For those of you that have read Random Olio over the last couple of years, you may remember that I am not big on holidays. Most likely a product of my childhood, they have never really been my thing. My dad was overzealous about Christmas, and so there are things that make me nostalgic, as there are memories I have where he seemed happy and completely into the moment. Yet most of those moments were things I witnessed not really things he taught me or I learned from his example.
He was all about Santa, in the decorate-your-house kind of way. Not as much as a kid but when I was in high school and college and no longer lived with him I would usually see him for part of Christmas day. His house, with haphazard furnishings throughout the year, would transform into a showcase for Santa and Father Christmas decorations. Some of them actually creeped me out in a wizard-like or scary old man way. Somehow as he got older, he would wait until after Christmas to purchase a Santa or two on clearance. Only to pack them away and bring them out for a few weeks the next year.
In any case, I am all for change and a new look on things. So when I heard about Fashion Santa I thought “why not!” He hails not from the North Pole, but from a shopping mall in Toronto, Canada. He is styled in clothes from stores in the mall in a lumber jack meets metrosexual St. Nick way. Along the way he is raising money for a charity that helps sick kids. So all in all the 2015 looking Santa is doing good.
Next I would be curious how the stylist would upgrade Mrs. Claus. Anyone up for the task?
December has gone fast this year. It baffles me that Christmas is tomorrow. I have done everything I can to not step foot in any store, and do whatever shopping I can online this year. Is it sad that Christmas has in some ways made me want to stay away from people? That this holiday now makes me cringe? Our credit cards have made us greedy, stressed out, and potentially the true meaning of Christmas is lost in bags, receipts, and frustrated shoppers.
Somehow during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is music that makes me grounded. I am usually one to quickly run out of the store, or change the radio station when a Christmas song is played before Thanksgiving. Yet, it is Christmas music that takes the Scrooge out of me. It is one of the few things that gives me a nostalgic feeling about Christmas, and reminds me of my father and his avid love for Christmas. I wish I knew what made him enjoy it so much. He loved decorating the house for Christmas, with lights, wreaths, our tree, and other Santa figurines around the house. Was he trying to compensate for Christmas’ he might not have enjoyed as a child? Or was he recreating his own memories?
Chris and I have leaned towards Christmas being a quiet day together, and potentially further towards “just another day in our life.” We lean towards a simpler life. Why has it come to that for us? We usually do not trade gifts, and this year we never got around to putting up the Christmas tree. Sometimes we decide to find a gift together for our home that we can share with each other. We always lean towards doing nothing rather than doing something just to fill a need to give a gift.
So what makes me nostalgic again this year for Christmas past? Music. I have always loved the Leonard Cohen song: Hallelujah, and my favorite is the Jeff Buckley version. Over the weekend, I came across this “Cloverton” version of “A Hallelujah Christmas.” I especially love the beginning with just the piano and vocals. For some reason I feel it in my bones. It makes me think about past Christmas’ with my parents. I wanted to share and, if you celebrate, wish you a wonderful Christmas. Cherish this special time with your family and friends.