I'm officially in the Christmas spirit. Our family just returned from our daughter's Christmas concert. I haven't had a moment to blog until now. One of those days. It's funny how Christmas events can brighten your mood and get you humming tunes you haven't hummed for an entire year. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas was the opening and closing song at the concert. That's the tune I've been humming while baking cookies at 9:00 pm. A Christmas apron and a pair of red slippers would complete the picture. I'll put it on my list.
Last night Charlie Brown Christmas was on TV. That's another thing that puts me in the Christmas spirit. All those shows I used to watch as a kid in the weeks before Christmas. Rudolph, Frosty, and my favorite, the Grinch. I get just as much joy watching those shows as an adult, maybe even more than when I was a kid. I'd be upset if they ever stopped airing them. My favorite part of the Grinch is when that little dog of his is dangling from a rope suspended from the sleigh that's about to fall off a cliff. The Grinch pulls the dog by his paw and says, "It came without presents. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags."
The Christmas commercials were just as entertaining as the shows. When you heard the repeated ping of Andre champagne glasses raised in a toast to the tune of Ring Christmas Bells you knew the Christmas season was approaching. Then there was the Budweiser commercial with the Clydesdale horses and the Norelco commercial where Santa came riding down a snowy hill atop an electric shaver. My favorite commercial was aired by Miller in 1981, a horse-drawn sleigh ride through a snow-covered countryside to the tune of I'll Be Home For Christmas. I have it posted above and the Norelco commercial follows it. If you keep clicking, I don't endorse anything you see beyond the commercials I mentioned. Watch them and savor the memories.
One of my favorite Christmas memories is a night in the late seventies, when I went Christmas caroling with my sister and some of her friends. We walked around my hometown, Pillow, Pennsylvania and sang for neighbors that we knew. There was snow on the ground, lots of it. And as the evening progressed a light snow dusted our noses and eye lashes, just like in the song Favorite Things. It was cold that night, but I loved it. Some of the people we sang for invited us inside for hot chocolate. Other folks offered us cookies or fruit. I guess if I'm ever starving I could survive in December. Or maybe not if I had to sing solo.
I remember the Christmas shopping trips my parents would take us on when I was very young. That was before the mall was an option. We bought our gifts in the town of Sunbury. About 20 miles from home, it was the closest place to find a variety of shops down each side of the street. People were bustling down the sidewalks to the tune of familiar Christmas music. I remember looking up as I walked from shop to shop with my parents and siblings. Every block had a decorative arch of sparkly vine that stretched across the street. Teal blue and red were the colors I remember. They put the same decorations up each year, but I thought they were beautiful.
I love to see how people decorate their homes for Christmas, especially the outdoor lights at night. It's neat to drive through the countryside viewing homes close up and in the distance. Like lit-up gingerbread houses, the glowing colors bring magic to the landscape and a touch of fairytale charm. Some people really get ambitious with the lights. I slow down for those houses. My favorite are the blue icicle lights hanging under the roof. I'm partial to blue lights for some reason. That's my favorite color lights to put on a Christmas tree. Certain colors just affect your mood in a positive way and I think blue is one of those colors.
Even more fun is snooping in people's homes to see how they decorate inside. I'm talking about those Christmas House tours that send you on a road trip stopping at churches, businesses and homes. Some people even set the dining table as they would for Christmas dinner. They get out the good china, linen napkins, candles, amazing centerpieces. One woman told me tonight at the concert that she recently attended a Christmas open house and counted over 40 decorated trees throughout the house. There was even a tree in the garage.
Some people have such a gift for interior decorating and they really put on the Ritz at Christmas. They set out displays of sugar cookies, pastries, and breads. Offer you a warm cup of spiced cider. Christmas tunes play softly in the background, the scent of cinnamon and gingerbread in the air, and the only thing that makes you want to leave is the promise of something even more magical at the next stop on your map.
Christmas parties, plays and concerts, shopping and wrapping gifts, caroling in the snow, gazing at decorations inside and out, baking cookies, exchanging them with friends, and getting together with loved ones. The tastes of the season, the smells, the sounds, a visual celebration to take in. Christmas is a magical time. A feast for all the senses. And if we keep in mind the true reason for Christmas, we'll have joy in our hearts as well. I hope your calendar is filled with events and gatherings that will lift your spirits and have you humming familiar tunes, ushering in another year of Merry Christmas memories.