n. a catchy song or tune that runs continually through a person’s mind
‘Kayso this probably has more to do with me hearing it in stores this season than anything else: I’ve had “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time” running through my head FOR DAYS.
(I guess it could be worse. It could be “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.” LOL!)
But it got me thinking about past memories of the holiday season. We all have them, from our childhood onward. For instance, seeing commercials showing cookies and milk being left out for Santa on Christmas Eve jogged this memory: When I became old enough to realize (Spoiler Alert!) there was no Santa my Dad confessed that not only did he have to take a bite out of the cookie and drink half of the milk, he also had to take a bite out of the carrot I’d always leave for Rudolph. (I know. What a cool Dad.) Another tradition I continue to observe is the opening of 1 present the night before Christmas.
I also have very fond memories of the 1980s. One Christmas season I found wrapping paper that was SO reminiscent of the era. One roll had versions of punk rock flamingos while the other was covered with gingerbread men and women – but not ORDINARY gingerbread people. No, these were naughty and sported various types of S&M wear. (One had a bite taken out of her crotch .) The gift wrap intrigued the recipients so much it took them FOREVER to open their presents! Another year I hand-painted round silver ornaments with my (signature) Rocker and Rocker Skull characters. (These hand-painted ornaments were an instant hit.) Here they are on some sugar cookies I baked a few years back:
Now THAT’S Christmas, Rock Vixen style!
As people transition in and out of our lives – perhaps we move far away from loved ones or we enter relationships where holidays with families need to be shared equitably – Christmas traditions evolve. New ones are created. Others become cherished memories we can’t live without. ‘Cause it just wouldn’t be Xmas, without ’em!
Take movies and TV specials for example. I grew-up associating How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) and the stop-motion animated special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) with the season; but some may think 1946’s It’s a Wonderful Life just resonates The Holidays; and what about A Christmas Story (1983)? That movie speaks to a whole generation, as does National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation from 1989.
My Dad loved the 1951 film version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Scrooge, starring Alastair Sim – while I prefer Bill Murray’s 1988 version (Scrooged) with Karen Allen, John Forsythe, David Johansen, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum, Michael J. Pollard, and the hilariously adorable Bobcat Goldthwait.
These days when Christmas rolls around I get a particularly strong hankering for two films: The Bishop’s Wife and Bell, Book, and Candle. (I know, this last one sounds like the purr-fect Halloween flick. Actually, it works for me year-round but if you want to know WHY I get Christmasy-yearnings for it, it’s all right here – PLUS it was released on Christmas Day 1958!)
Unlike Thanksgiving, I don’t equate any particular food with the holiday. However, I DO remember special items that were only purchased around Christmas when I was growing-up: Round wicker plates beautifully arranged with an assortment of dried fruits (I loved the dates.), Christmas petits fours (For my Mom.), bowls full of roasted mixed nuts, cheese balls, cheese & sausage baskets from Hickory Farms® (For my Dad, mostly.), and plenty of egg nog! Christmas Day was pretty much a snack-all-day-long event.
Now when it comes to Christmas music I very definitely have my favorites.
- “Santa Baby” – sung by Eartha Kitt only (aka “Loni Baby“.)
- “Silver Bells” – sung by Bing Crosby & Carole Richards
- “Step Into Christmas” – by Elton John
Honorable mentions: “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (Band Aid, 1984), “The Christmas Song” (Nat King Cole, 1961), “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” (John Lennon and Yoko Ono, 1971), and “Feliz Navidad” (José Feliciano, 1970).
Take care in all you do next year
And keep smiling through the days
If we can help to entertain you
Oh we will find the ways
So merry Christmas one and all
There’s no place I’d rather be
Than asking you if you’d oblige
Stepping into Christmas with me