Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas according to the Christmas Carols

I realize Thanksgiving was late this year, but I'm still not ready for Christmas carols 24/7.  I like Christmas carols now and then, but what I don't like is that feeling that society is going to MAKE you get in the Christmas spirit even if it's the LAST THING YOU DO!! 
I prefer to have my carols mixed in with the regular music the way Adam Sandler's "Thanksgiving Song" used to be mixed in with regular music before Thanksgiving.  I prefer the more religious songs now, since they don't remind me of all the Christmas Traditions I'm failing to fulfill.  
As a kid I used to love the Johnny Mathis version of this song that my mom used to play.  I think there was a picture of Johnny sporting a fifties winter outfit and some skis on the album cover. 
You go on the sleigh ride - I'll stay right here by the wood stove...
"Sleigh Ride"
Just hear those sleigh bells jingle-ing
Ring ting tingle-ing too
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you

This sounds enchanting, doesn’t it?  Years ago I bought some authentic sleigh bells, thinking I’d ring them on Christmas Eve to convince the kids that Santa was on the roof getting ready to deliver the presents.  I had a vision in my head of the kids saying groggily from their beds (while still remaining in them - what was I thinking??) “Is that Santa?  Did I just hear the reindeer bells?”  The reality was that I would spend from 1-2 am reminding my husband not to talk so loud (SHHHHHH!!!! You’ll wake up the kids!) and then he pass out from exhaustion while I ate the cookies, the carrot, and cleaned up the Santa signs around the house.  By the time I got around to ringing the bells, everyone, including dad, was sleeping so soundly a train wouldn’t wake them up.

Outside the snow is falling
And friends are calling "Yoo Hoo"
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you

I wished I had a horse drawn sleigh when we had our last big snowfall.  Instead of friends calling “yoo hoo” neighbors were calling other neighbors yelling, “HELP!  You have a snowmobile and I’m stuck in a snow-river of deserted bumper cars!”  I know this because I was one of those neighbors.   

Giddy-yap giddy-yap giddy-yap
let's go
Let's look at the snow
We're riding in a wonderland of snow

Giddy-yap giddy-yap giddy-yap it's grand
Just holding your hand
We're gliding along with the song
Of a wintry fairy land

Our cheeks are nice and rosy
And comfy cozy are we
We're snuggled up together like two
Birds of a feather would be

We’re nice and cozy and then we get wet and cold and cranky and I have to put everyone’s crap in the dryer or the house will be decorated with wet socks.  

Let's take the road before us
And sing a chorus or two
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you

There's a birthday party at the home of Farmer Gray
It'll be the perfect ending of a perfect day
We'll be singing the songs we love to sing without a single stop
At the fireplace while we watch the chestnuts pop
Pop! Pop! Pop!

Did we take our sleigh to Farmer Grey’s house? Is there enough sleigh parking for everyone?  And who besides my mother eats chestnuts? And if you put them in the fire, when you fish them out, won’t they taste like ashes? And if they pop, will we all have to wear goggles so no one gets an eye shot out?  I went to a Christmas caroling party last year, and it was nice, but I think it was mostly the ladies who enjoyed it.  I would have had to drag my husband there by the ear for him to attend something where the goal was to sing Christmas carols in public.

There's a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy
When they pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie
It'll nearly be like a picture print by Currier and Ives
These wonderful things are the things
We remember all through our lives

When I was a teenager, I was warned by countless people not to read so many romance novels, since they would give me unrealistic expectations about love and marriage, however, no one warned me not to listen to Christmas music.  Currier and Ives!  Did the song writer realize Currier and Ives was famous for prints and paintings, not parties?  

                                         "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go
Take a look in the Five and Ten
Glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow

I loved Bing Crosby’s version of this song.  I liked his “buh, buh, buh, bah” and the way he made everything sound so casual, like he just happened to be walking down the street, and the Christmas stuff is there happening all around him and it’s just so easy that you don’t even have to plan it, you just look around and participate.

Jealous that my tree is up and festooned with presents?  Don't worry, this is a picture from last year. 
Yes, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but let’s be truthful here - it was looking a lot like Christmas as soon as Halloween was over, let alone before I came out of my turkey induced tryptophan slumber on the recliner.  And by the way, do you know ANYTHING that actually costs five or ten cents nowadays?  How about five or ten dollars?    

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Toys in every store
But the prettiest sight to see
Is the holly that will be
On your own front door

The other day I went to Costco and I was debating between holly for my front door and a nice beautiful wreath of faux greens and ornaments... but then I decided that food was more important, so I got neither.

A pair of Hop-a-long boots and a pistol that shoots
Is the wish of Bonny and Ben
Dolls that will talk and go for a walk
Is the hope of Janice and Jenn
And mom and dad can hardly wait
For school to start again

I really do like when the kids are home for vacation, but I wish my kids wanted Hop-a-long boots and a pistol that shoots.  Most kids want things like X-Box One and/or the lastest iphones, laptops and assorted other staggeringly priced technology.  We could probably keep Janice AND Jenn and all their descendants for the next 3 generations stocked with walking talking dolls for the rest of their lives for the cost of one X-Box One.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go
There's a tree in the Grand Hotel
One in the park as well
The sturdy kind that doesn't mind the snow

Decorations... yes they are nice, but it takes days to haul them out, set them up, break assorted pieces, cry with frustration because you can’t find the such and such that goes along with the whatchamacallit, and then just a few days after Christmas, you have to pack all that crap up again and put it away.  If you get a “real” tree, you have to worry about it drying out and becoming a fire hazard that could torch your house in a split second, especially if you’re the type who forgets to water it, or you have a dog that likes to drink balsam-fir-needle-sap-flavored water. 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Soon the bells will start
And the thing that will make them ring
Is the Carol that you sing
Right within your heart

This brings me to one of my biggest complaints.  I like Christmas music, but I don’t want to hear it NON-STOP from the second the Thanksgiving turkey comes out of the oven until Christmas day... And then between Christmas and New Year’s - no Christmas music! What’s with that? Just when I can FINALLY relax and enjoy Christmas, Christmas is over.  Go figure.

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