Monday, December 14, 2009

Old Timey Playing Christmastime

The kids and I spent yesterday afternoon and evening decorating the house for Christmas. Adam informed me that he wanted to go all out with decorations this year because this will be his last Christmas with us before he heads off on a mission for two years; then college after that; then inevitably that Christmas with the girlfriend's family, nervously trying to make a good impression; then married and "this year, we're having Christmas at the in-laws"....
Well, ok, he only mentioned this would be the last Christmas before his mission - it's I who went the rest of the way down that treacherous road to Christmases future.


His description of how over the top he expected us to go went something along the lines of, "I want it to look like someone vomited Christmas all over the house." (I wish I could remember his exact words, because that paraphrase is really gross.)

I believe we achieved his desire. We have lights strung inside the house, the entertainment center leads one to question whether we have created a shrine to television, we have an "eclectic" array of styles and colors co-mingling (clashing) in our small living spaces, and tea lights everywhere. We even have a corner still filled with pumpkins that need to be baked and pureed - but don't worry, we have lighted garland that will Christmas those gourds right up. Adam strung a couple strands of big colored lights about 8 feet up one of the 6, 30+-foot poplars in front of the house. Somehow, it works.

Mike came home from work and loved it. We saved the Christmas tree for when he arrived so he could be part of it all.

(There has only been one fire so far - it was a small one, and Macy caught it quickly. We have a few burned silk roses, but thankfully, the Christus the candle was warming did not suffer smoke damage.)

The house feels like Christmas, Adam's satisfied, and last night, we finished the Christmas story in Luke, Chapter 2, and it was good. Not sure what we'll be reading for the remaining 11 days of Christmas, but we have many scriptures from which to choose. Like the health care reform bills floating around the Hill these days, we're not lacking in pages.

All this to say, I love when it looks, feels and smells like Christmas. And, I love when it sounds like Christmas, too. Which brings me to the below link. But, first, a long-winded explanation:

I'm a sucker for radio shows and radio programs. I love listening to Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" and "What Do You Know?" when I'm in the car at the right time on the weekend. I absolutely love it when I stumble across an "old timey" radio program, which is why I was happy today when I was sent to the link below. The NPR broadcast isn't technically "old timey," but the narrator's voice sure makes it feel like it.

Here's some of the appeal for me:

  • I love radio shows (noted above)
  • The narrator says "us youngin's" just the way I remember my Aunt Sue saying it when she'd talk about the life she and my Dad's other 10 siblings lived on the old farm in Kentucky, with their parents
  • While some people don't take to the soft, drawling nature of voices like this gentleman's, I get all warm inside because it reminds me of the voices and warm spirits of all of my Dad's brothers, sisters and cousins that I loved to listen to while I was growing up. My memories are of no one ever talking about unhappy things or speaking ill of one another. Stories and conversations were always accompanied by good-natured chuckling and a fair amount of ribbing- no one was loud or crass or cynical. I somehow knew all these people had enjoyed growing up together. Now, my memories are framed, you understand, in holiday visits or family reunions - when feelings are a little softer and reminiscing is steeped in sentiment - but even as a child I knew these were good and kind people. I could hear it in their voices.
  • I love that the kids in the story play those silly, ruleless, made-up games and assign them names as if they're real games that everyone has always played, like "Christmastime," "Christmas Gift," and "Go Up to the Kitchen Door and Smell."
  • That the little boy notices his parents have an unspoken communication, just like I always sensed when I'd see that certain look pass between my Mom and Dad; and that Mike and I have developed over the years. I'm grateful for that level of knowing someone - and of him knowing me, too. And, I'm so grateful that my parents have had that unspoken magic my whole life, and that they are ever more tightly bound to one another as the years continue to roll by.
  • I love that for 10 minutes (it's a long one, make sure you have time to snuggle down and listen before you click the link), I just got lost in the gentle lilting and meaningful pauses as a humble and humbling story was told.

Now, click the link, turn up your volume, cross your ankles, interlace your fingers behind your head and stare off into space.

Playing Christmastime on the farm,


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