Do you remember that commercial? Carly Simon singing, the ketchup pouring so slowly…the glands behind my jaw used to tingle just watching it…because who doesn’t love that salty and sugar-laden goodness accompanying their fries?
Remember the joy of waiting…waiting for the ketchup to come out of a glass bottle, for the sound of mail plopping down on the foyer floor, for the song of the moment to play on the radio, for new school clothes, for an empty cab. Remember the excitement at school the day A Year Without a Santa Claus, Rudolph or A Charlie Brown Christmas were airing…and the joy on the playground the day after, singing Heat Miser on a loop?
Politically correct commercial interruption here. I grew up celebrating Christmas. I now like to celebrate Winter Solstice because it recognizes all celebrations of light and Hanukkah because my nephews celebrate it…and as my daughter announced at my brother’s engagement to a Jewish woman, “Great, now we are Jewish too!”. I don’t mean to exclude anyone with this Swoon, I am just a Christmas girl who does not get mad if you wish me Happy Holidays.
Anticipating Christmas. It is my joy. It makes me smile. It is such a huge part of my life. It is about as swoony as a swoon can be. It would be a great blog name. Anticipating Christmas. Which reminds me of…
Many moons ago my sister-in-law worked for Martha Stewart. Young, hip, a crafter like no other… she would call me for ideas to use in MS Kids magazine. I had kids, she did not, so I became a useful resource. Once she asked me for tips on organizing Christmas, which I happily supplied, an article was written, and on her advice I secured the blog name “Organizing Christmas”. I had two kids, a business, and I over volunteered…there was no time for blogging so it never happened. Times changed, kids left, a pandemic arrived… and Swooning began. It is important to be flexible.
When I was in 4th grade my mom went back to work. My dad quit his job and decided the future was in healthy food and frozen yogurt…a bit odd for a man who lived on Entenmann’s cakes. My mom, brought up in an Armenian household, knew how to cook healthy…so she went from being a stay at home mom…to being the cook at the new family restaurant. Preparing couscous, lentil soup, stuffed grape leaves, and chickpea salads for those looking to keep their figures—namely the actors and prostitutes of 42nd Street. Our world changed. We had a babysitter, we no longer had nightly multi-course dinners, and we shopped at discount stores. What didn’t change: Christmas.
Christmas was all about family, decorating, music, tv specials, Lionel trains, cookies, pageants and parties; it was joyous. Having a working mom did not change any of it. Crazy traditions like the yearly line up of the three kids…standing in front of the fresh 10-foot tall tree tied to the banister leading up stairs…raising our hands and repeating after mom “Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye if I lie, I promise to jump out my bedroom window if the tree is on fire and the stairs are blocked.” The yearly check in our stockings…for amounts like $1.62, because our dad, always a numbers guy, felt it necessary to spend exactly the same amount of money on each of us…to the penny. Swoon.
I would say I cannot wait for Christmas, but the truth is…I love waiting for Christmas. It is all about the wait. I have been decorating since the day after Thanksgiving. Christmas music blaring, room by room the goodness appears, the memories are relived. Gingerbread houses made, cookies packed, advent calendars opened. I am happy, even in 2020. Determined to bring our Christmas traditions to my Jacob in California, two huge boxes were shipped out yesterday, presents, party poppers, and Nanny-made baked goods. He will not be able to plop down on my lap as I sit on the couch and our daily good morning hugs will have to wait. Those bits of delicious are now on top of my anticipation list…and will be that much sweeter when we are finally together again.
Merry Everything. Enjoy the wait.