Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Music

For the most part, I'm a talk radio girl. I listen to music on the radio in the car, to and from the gym each morning, but at home, I'm all about the AM (radio, that is). I'm a big nerd and heart talk radio. However, at 4:40 each afternoon my radio station goes wonky (only after "fall back" and the six months after--NOT in the spring/summer, odd, eh?) and I turn it over to regular muzak, if I'm still working in the kitchen.

Today, after I arrived home from the gym and rolled up my sleeves in preparation for the baking session I had planned for a bake sale tomorrow, I realized that my favorite talk radio host is absent today. He has a fill in. It's just not the same with a substitute, so instead, I switched over to the FM and have been listening to Christmas music on the local Christian radio station this afternoon.
While preparing brownie batter and chopping Reese's peanut butter cups I started thinking about Christmas music and my personal preferences. As it turns out, I'm totally traditional when it comes to this type of music. I so totally dislike when "singers" mutilate traditional carols with lots of vocal gymnastics. Christmas carols should not be "pop-ified." I also do not like most of the new (non traditional) Christmas songs. I like the old stuff. It's ok if it's sung by someone new, lest that new artist tweak the song so much that it becomes unrecognizable.
Color me grumpy.
Color me old school.
Color me whatever you want; it's probably true, anyway.

I DO NOT like the "rum pum pum" song, otherwise known as "Little Drummer Boy." I remember singing it for a church program a way long time ago; I hated it then and I hate it still. Even if Bing Crosby and David Bowie, fireside and in their dapper cardigan sweaters, sing their hearts out on this traditional Christmas carol. I just can't stand it.

Yipes, as I sit and type this, some girl group (Point of Grace?) is mutilating some new fangled Christmas song.
I need to hear "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" or "O Come All Ye Faithful." You know, real Christmas music.
Clearly the onset of the Christmas season has done nothing to invoke good cheer in my life.
Although, I find it quite joyful that I finally have my Christmas tree up and FULLY decorated. I felt bad the other night for not letting our neighbor help trim the tree so I let two of Caroline's friends "help" yesterday. Yeah, that didn't go so well. They clumped the ornaments all together. Clumping is sinful in this house.

I fixed it, don't worry.
One of the girls caught me and questioned why I was moving her ornament and I gave some vague and dishonest answer.
It's a sickness.

I intended to post a picture of my perfectly dressed tree, but as you know, I have a photography block and cannot for the life of me produce an acceptable picture.

Instead, I'll post a few pictures my favorite ornaments.
Those pictures came out much better.

I have an odd, and probably unhealthy, attachment to my Christmas ornament collection. If our house were ever on fire, I'd probably grab the ornaments before leaving the house. But NOT before I grabbed my child, just so you don't get the wrong idea about me.

Many of them are just pretty, but a lot of them have sentimental meaning; I remember where and when most of them were purchased. The ornaments are like a living history. Except they're inanimate objects and hung from a fake tree. Scratch the living part, please.

They're a part of our history and mean a lot to me.

This is an ornament my third grade (and very favorite) teacher, Miss Cavalier, made us from a picture we drew in class. The ornament has seen better days, but it's still important to me.
Notice that in 1985 teachers could say "Merry Christmas" without being vilified.

Nothing says "preschool craft" more loudly than googly eyes and a Milk Bone dressed as a reindeer. Caroline made this (well, I'm sure her teacher did) in pre-school. It's special because there really isn't anyting cuter than a pre-schooler. I'm mean, there? They're still cute, sweet, eager and ready to learn. Sigh.

I'm not exactly a Mickey Mouse freak, but I bought this at Downtown Disney when Caroline and I visited my parents in Florida while Craig was at his Warrant Officer Basic course in Arizona during Thanksgiving 2005. That was also where we went to the Ghiradelli store and while eating ice cream, Caroline left my mom and me sitting at the table and (at the age of 2 1/2) starting talking to a family in another booth. Sat down with them and everything, practically forgetting that she already had, you know, a mother. AND a grandmother who drove her to Downtown Disney and bought her the ice cream.
No loyalty with that kid.

Mickey took a few tumbles from high atop the Christmas tree when we lived in Georgia and landed on our stylish (and hard) hospital style tiled floor. I've been holding on to his ear for a few years now; maybe some day I'll actually glue it back on.

I'm clearly not sharing these in chronological order because here is our first ornament and the one that holds the title of "official ornament of 1996."

It's an S.

S is for super. Or sensational. Or seriously superb.

Or Smith. Whatever.

It also looks like a cookie, so I felt especially inclined to purchase it.

A few years ago the Army sent Craig to "work" in Germany for two weeks. Upon his many travels, ahem hours at work, he bought me this angel ornament in Heidelberg. It still has the price tag on the back with the euros symbol. It was thoughtful, since he got a free trip to Germany and all.

This is our official ornament from 2006 when Craig was deployed to Kuwait. Why else would be have an ornament with Santa atop a camel? I can't think of any other reason.

This picture wasn't loaded sideways; I'm pretty sure I snapped it that way. Not sure why. Anyway, I bought this elephant at the American History museum in DC last December. It was a cold and WINDY day and also the day we went to the top of the Washington Monument. Considering the political climate in Washington last December (heck, even now) I'm pretty sure I was the only person buying an elephant that day.

I could go on forever with the photo display of ornaments, but I'll make this the last for today. This is a pretzel I purchased at the Julius Sturgis pretzel factory in Lititz, PA this summer, while we were on vacation.


nancy said...

Lovely ornaments (or ordaments as some kid--Laura? you?--used to say.)
I happen to love the Davis Bowie part to the Bing Crosby duet, but I don't care for the rum pum pum either.
I do LOVE Faith Hill's "A Baby Changes Everything" although go on You Tube and view the one done by some guy with video scenes from The Nativity movie.
Remember the Pece, Peace, Peace song at church on Christmas Eve (with Silent Night and candles?) I like that one, too. And O Holy Night.

Alison said...

I said ordaments. In fact, I was just thinking that I should have included that in my rambles. Laura used to say "cheft" instead of chef.
I like that Faith Hill song, too. And another that has something to do with "what a funny way to save the world." IDK, it's good though. Even if it isn't traditional.

nancy said...

I just used my Barnes & Noble card! Yay for used books! I got Stacy and Clinton's book Dress Your Best, another style book and Donald Miller's new book, which Steve (Brown) says is even better than Blue Like Jazz.
So, I shall be well-dressed and well-read. Well, maybe.

Alison said...

Yay for birthdays.
I'm glad I could facilitate your shopping spree. Let me know how the Donald Miller book is. I like him so much, but was so bummed that he backed and actively campaigned for "the other guy" last year. I know it's wrong to base my opinions of people on who they vote for, and for the most part (in everyday life), I don't. But for some reason this bothered me.
He's still an awesome writer, though.

I hope your purchases find you both stylish and intellectually stimulated. There's no point in looking good if you're still literarily (made that up!) devoid.


Sissy said...

You have inspired me to do a post about my favorite ornaments as well! I have so many that I really love and could share the stories about how we came upon them. I love to shop for ornaments and I like to mix the traditional ball ornaments with my unique ones. I now have many boxes of ornaments and have to be choosy about which ones I use. There was one year that we had 9 foot ceilings and we got a HUGE tree and I had to get more I have to shove my tree in a corner and have too many. Oh well.