What is your favorite Christmas song & why?
Ever asked that question? Well, now you can answer the question!
I think my favorite is "Christmas Time Is Here" from A Charlie Brown Christmas. I know, I know, it's not a carol, but it just takes me back in time: My brother & I sitting in front of the TV, watching Charlie Brown, Mom in the kitchen stirring homemade fudge, Dad asleep on the sofa. The Christmas tree lights were on & presents were wrapped. My brother & I could get sooooo excited about Christmas. After all, we got to go to Mom's parents, see my aunt & uncle & their 6 children, then go to Dad's parents, see my other aunt & uncle & their 3 girls!!! We were soooo lucky that both sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles, & cousins lived no longer than an hour's drive away.
I don't remember the gifts, just that we had so much fun!!! The houses were always too small to accomodate the number that showed, but we sat up tables in the bedrooms, the dining room, and ate, laughed, teased the younger cousins, sang songs, and enjoyed Christmas.
My Dad's mom would make us homemade hot cocoa, and we would swear it was heavenly!!! My Mom's dad was the piemaker in the family. In fact, when he was a young man in the early 30's, he worked as a pie maker at a hotel. He made the best cream pies & the best meringue topping!!! Grandmother never attempted to make a pie---why should she? And would she dare make one that was even close to being as good as Grandpa's & steal his glory? I think not!!!
My Dad's father was quite older when Dad was born (close to 40), so he was "old" when Dad was growing up!!! And, he had been in WWI, where he suffered some type of "gassing" that permanently damaged his lungs. SO, he was basically an invalid the time I knew him. My cousin, Susan, & I would read him the Christmas story from the Bible in the evening. We were probably around 10 & 12 at the time. He loved to have us read him the Bible when he was trying to fall asleep, so we'd start, think he was sound asleep, start to tiptoe out of the room, and we'd hear "Read one more chapter". It seemed like we read for hours & hours, but it only really worked out to around 1/2 hour. Anyway, I learned later that this was his way of teaching us Bible stories & passages. He knew we'd remember better if we read it with our own two eyes than if he told us. Sadly, Grandpa passed on when I was 13. And, he was in his 80's!!!! I didn't really have that many Christmases with him--I'm glad I spent that time with him.
My Mom's dad, in addition to being a fabulous pie maker, was quite the story teller. He'd sit us kids (6 cousins & 3 in my family), down, and tell us stories about his childhood, his work, his brothers, anything he felt like at the moment. Sometimes he ventured a bit too far for our parents liking when he told of getting inebriated & making a bad choice!!! But we hung on every word. We loved hearing Grandpa's booming voice and deep, jolly laugh. This grandfather passed on when I was 19--he was only 62.
Both grandmothers lived well into their 80's and enjoyed many, many Christmases with us. Sometimes they all came over & watched Charlie Brown with us. Maybe that's why I love that song so much--it takes me back to a safe time, a time when I wasn't so burdened with my own decisions, cause they were all made for me with love. A time when we didn't care what was in the package, we were more excited about seeing the cousins. A time when manners were expected, but table settings weren't. A time when all the love that filled the room couldn't be contained--it trickled home with you.
"Christmas time is here, Happiness and cheer.
Fun for all that children call, Their favorite time of year
Snowflakes in the air, Carols everywhere,
Olden times and ancient rhymes, Of love and dreams to share
Sleigh bells in the air, Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside, And joyful memories there
Christmas time is here, We'll be drawing near
Oh that we could always see, Such spirit through the year"