Showing posts with label christmas memories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label christmas memories. Show all posts

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Reason I Don't Listen To Christmas Songs

And so I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it's been said
Many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you

Christmas songs make me weepy.

Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays
And no matter how far away you roam
For the holidays
You can't beat home sweet home

I won't be home for Christmas. There is no home.

I'm dreaming tonight
Of a place I love
Even more than I usually do
And although I know
It's a long road back
I promise you
I'll be home for Christmas

I always find myself clearing my throat when listening to these songs. That's because I want to hide the fact that I'm choking up.

My best friend, who died, was a singer in a band. And she recorded a song called, "An Old Christmas Card". If I really want to feel like crap, I'll slap that one on.

Yup, just did, and I do.

See, this is why I don't think about these things.

Who wants to become all maudlin, and start ripping Kleenex out of the box, as punishment for listening to some stupid songs?

Not me.

I don't need the drama.

That's why I like Christmas songs like these. They're not all sentimental and sappy. Meaning, they don't make me cry.

Or one like this. It's kitschy and stupid. It's supposed to be fun; not make me sob uncontrollably.

And I always love how the Beach Boys can turn any song into a "Beach Boys" song; even one about Christmas. This could be Little Deuce Coupe, except for the lyrics (I actually think it is).

And, of course, for the country crowd (me), how about this:

So, why do I do it? Put myself through this kind of punishment; albeit one day out of the year?

I think maybe it's because I really want to remember those times, and thus, I'm willing to take the horrible with the good.

I miss my mom and dad. And I miss Alice, or at least what Alice was to me back then.

I miss being with my brothers and sisters at Christmas time.

I miss the time when Christmas had meaning.

Maybe that's why I've become more spiritual these last couple of years. The Christmas songs I like best now are the spiritual ones. The tried and the true. I guess there's a reason they've been hanging around for a few centuries.

I frankly always do this to myself on Christmas Eve. I have to purge it out of my system. Allow myself ONE DAY to feel the feelings that I brush aside the other three hundred and sixty-four days of the year.

And then I can move on. At least for another year.

And I know everyone has their favorite Christmas song. But I'm going to share mine:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas I Remember

I've never been much of a Christmas person. I don't know why that is, exactly. Probably a memory that I've buried. A dysfunctional Christmas really isn't better than no Christmas at all.

I don't dwell on that stuff. Obviously I don't, since I don't remember any of it. All I know is, I never liked Christmas very much.

When I'm listening to Christmas music, which I try to do each year, at least a couple of times, I am taken back to one particular Christmas that I remember. And I don't know why I remember this particular one, but I do, distinctly.

1972. I was seventeen. We'd had the usual Christmas Eve. Did the family thing; then I retreated to my room, with a slamming door (I was seventeen, after all). I'd gotten a couple of record albums from my best friend, Alice, that I was anxious to play.

The fun part about Christmas, for me, back then, was the annual shopping trips that Alice and I embarked upon. We'd take the bus to downtown, and head straight for Cowan Drug. They had a basement gift area that was really cheesy, but the prices were right. We always found just the right gifts for the various members of our families. She had her brother Duane and her sister Betty and her little sister Nancy, to buy for. And of course, her parents, Gus and Gertie. I had my parents, and my brother and his wife, and my sister and her husband, and my little brother and sister, Jay and Lissa. My brother-in-law, Ronnie, always got a kick out of the goofy gift I'd pick out for him. It would be some corny thing, like a fuzzy creature with eyes, glued to a slab of wood, with some dumb saying slapped on the wood; probably something about hunting or something about Texas (he was originally from Fort Worth). You get my drift. The gifts were the best that one could buy, if one only had about $30.00 to

Of course, I'd go by myself to buy Alice's gifts. And her gifts always.....always.... consisted of LP's purchased in the basement of JC Penney's. Funny thing back then, but the choices in music seemed so VAST. Not like now, where you can't even find anything you'd want to buy. I had to think about my choices......and stand there, holding three or four record albums, trying to decide which two I was going to get. (I could only afford two, after all.)

I have no recollection of what I bought for her, but I remember the ones she bought for me. In 1972, it was Johnny Paycheck, "Someone To Give My Love To", and an LP by the Statler Brothers, whose title completely escapes me now, but side one was a weird, really bad band called Lester Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys, doing some Saturday morning radio show; and Side two was the actual Statler Brothers, singing songs like, "When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again." I sat and laughed and laughed at side one. And then side two totally enchanted me.

I know I got on the phone to Alice shortly thereafter, and raved about the gifts. And I marveled at how she knew how good they would be, since, like me, she didn't get to preview the albums before she bought them. I wonder now if the ones I bought for her were as good.

And I thought, then, what a great Christmas. It wasn't really the gifts. It was the friendship.

And I guess that's what Christmas is all about. Making that connection with someone. You can't capture lightening in a bottle. But feel lucky if it happened to you at least once in your life.

Christmas now is just a whole big long list of "have to's". And there's never enough time to accomplish all the "have to's", so one is left feeling inadequate and unfulfilled. (or is that just me?)

So, it's nice to think back to a time when Christmas was special.

Merry Christmas to you. I hope you have one of those "special" Christmasses. If not this year, then maybe one from 1972.

As they always say, Christmas is in your heart.