Archive for Christmas

What Jovie From the Movie “Elf” Taught Me About Courage and Leadership

Posted in Film, Music, Opinions, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2016 by Ian Pham

zooey-deschanel-in-elfImage via Fanpop

This is going to be a bit of a stretch, but I’ll give it a shot anyways.

First off, if you haven’t seen the movie “Elf,” there are going to be some spoilers ahead. Secondly, if you haven’t seen the movie “Elf,” you should do yourself a favor and check it out ASAP. Chances are high (basically 100%) that some channel on TV is playing it right now, as we speak, as I type this article, and then actually right now, as you read this article. It’s an incredible movie, full of laughs and whimsy and Will Ferrell being Will Ferrell at his comedic best.

I won’t give too much of the movie away, but there is one scene in the film where Buddy the Elf’s (Ferrell) love interest Jovie (played by Zooey Deschanel) steps up on a carriage and sings in front of a mob of people in Central Park. Her purpose in doing this is to bring up New York’s Christmas spirit so that Santa, Buddy, and the reindeers can follow through with their mission to save Christmas. It’s a zany, lighthearted, and adorable film that will surely either cheer you up or make your day even brighter than it already is.

Here’s the scene I am talking about. Give it a watch, and I will follow up with the discussion shortly after. But, before you press play, remember: SPOILERS are contained in the clip.

Pretty cute, right?

I won’t get too deep into the politics that I usually talk about, but I do want to point out this simple message that I received from this adorable movie: It only takes one brave voice to make something happen. It only takes one voice to start a change.

If you read this site often, you already know where I’m going with this.

And yes, I know it’s not as easy as I’m making it sound right now. Singing a song in the middle of Saigon or Hanoi won’t make the communist regime fall just like that. It’ll take more than a song to bring down the totalitarian communist dictatorship and bring freedom to Vietnam.

However, what I want to say is that if you are someone who has something to say to the communists in Vietnam, then go for it. It may not be as simple as singing a song to raise Christmas spirit for Santa’s sleigh, but, and I’m talking real life now, if you have a message that you believe people need to hear, if you want to speak out against the communists, then use your voice to break the silence.

Zooey Deschanel’s scene in “Elf” is just a lighthearted musical number in a fun comedy movie, but to me, it is a beautiful illustration of the idea that, with just one brave voice, something extraordinary can happen. One person with the courage to step up, speak up, and be the guiding light that leads a movement to accomplish something incredible and magical. In “Elf,” this incredible thing is saving Christmas, in our real world, it is saving Vietnam from Communism, and bringing freedom, democracy, and human rights to Vietnam.

In this real life scenario, Vietnam is our Christmas, and Jovie, that voice that breaks the silence, is a person we have not met yet, but is definitely out there somewhere.

To the Jovie of Vietnam, if you’re reading this, the world is waiting for you. Raise your voice, take a chance, and make something incredible happen. You can do it. Believe in yourself.

Well, that’s my motivational speech this Christmas.

Hopefully you’re all doing well, and, while I may not always have the time to write on here as much as I want to, my thoughts are always with you, and with Vietnam. I wish I got paid to write on here, but hey, you can’t get everything you ask for. Still, though, a guy can dream, right?

Merry Christmas, everybody. Happy Holidays, and have a Happy New Year!

See you in 2017.

Ian Pham.

Advertisements

Christmas Card: 2015 Edition

Posted in Announcements, Music with tags , , , , on December 25, 2015 by Ian Pham

Christmas CandlesImage via Images Buddy

Seasons Greetings, dear readers!

I don’t have much time to blog today, but it still doesn’t feel right to leave you all without a Merry Christmas and a song. So, here I am, wishing you all a Happy Holidays, and a very Merry Christmas!

Whether you’re with family, friends, or spending some time alone this holiday season, I hope that your days and nights are filled with comfort, warmth, and happiness. Appreciate what you have, don’t stop dreaming, and don’t stop believing.

That’s all the time I have, folks. Best wishes this holiday season, and don’t forget to smile.

Once again,

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

Ian

P.S. This year’s Christmas song is the famous “Do You Hear What I Hear?” written by Noël Regney and Gloria Shayne Baker in 1962. Here beautifully performed by Carrie Underwood.

Enjoy!

Another Year, Another Merry Christmas!

Posted in Announcements, Music with tags , , , , on December 25, 2014 by Ian Pham

Candlelight ChristmasHey there everyone,

I just wanted to drop in and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays! It is a busy time for all of us, and although I have not been able to generate as much content as I would like, I could not just let the holidays go by without sending my best wishes out to all of my wonderful readers.

Thank you all for you continued visits, feedback, and overall support. Hopefully the holidays have been good to you and the ones that you love, and that you all find some time to just relax and enjoy the little things. It’s always the little things. Whether you’re a huge fan of the holidays or not, it only comes around once a year, so you might as well enjoy it!

Stay warm, stay strong, and stay smiling. From me to you all, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

Much love,

Ian

P.S. Just because I love music, I would like to share another beautiful song that I hope will lift your spirits this holiday season. Performed here by country music group Lady Antebellum, here is the classic, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” which I hope you all do.

Enjoy!

Annual Christmas Card: The 2013 Edition

Posted in Announcements, Music, Videos with tags , , , , , , on December 25, 2013 by Ian Pham

Snowy NightHey there everyone,

It’s that time of year again. The annual Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Years from your favorite Vietnamese human rights blogger. Sorry I’ve been kind of a ghost this year, and haven’t been covering as much as I would like to. Even though it may seem as if I’m not always around, you can rest assured that I am working tirelessly, and will never quit fighting for liberty, human rights, and democracy for the people of Vietnam.

I’ve witnessed some great strides in the fight for freedom in the year of 2013. Overseas, there are brave, hardworking, and incredibly creative individuals like Truc Ho, Viet Dzung, and the entire SBTN crew have made leaps and bounds in spreading awareness to the dire situation that the Communist Party has been putting the country through. Inside Vietnam, the fight continues, and is only heating up.

Young people in Vietnam like Dinh Nguyen Kha and Nguyen Phuong Uyen, just two of many courageous youth, have broken the silence and exposed the party for what they are: cowards, traitors, and heartless (yet spineless) dictators. As I write this, many more young people continue to join the struggle for liberty, democracy, and human rights for our beautiful nation of Vietnam. I can foresee an even more eventful year for our upward march to democracy, and, to the best of my ability, I will try to keep you updated every step of the way.

Well, before I ramble anymore, I think I’ll just stop myself now and save my rants for another day. Tonight, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday.

Best wishes,

Ian.

P.S. To do something different this year, I thought I should share with you all one of my all-time favorite holiday songs . The lyrics, melodies, and just overall presentation of this song makes me a little more cheerful every time. Here is “Grown-up Christmas List,” written by David Foster, and performed here by Michael Bublé.

Enjoy!

Once Again, Merry Christmas!

Posted in Announcements with tags , , , , on December 24, 2012 by Ian Pham

Christmas Candles

Seasons greetings,

Hopefully you’ve all been enjoying this festive holiday season.  I may not have been writing as much as I would like to, it would be a shame if I didn’t give you all my annual Christmas card.  I deeply appreciate your continued support, and am excited to bring you more quality material for many days to come.

It doesn’t have to be Christmas for us to enjoy those things that are important to us.  However, since it’s snowing outside, the fireplace is warm, the candles are shining bright, and the eggnog is just… just fantastic, we might as well enjoy it with the ones we love most, whoever they are.

With that said, I hope you all have a great holiday season, and a very Merry Christmas!

Thank again,

Ian Pham

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays

Posted in Announcements, Poetry with tags , , , , , , on December 25, 2011 by Ian Pham

“Maybe Christmas… doesn’t come from the store,
maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little but more.” – Dr. Seuss

I’m sure you’ve already noticed (since it’s pretty obvious) that this post has nothing to do with Vietnamese politics.  Just a line from one of the most beloved Christmas stories of all time, How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss.  There is really no significant reason why I put this up, other than to welcome this holiday season, and hope that all of you enjoy yourselves and appreciate the people around you.  Whether you are struggling with personal problems, or just relaxing it up without a care in the world, this goes out to you.

It is true that for some of us, the holidays can be a rough time.  For various reasons, we may not be feeling exactly the way we want to, and that special feeling that we long for seems just a little bit out of reach.  If you find yourself feeling that way, just remember that you are bigger than your problems.  Keep your head up, let nothing upset you today, and most important of all… Smile.  If you are feeling alone, just know that out there, somebody is thinking about you.

As always, best wishes from your favorite blogger.  Merry Christmas, Happy New Years, and all in all, a Happy Holidays to all of you, dear readers.  Take care.

Seasons Greetings!

Posted in Announcements with tags , , , , on December 24, 2010 by Ian Pham

Hey there readers,

It’s the holiday season, a team of giving, sharing, and appreciation for all things we hold dear.  I would just like to take this chance to let you readers know how much I appreciate your loyalty.  It does not matter where you’re from, what your personal beliefs are, or anything else like that.  Readers are readers, and I am grateful for every reader that I get.  I appreciate your continued visits, as well as your feedback and would like to take a moment to tell you that.  Happy holidays people, I wish you all the best!