I know, I know...but honest to God it sticks in your head like crazy!
"Greatest Little Christmas Ever Wuz"
Well, you broke my heart last Christmas eve when you told me goodbye And all year long I felt like I was gonna die I missed every holiday this whole year through 'Cause holidays just made me crazy cryin' over you
But don't you feel guilty now 'cause you can make amends We can make up for lost time as the year comes to an end Darlin' this Christmas we'll really have some fun We can take all the holidays and roll 'em into one
So be my Valentine's this Christmas and I'll be your Easter bunny We'll hop on down the bunny trail, life will be so sweet Yeah, we'll fix a big ole turkey, it'll really be Thanksgiving 'Cause pumkin face I'm a basket case when you say trick-or-treat
I'll explode like a firecracker on the 4th of July If you come on down my chimmeny and play Santa Clause to me And we'll sing Happy Birthday and blow out all them candles Yeah, and we'll hide them eggs up underneath that Christmas tree And I know we'll have a happy New Year because we'll have The greatest little Christmas ever wuz
We'll have Birthdays, Easter, good ole Valentine's Thanksgiving and Halloween and the 4th of July And I know we'll have a Happy New Year because we'll have The greatest little Christmas ever wuz The greatest little Christmas The greatest little Christmas ever wuz
Jump on in my stockin' darlin' And jingle my bells, whooooo
My family, my parents and sisters, has been so much on my mind of late...much more than recent Christmas seasons. I dream of them over and over. Debbie, Judi, and I were frantically Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve for our parents. We were in some sort of huge Art Mart like store. We searched and searched, finding nothing. Finally we sat to have lunch and saw some perfect gifts near our table. I was thrilled until we suddenly realized that our parents were gone....there was no need for gifts. Then Judi was no longer there and I tried to catch Debbie before she bought the presents. I'm not even sad in the dreams, just unsettled.
I think part of it's the election. I so wish I could talk to my parents about it all. And Judi, actually Ernie and I laugh when we mention Judi. She used to call me somewhat hysterically when George W. Bush spoke....I can't imagine WHAT she'd be doing now. Somehow, I think the election feels like some kind of personal loss to me....so it's reminding me of my other losses. Does that make sense? Our minds are so complex but sometimes they're damned simplistic too.
On a different note I seem to have various low level autoimmune things going on with my body. Remember I had blepharitis in my eyes? That seems to have cleared up thank God, but I have been somewhat tortured (well, o.k., not TORTURED...but definitely bothered) by the spread of something known as nummular eczema. Don't google it, some of the pictures are revolting. Let's just say it's a good thing I wear long dresses. Sometimes Owen would say, "Mom, that's disturbing, can you pull your skirt over that." Gee, thanks honey. I love you too.
Anyway, I saw the doctor, got some stuff that helped, then didn't help and finally went to see a dermatologist. He prescribed some kind of ointment which I have been trying to use faithfully twice a day. Things got better but then I got a new area of spots on my upper back...right where you can't reach and can't see. I could feel the itching though so I had Ernie look at it. Sure enough. So now, I put the ointment on all my various spots and then I call Ernie and he comes over and takes it from me and carefully daubs it on the spots I can't reach. And oddly enough, it's one of my favorite moments of the day. I know that sounds crazy, but it feels so loving and so caring. So I hold those moments close.
Gee, do you think I should buy him a new jeans jacket for Christmas? This is a shot of the cuff that's in the best shape. Poor boy.
I posted a picture of Uncle Mistletoe on Instagram and when I went to write #UncleMistletoe there were only 13 other people that had used that hashtag. I sputtered in outrage and Ernie and Owen laughed at me. Owen said, "Uncle Mistletoe really isn't that big deal to most people Mom." I began to argue, telling him that lots of people loved Uncle Mistletoe and he laughed and said, "Yeah, but how many of them are on Instagram? Maybe you should check MySpace Mom."
In other Uncle Mistletoe news, I just found this version of his song. I'd heard another version but not from Owen Bradley!! I played this enough times yesterday to drive my eldest at least partially insane. I love doing that.
I LOVED the Christmas windows at Field's when I was a kid. I don't know why Montgomery Ward's Rudolph got so much more popular. Uncle Mistletoe was way cooler.
Man, I repeat myself constantly. One of those memory posts popped up in my Facebook feed and I clicked on it and ended up reading a bunch of blog posts from Christmas two years ago. I say the same things every damn year, "Look at the trees on my mantel" "God I love my boys" "I spent too much at Christmas" "Damn cats."
Yup, that's me. Then again, it's somewhat comforting to know that you are true to yourself, and that I am, for better or worse!
Reading those familiar posts was reassuring too however, as more and more I am amazed at the regularity of the rhythms of life, and they are just more evidence of that. Yes, there are the huge ups and downs we all have, but then there is that rhythm that goes underneath it all. And the short days of winter and the need for lights in the dark is part of that rhythm. I know that many people have a hard time with holidays but I love them despite the stresses that can go along with them. We're a small family and fortunate in our relationships so we're lucky in that. And the rest of life, well, as I always tell Ernie, "We'll muddle through." We've got the important things down.
Last night I put the lights on the Christmas trees. We'll do the ornaments tonight. Owen went downstairs and got the Uncle Mistletoe cookie jar and the little ceramic tree with lights that my father's mother gave my mother. I've always loved it. It's broken and glued together but it's perfect. Owen and Ernie worked out the extension cords so it could sit on the mantel with the other trees. Leo came downstairs and admired everything and then both boys went back into their respective lairs. Ernie and I sat in the dark and looked at the trees. He played the John Prine Christmas album and we smiled along. Then we sat and listened to the Aqua Velvet Christmas album (best Christmas album in the world after Charlie Brown...infreakingcredible arrangements). We talked about the fact that both of us, well all four of us really, were so happy to have the trees up this year...more than usual. I don't know if the weight of family tradition just feels particularly good right now in this uncertain world, or whether it's innate need for light and brightness as the days get shorter, but whatever it is, the trees and lights are very, very welcome this year.
1. Nice dinner with my boys. We always eat too late but at least we enjoy the candles.
2. I'm home with a cold. I haven't had one in awhile I don't think so I guess I can't complain. Eh. It did give me time to make some mulligatawny soup with my turkey broth and leftover turkey. Nice flavor from the Sola Gratia forgotten kohlrabi....and why don't I cook with celery more? And bless Penzey's for not just their political stance but their freaking great sweet curry powder.
3. These guys.....go watch this.... Aaron Lee Tasjan and Brian Wright. Lately, we watch it pretty much every time we cook dinner.
4. Don't forget....two weeks from today....Mabel's Night Unplugged at the Accord. Brought to you by our very own Sandwich Life House Concerts + Swede Films + Shatterglass Studios, and a benefit for Josh's Fund. It will put you in the mood. Not just the holiday mood although I'm sure that will be there, but the mood of coming together with friends and music. I think it will be a special night. Mabel's Night was fantastic and I absolutely loved it, but I almost feel as though we are in a different time now and I, and maybe you, need events like this more than ever. I know that the country is the same country it was before the election, but my perception of it has changed, and to me, the need for this kind of community is even greater. Thanks John Isberg for all you do for our music community...and bringing together different components of it. We are so fortunate to have you.
Oh, and I get to see my beloved Kenny too. Heh.
AND....can you say early show? Yes, thank you.
DOORS 7:00 PM SHOW 7:30 PM
Jay Rosenstein (Otis and the Elevators) Brian Leach (Last Gentlemen) and Brian Krumm (Great Crusades) Nick Rudd (Turning Curious) and Lynn Canfield (Ack-Ack) Ken Draznik (Vertebrats) David Adams (Screams) and Dawna Nelson (Mudhens) Edward Burch (Kennett Brothers)
and also appearing: Gloria Roubal Kurt Bielema Aron Stromberg Jared Roberts The Bashful Youngens
5. Owen saying, "Are you REALLY taking a picture of this?" I never could decide between the Lego City advent calendar and the Lego Star Wars advent calendar so the last year or two I got both. It seems a little silly now that the guys are so grown up but I'm a sucker for the calendars too. This year I decided just one...Lego Star Wars. Then the boys complained that we weren't using the wooden Christmas tree advent calendar. I groaned because it's a pain to find gifts to fit in it...especially now that they are older...used to be a sticker would work. They seemed so outraged though that I was strangely touched. Judi gave them the wooden Christmas tree advent calendar years ago, and the deal was that she would send gifts for it every year. Judi was wonderful at finding gifts and I know she would be even now with these big galoots that are her sweet peas. Ernie and I always grumble at buying things for it though and say, " DAMN IT Judi...you were supposed to be HERE to keep buying the gifts!" The fact that my grown up boys still wanted the tree though touched my heart...made me feel that connection to Judi, made me feel their connection to Judi. It will be EIGHT years this February since she died. It is hard to believe. The boys were so little. I told her though that she would always be in our hearts and so yesterday, from my perch on the couch, I sent Ernie out to Target to get some things for it.
Any suggestions for tiny advent calendar gifts for boy-men?
6. We have begun our holiday traditions....last night the guys brought the trees in and set them up and we put the trees on the mantel. We're missing a few, there must be another box downstairs but we got started. We pulled out the Reader's Digest set of Christmas carols that we had when I was a little kid and played it while the guys pulled the trees out and arranged them. Pleasure Programmed people, Pleasure Programmed. God that makes me happy.
Oh, and when I looked at the stool that the records were sitting on I noticed that Owen had labelled it. Sasha...a boy after your own heart....
Our messy house. Oops, laundry on the newel post..Rascal won't be happy.
7. And last but certainly least...... Yes, it's the night after Mabel's Night Unplugged, but if I can go out two nights in a row then so can you! And besides, Fats and Kristi Rose make it officially Christmas....
After feeling pretty grumpy yesterday, I ended up having a lovely afternoon and evening. There were flowers in the office at work and I had a lovely bowl of matcha with half of a truly delightful Japanese sweet. It tasted sort of like marzipan but not almond-y.
Leo and Ernie picked me up from work and we drove over to Exile to pick up Owen, and then headed out to Prairie Gardens. The balsams are $25.97 this year but they are great. Super fragrant and lots of tall ones! I had to negotiate the living room tree with Leo as he thought it had an empty spot that wasn't good but I like some empty spots to show off ornaments. He finally agreed and after some more searching we found a good one for the dining room. So much for only one tree. Oh, and Owen got a little one for the media room too.
I did my best to capture Leo in a photograph but the boy has the instincts of a jaguar hiding in the jungle or something like that....very, very elusive...
AND, I got my new tree for the mantel...we have begun!