Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Time Is Here

Tonight I came home to find two packages waiting for me. Ah, Christmas! Never mind the fact that I had been expecting these packages and had even ordered them for myself (not so much in the spirit of giving, I know), I still felt a little like a kid on Christmas morning.

This boost of holiday cheer was doubtless due in part to the fact that the contents of the packages were undeniably Christmas-themed. From the Crate & Barrel outlet I received a myriad of Scandinavian straw ornaments, and Amazon had sent several Christmas CDs, including soundtracks to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Handel's Messiah. There was one other goody, but since that will be a Christmas surprise for my husband, I'll not mention it on the off chance he actually reads this post.

As a kid, like many of my generation, December was the month when I could look forward to weekly, sometimes nightly, Christmas "specials" on the TV. I'd eagerly anticipate the annual viewing of Rudolph, Frosty, Charlie Brown, and others. Rudolph was a particular favorite, and even as an adult the clumsy stop-motion animation and lo-fi sound quality hold an irresistable charm. I particularly empathized with the inhabitants of the Island of Misfit Toys. "I'll take you home, spotted elephant!" I'd silently plead. Who wouldn't love an elephant with polka dots?

As I got older I appreciated the melancholy and simple beauty of A Charlie Brown Christmas more and more, and the sound track is well-loved for good reason. And as often as we listen to some of these songs at my job this time of year, Vince Guaraldi's music always puts a smile on my face. Listening to the original version tonight was the perfect accompaniment while I busied myself in the kitchen.

It's good to know that after all these years, Christmas can still bring out the kid in us.

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