and Jesus’ birth at Christmas.  In many Western churches, it begins on the fourth Sunday before December 25.    It is celebrated with Advent wreaths – a decorative wreath of greenery with 4 candles, one for each week of Advent.  The passage of Advent is marked by the lighting of one candle each week, until in week 4, all are lit.  It is a special time, lighting the candle and remembering what this special season is all about!  It is a tradition that is never missed in the home of yours truly!

Advent Calendar Sample

Advent Calendar with Gifts

Advent is often also celebrated and marked with an Advent Calendar.  Most often it is a calendar of 24 days, beginning December 1 and moving through December 24, with the culmination on Day 25 with Christmas. Many are made for children in the form of windows, with one opened each day to reveal a poem, picture, or part of a story.   I remember having one when I was a child and the expectation each day when a new ‘window’ would be opened on the calendar.  The excitement and anticipation are still to be remembered.  Some more elaborate Advent calendars have a small gift concealed in each window, such as a toy or a chocolate item.   YUM!   What was your favorite advent surprise?

 

NUMBER 9:

Christmas Cards

How many Christmas Cards do you get each year in your mail?  Or in your email?  Or now via Facebook posts?   I look forward each year to picking up the mail in December and seeing what my friends, family and co-workers have been doing this past year.  It is especially nice to get the newsletters in those special  cards, telling all the tales of the year.    Photos….photos….photos…..now we have them in digital form, so it’s easy to include them in these traditional cards.     An extra special idea is to make a home-made Christmas card, full of color, glitter, and add-ons.  Here is a link to a site that describes how to make a pop-up Christmas Tree card, with a video showing you step-by-step.  http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Christmas-Tree-Pop-up-Card-%28Robert-Sabuda-Method%2

Pop-Up Christmas Tree Card
Pop-Up Christmas Tree Card – Ready to Decorate!

Take a few moments with one of your children and make a special card for Grandmother, a special Aunt or Uncle, or a favorite friend.   Include a favorite saying from your family or use traditional sentiments like “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”.   Collect your Christmas cards each year and use them the next year for ideas.  Cut out images from them and paste them on your new designs….add some glitter and a special message and VOILA!   A Christmas treasure!

 

 

NUMBER 8:

Christmas Tree

They come in all sizes and all kinds….tall, short, wide, narrow, spruce, fir, pine, green, white, and multicolored.  They have a multitude of decorations….ornaments, garland, lights, stars, bows, balls, candles, handmade, purchased.   And they are the heart of most home décor at Christmas.   Many families have a tradition for ‘setting up the tree’.

In our home, we set aside a day when the whole family can participate.  We start by getting the decorations out of storage….that’s a job, as we’ve collected much over the years.   Then we get the video camera….a tradition we started when the children were small.  It’s a great memory for us each year to look back on.  Dad sets it up on the tripod, and we’re off!

The tree is set up first, then the lights are added.   That is the biggest job, and DAD is in charge!   Then the garland….each year we change it up with different colors.  Then the ornaments….oh, what a collection of homemade, school-made, gifted, and purchased.   Each brings a memory to our minds.  Last, but not least, is the star on top…..the crowning moment when we all step back and admire our work.

This tradition is always made more fun with hot chocolate, wassail, and cookies.    If you are lucky enough to not have allergies to pine, I’m sure many of you have ‘real’ trees and make a tradition of finding the right one.  Whatever your tradition, a tree is a special addition to the season.

Jingle Bell Rotating Christmas Tree - Plays "O Christmas Tree"

Here is one from SFMB that can be placed on your mantel or end table, if you have no other.   ENJOY!   http://www.sanfranciscomusicbox.com/holidays/christmas/Jingle-Bell-Rotating-Christmas-Tree-Fig

 

NUMBER 7:

Christmas Stockings

“And their stockings were hung by the chimney with care…..”   What is the origin of Christmas stockings being hung by the chimney?   Various versions abound, but one popular legend describes the following:

“Very long ago, there lived a poor man and his three very beautiful daughters. He had no money to get his daughters married, and he was worried what would happen to them after his death.

Saint Nicholas was passing through when he heard the villagers talking about the girls. St. Nicholas wanted to help, but knew that the old man wouldn’t accept charity. He decided to help in secret. He waited until it was night and crept through the chimney.

He had three bags of gold coins with him, one for each girl. As he was looking for a place to keep those three bags, he noticed stockings of the three girls that were hung over the mantelpiece for drying. He put one bag in each stocking and off he went. When the girls and their father woke up the next morning, they found the bags of gold coins and were of course, overjoyed. The girls were able to get married and live happily ever after.”  (wikipedia.org)

Christmas Stockings on Mantel

Christmas Stockings Ready for Santa

Some families celebrate the coming of St. Nicholas on December 6
with small gifts and candy secretly left for the family members.   Whatever your tradition, Christmas stockings are a special addition to the mantel at Christmas time.

 

NUMBER 6:

Nativity

The reason for the Season…..Jesus’ birth.   This tradition is well-known in all of Christianity.    Most nativity depictions show the Virgin Mary, her spouse Joseph, and the infant Jesus, either laying in a manger or being held by Mary.   This represents the Holy Family and their journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born.   Having no room at the inn, the Holy Family stay in a stable, which is often shown in a Nativity scene.    Others join the Nativity scene….the shepherds and their sheep, who hear the ‘great news’ from the Angels.   Three wise men, or Magi, follow a star to Bethlehem to find the newborn King, where they honor him with gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Gold Nativity Water Globe Figurine

Gold Nativity Water Globe Figurine

Having a Nativity as a part of the holiday is a tradition for many.   Some display them under the Christmas tree, others in a special place in the home.  Many holiday programs include a Nativity reenactment as part of the program.   In our home, the Nativity holds a place of honor, as we remember why we celebrate this holy season.

If you are looking for a special nativity that holds the magic of Christmas, here is a beautiful musical water globe/figurine just for you!  I plays one of my personal favorites for Christmas – “O Holy Night”.  http://www.sanfranciscomusicbox.com/holidays/christmas/Gold-Nativity-Waterglobe-Figurine

 

NUMBER 5:

Christmas Lights

Jesus is the light of the world….what better way to commemorate the season celebrating His birth than with light!    Lights on the Christmas tree in multi colors or simply in white!  Candles on the table or on the tree!   Lights on the house and around the bushes and up the driveway!   Neighborhoods are decorated with matching lights.  And many places of business outline their stores with lights.  Some go another step and add music to the lights for a true holiday display!    In Kansas City, our SFMB home, we celebrate the holiday season with two fond ‘lighting’ traditions.

Kansas City Plaza Lights
Kansas City Country Club Plaza Lights during the Holidays

On Thanksgiving night, the world famous Plaza lights are lit.  It is a phenomenal display of color and pageantry, with over 80 miles of lights outlining the spectacular architecture of this classic shopping district in the heart of Kansas City.

Then, the Mayor’s Christmas Tree is lit the following weekend at another traditional ceremony. The 100-foot-tall Mayor’s Christmas Tree, one of the nation’s tallest, is the centerpiece for an illuminating holiday celebration. It’s the symbol of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund, which is dedicated to assisting the city’s less fortunate.   After the holidays, the wood from the Mayor’s Christmas Tree is made into commemorative ornaments, which are sold the following year to benefit the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund.  (http://www.crowncenter.com/Event/Event.asp?Key=844&~ )

What holiday lighting ceremonies are your favorites?

 

NUMBER 4:

Christmas Baking

What would the holiday season be without sweets, sweets, sweets?   Christmas baking is a classic tradition and one that children look forward to eagerly.   Who doesn’t love the fun of decorating a gingerbread house?  Or making cut-out sugar cookies in the shape of bells, trees, and stars…then frosting and eating them?   What about a classic holiday fruitcake?  And those special candies and cookies and breads?   Oh, I can feel the pounds coming on by just thinking about all those yummy treats!   We make sure all our friends and family have a sampling of whatever we bake.    And don’t forget, some of those special cookies need to be saved for Christmas Eve to leave out on a special plate for Santa.

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies - YUMMY!

Here is a favorite recipe from one of our SFMB fans:

SUGAR COOKIES

1 c. sugar                    1 c. confectioners sugar           1 c. margarine

2 eggs                         1 c. oil                                      4.5 c flour

1 tsp. baking soda       1 tsp. cream of tartar              1 tsp. vanilla

Mix.  Roll out and cut out cookie shapes.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet.  375 degrees,  10 min.

NUMBER 3:

Christmas Caroling

One of the most loved parts of the holiday season is the music.   It makes one feel good by just listening.  And there are so many wonderful holiday songs….old songs and new songs, famous songs and not-so-famous songs.  Three of our fans shared their favorites on our Facebook page:

ANN:  Carol of the Bells, originally titled Shchedryk, was composed by Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych in 1916. This Ukrainian folk song is about a sparrow and the bountiful year that awaits a family.  In theUnited States the song was first performed in 1921 at Carnegie Hall.   Peter J. Wilhousky wrote new lyrics for the melody, copyrighted it and the song is what we now know as “Carol of the Bells.”  This hauntingly beautiful song is about the sound of bells come Christmas time. (wikipedia.org) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvNmOc1QirY

BARBARA:  “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is a song introduced by Judy Garland in the 1944 MGM musical “Meet Me In St. Louis.”  Frank Sinatra later recorded a version with modified lyrics, which has become more common than the original. (wikipedia.org)

ANGELA:  “The Little Drummer Boy,” originally known as “Carol of the Drum,” is a popular Christmas song written by the American classical music composer/teacher Katherine Davis in 1941. It was recorded  in 1955 by the Trapp Family Singers and further popularized by a 1958 recording by the Harry Chorale.   In the lyrics the singer relates how, as a poor young boy, he was summoned by the Magi to the nativity where, without a gift for the infant Jesus, he played his drum with the Virgin Mary’s approval, remembering “I played my best for Him” and “He smiled at me”.  (wikipedia.org)

And another one of my personal favorites:

Silent Night originated in the little town ofOberndorf,Austria in 1818.  Christmas Eve was almost upon them when the priest, Joseph Mohr, discovered that the organ didn’t work.  Some say it was because of rust; some say that a mouse ate through the cables. Whatever the reason, it was unfixable.  So Mohr pulled out a poem he had written called “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht,” and asked his friend and organist Franz Gruber to write a simple melody to it that could be played on the guitar. He did; the choir quickly learned the song; “Silent Night” became history. (wikipedia.org)

Enjoy the sounds of the holidays in some of SFMB’s spectacular snow globes and figurines!  http://www.sanfranciscomusicbox.com/tunes

 

NUMBER 2:

Christmas  Service

A tradition that truly reflects the meaning of Christmas….Christmas service at your place of worship.  Remembering that this special season is about the birth of our Savior Jesus is what makes all of the other traditions have meaning.   Families and friends dress up to attend mass, religious services, prayer services, musical programs, and reenactments of the Nativity.    It is a special time to remember the Christ Child and pray for Peace On Earth.

 

 

NUMBER 1:

Christmas Presents

It’s 4:00 a.m.   The kids are tip-toeing down the stairs to peak at the presents.  “Hurry Up!”  they whisper to each other.   One goes to find a flashlight.  The others  wait.   Slowly, carefully, they check out the packages and gifts, discovering names on each.   Quietly they pick up a few and shake them.   They whisper, hoping their parents are still sleeping.   They crawl up on the couch and fall asleep for another 2 hours.   When 7:00 arrives, they bound into mom and dad’s bedroom and shake them.  “Wake Up!  Wake Up!   Santa was here!”   Everyone dashes to the living room …. the excitement is contagious.   The packages under the tree are gaily wrapped, sparkling, and calling ‘Open Me’.   It’s a moment like no other.   All the shopping, all the wrapping, all the late nights.….the feeling when you give a gift to another and see their joy is unparalleled.  No matter how small the gift….sharing with another, without expecting anything in return, is priceless.

Thank you, Jesus, for your gift to us.

Happy holidays to our SFMB fans.

 

 

The doctor is in?

Every day we read about or hear, in one way or another, about how a doctor has saved a life. There are so many reasons I am thankful for the health professionals.  I think of all of the health professionals that take time out of their holiday’s to help complete strangers.

So now, you might ask, am I writing about people in the medical profession? Before I answer this question, I would like to introduce you to the very first incubator and where it was first introduced to the public.

Setting: Wonderland Amusement Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at Lake Street and 31st Avenue. Turn of the 20th century.

“The exhibit at Wonderland, while short-lived, was extremely successful. It opened in 1905, along with the amusement park itself. Unlike at the Coney Island amusement park, according to Minneapolis Past, the incubator babies were the main attraction at Wonderland. The hospital building itself was two stories tall. The Minneapolis Journal reported that “the first floor will be devoted to a room in which the incubators…will be exhibited. A room adjoining will be fitted up as a model nursery…The rooms upstairs are the living rooms” for the doctors and nurses.    

Because the idea of displaying infants at expositions was a social frontier, it was very controversial in society at the time. As soon as Couney had set up the first exhibit at Coney Island, the Brooklyn Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (SPCC) protested his actions. They believed that it was immoral to display infants in a public place, and that Couney’s main goal was not to save babies, but to make money.

 Evidence for the medical impact of the incubator hospitals can be found in the large numbers of infants that were saved. The Minneapolis Daily Times reported that “it is a matter of statistical record that previous to the use of the incubator that only 15% of the prematurely born lived. By use of the incubator 85% are saved.”  At Coney Island, “his [Couney’s] success was astounding. He saved over 6,500 of the 8000 babies brought to him” (Adams 51). “ ~ Borrowed from http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/ht/35.1/lieberman.html.

About now, you have probably checked to see what website you have accidentally stumbled upon. You are thinking, “This is all great and fine but really….I want to read about The San Francisco Music Box Company and what wonderful things they have been working on!”

What would you say if I told you that a surgeon, a medical instrument technician and a BIG idea (hint, hint) was responsible for the very first documented Snow Globe! Getting interesting now, yes?

Setting: Surgical Clinic in Vienna, Paris. Turn of the 20th century.

“At the turn of the 20th century, a surgeon asked Erwin Perzy, a medical instrument technician, to make the Edison light bulb brighter for his operating room in Vienna. Perzy drew inspiration from shoemakers, who would fill a globe with water and place it in front of a candle to magnify lighting. To further enhance the effect, Perzy filled the water globe first with tinsel, then with white grit, to reflect the bulb’s light. Unfortunately, the idea failed. The added particles floated to the bottom and no longer increased light.

But the effect Perzy created with the white grit fascinated him. It reminded him of falling snow.

As Perzy experimented with the water globe, a souvenir handler and friend asked him to make a miniature of the Basilica of the Birth of the Virgin Mary (to this day, the basilica is the most important pilgrimage site in Austria). Using pewter from his medical instruments shop, Perzy created the miniature. He then decided to place the miniature in the glass water globe with the white grit. The first snow globe was invented.

Perzy knew he was onto something. In 1900 he got a patent for his “Glass Globe With Snow Effect.” From 1900 to 1905, Perzy played around with different scenic miniatures and different white material to mimic snow.” ~ Borrowed from The Los Angele’s Times.

In conclusion, this year The San Francisco Music Box Company is thankful for our medical professionals and the lengths they will go to save a life AND the lengths they will go to correct a dim operating room!

Want to see how the magic of YesterYear has influenced The San Francisco Music Box Company? Look Here!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Seasons – Pier 39, San Francisco, California

To kick-off our exclusive San Francisco Music Box Company retailer interviews, we have chosen “Season’” of San Francisco’s historic and forever popular Pier 39.

“Seasons” is not only one of the pier’s most beloved gift shops for visitors from around the world but also The San Francisco Music Box Company’s first home when they were an independent retailer. In addition to the California Sea Lions that have made their permanent home on the Pier, a two-story carousel sits at the end of the pier and is a popular tourist location for families.

Located on the 2nd Level of the Pier lives “Seasons”. We had the opportunity to speak with the owner, Robert Delgau, about his store and what makes it so unique.

What makes your Shoppe unique?
It has to be our product mix. We carry a lot of unique gifts,  stuff you can’t find everywhere else. We get people from all over the world, from Australia to the UK, that always comment that they have never seen anything quite like it. We are primarily a music box / ALL holiday gift store. We pride ourselves in our selection that varies from strange to very unique…it is really more of a “shopping adventure”. We are one of the busiest, top destination points in the world and our clientele is different every day. All age groups, ours are from everywhere.

How did you come up with your stores name?
We didn’t want to call it a Holiday store, we are a seasonal store…for all seasons and gift occasions.

What do you specialize in?
Most of our customers come to us for our music boxes. For example, our most unique musical gift is “The Teddy Takes Requests”. It is a teddy bear that plays the piano depending what hat is on his head. For example,if you put on the Christmas hat, he will play a variety of 25 songs. It has been our #1 selling item for 5 years. You can leave it out all year long.

Why do you sell SFMBC product?
Because I love music boxes and The San Francisco Music Box Company sells a great variety of musical products of various themes and types. Their quality is excellent and our visitors love them!

What is your bestselling SFMBC product?
Anything “Phantom of the Opera”.

For anyone visiting your neck of the woods, what do you suggest they ‘check-out’ while visiting?
(Laughs) I would have to say Pier 39!

How long has your store been in operation?
Season has been here for 6 years.

What would you like us to share with our readers?
Music boxes have been around for years and are still one of the best and most unique gifts you can give. Every girl has a ballerina music box and will carry down the tradition and get their daughters one and so on. Music boxes are all about family traditions. They are the one thing that they will always treasure as they grow older. They have always been, and always will be, one of the most unique and sentimental gifts you can give anybody.

You can visit Season’s at:
Pier 39, 2nd Floor (N213)
San Francisco, CA 94133
http://www.seasonssf.com
http://www.facebook.com/SeasonsSF?sk=wall

Hours:
Mon – Thu: 10:00 am-9:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 10:00 am-10:00 pm
Sun: 10:00 am-9:00 pm