I know, I know, it's still November...
I know it's a bit early to think Christmas...or, it's not. Next week is Thanksgiving here in the good 'ole U. S. of A. and I always start getting in the Christmas mood at Thanksgiving time.
When I was growing up, my dad insisted that no serious Christmas decorating could happen until after his birthday which fell on December 13th. Then, when I grew up and could set my own holiday schedule, I began to hunt for that perfect tree while still enjoying leftover Thanksgiving turkey. In fact, I love listening to Christmas music while I'm cooking that late November feast.
I got to thinking about all this, this past Saturday morning. Now, one of the luxuries of life that I enjoy is a long, hot bath accompanied by music. And fellas, you can't kid me, this is not just a 'girl thing,' guys enjoy this on occasion too! Anyway, last Sat. morning just seemed perfect for setting up some 'me' time. I put my iPod in it's cute pink amplifier thingy and set it on the counter [and, yes, I'm always safety-minded when using electric things in a bathroom]. Instead of the 'shuffle mode' that would give me a random mix of tunes, I chose Sting's "If On A Winter's Night..." [*oh, random? Makes me think of what Charlie Epps would say about that on Numb3rs! - wish that series had kept going]
Now here's a quirky thing about me, when Sting was part of Police, I didn't listen. [you can read his bio here on this 'official site and official fan club' page - huh, he's only a year younger than me!] But when Sting became his own brand, I got interested. It's not that he has an opera-calibre voice, because to my ear he doesn't. However, he does have a quality, and a passion, that speaks to me. I'm a visual artist, not a musician, but when I listen to music I love, I get totally swept up and can visualize swirls of colors and intensities.
Although his "If On A Winter's Night..." album was released in 2009, I didn't discover it until last year. And, my gosh, I fell in love with it. It has songs of the holiday season that I had never heard before. He included old carols and lullabies from the British Isles and some of them are fun and some of them are haunting. There is one that is poignant, "The Cherry Tree Carol." It is about Joseph and Mary and when Mary revealed to Joseph that she was pregnant and his immediate reaction.
My favorite on the whole album though is "Soul Cake:"
A soul cake, a soul cake,
Have to confess I cranked the music up loud so that I could sing right along. As my fingers turned raisiny in the hot water and I sang at the top of my lungs, I began to picture Christmas for this year. We're in a new house - having moved in this past June; and granddaughter is almost two, grandson is 6 so you can see how much fun this is going to be. We have plenty of room for whatever size and type of tree we want and a good spot for our LEGO Christmas village and for the senior software engineering guy's Christmas train [it's actually my train as I built it - is that too geeky to know?]...
So you can see, I'm in a Christmas frame of mind as I plan our Thanksgiving dinner. This year's celebration will be with a nice group of family and friends. I'm cooking this year and am thinking of doing something a bit different. Going to roast two turkey breasts using this great recipe I found. And I'm going to roast Cornish Game Hens, halved, using a different recipe. Yum! Let's see, also some collard greens gratin, baked yams with marshmallows, this divine looking young carrots with greens dish, fabulous mixed herb 'monkey bread' rolls and more. Pumpkin pie? Of course. And cupcakes. Chocolate. And tons of thankfulness. I absolutely recognize how blessed I am right now. There are holiday memories in my past that are sad and dark - lonely times and near-poverty times. Such is Life.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner! What are you planning to fix?