Sunday, September 02, 2007

An Island Christmas?

Christmas is coming before too very long and Eric and I are mulling over our plans. By the time December rolls around, we’ll have just been back for the entire month of October, the flight is pretty grueling and it sounds as thought Eric’s folks won’t even be in MN. These points make a good case for not going back.

The general feeling is that if we were in some fabulous tropical destination where they don’t even bat an eye at Christmas, we might not miss it either. We can get to Thailand for a week for really cheap, so Eric’s been looking into it. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it turns out that we are lying on a white beach in nothing but Sarongs come December 24th.

Anyway, if that is the case then our Christmas preparations will have to be done in October. I’m putting together a Christmas Music CD and working on making Christmas Cards. And I decided to make this little list of my favorite Christmas things.

Sure, there are things I don’t like and sometimes I feel downright Scroog-ey, but the truth is the things I love outweigh the things I don’t and one more Christmas far away will only make me fonder for it all. I missed Christmas while we were in Kampala and felt quite blue, but Christmas comes every year without fail. Here are the things I’ll appreciate all the more next time round.

25 Things I’ll love even more next Christmas (In No Order Whatsoever)

1) My Mom’s famous chocolate pepper cookies

2) Gram’s Russian Tea Cake cookies

3) Auntie Lisa’s Scottie Dog spritz cookies

4) Auntie Sarah’s famous Ohio Buckeye cookies (which are really more of a cross between fudge and peanut butter).

5) Singing carols by the fire while Auntie Lisa fiddles, Uncle Paul strums the guitar and Gram tickles the ivories. Someday, Eric and I will add a banjo and accordion to the merriment.

6) Eating Papa Murphey’s Pizza with the Nelsons at the long dining table with silly cracker crowns on our heads.

7) Wrapping Presents in fancy paper and pretty ribbons and hot gluing glittery pinecones and who knows what to the tops.

8) Decorating the Tree with Mom’s Pepper Doll clothes and vintage ornaments and smelling the wonderful pine tree smell while we listen to that same over the top Barbara Streisand Christmas Album we’ve listened to every year since I can remember.

9) My mom’s collection of Advent Calendars and her German balsawood Nativity that spins with the heat from the candles.

10) Gram’s ice skating Christmas people figurines and Swedish Christmas tree candle holder (that made for a very exciting Christmas Eve dinner one year when it lit on fire mid meal!)

11) The terra cotta painted folk art Nativity I bought in Mexico last year.

12) All the lights on the houses, especially the big old fashioned ones on the bushes that get buried in snow and ice and glow from underneath like funny neon mushrooms.

13) Luminarios (little paper bags filled with sand and a votive candle, or an electric light) dotting the adobe rooftops in Albuquerque.

14) Watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” and bawling my eyes out for poor Jimmy Stewart who never gets anything he wants in life, but realizes how great life is anyway in the end.

15) The Eight Floor Display at the Minneapolis Marshal Field’s or in the windows at the Michigan Avenue Store in Chicago. I love the miniatures and the costumes and the glittery snow.

16) Those deep velvety ruby red and bright coral colored Amaryllis Bulbs blooming so bravely in the middle of all that snow.

17) Those new fangled tiny pink miniature poinsettia plants, much better than the big kind whose leaves all yellow and fall off by January anyway. Its too cold for them in Minnesota at Winter, poor little Mexican imports. Imagine the shock to their systems!

18) Stuffing stockings with oranges and candy canes and silly little toys from World Market.

19) Maybe some sardines or tuna for the cat with a little red velvet ribbon round.

20) Those pine boy scout wreaths on every door.

21) “Santa Baby” sultrily sung by Eartha Kitt.

22) “The Santaland Diaries” by David Sedaris really should be required reading come December.

23) The animated “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” especially the song “You’re a mean one Mister Grinch” as sung by Thurle Ravenscroft.

24) Watching “A Christmas Carol” at the Guthrie Theatre, seeing how old Marley’s ghost hams it up more and more each year, and the wonderful song of the Ghost of Christmas Present with his giant bountiful cornucopia/ helicopter.

25) I love just one or two sips of eggnog while writing Christmas cards. That’s really enough to last you all year, but there is no substitute.


Beth said...

Fabulous list, Becky! It inspires one to think of all the special things that make Christmas meaningful to each person with no two lists being alike.

As usual, thanks for sharing!

Nick said...

I need to read The Santaland Diaries. I'm penciling it in right now for this Christmas.

And while Eartha Kitt's version of "Santa Baby" is no doubt stellar, perhaps this Christmas I could direct you to one Kylie Minogue's version? Talk about sultry.

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