This is the last of Christmas for 2015 … a short list of my favorite things for the holidays and woven into this are more of the songs and movies we have all come to know and love.
My Favorite Christmas as a mom …
The little one will tell you it just ain’t fair. He came along first. So every “first” of his was like the culmination of all things grand in the universe. Ain’t so, little one. You were the first girl, and when I gave birth to you, I gave birth to my best friend.
Still, he did come first and he came during this time and I always associate every Christmas morning with him. My first-born … my son: Born at exactly 8:35PM on December 19, 1969.
We brought him home two days later and put him under the Christmas tree. What a Christmas present!
Happy Birthday, Michael Paul Cronin
My favorite place to be this time of year …
As if any of you don’t know the answer to this one … New York City!
My favorite Christmas Song …
Okay, so I am cheating with this one … but it truly is the best of the best.
Of the 57 varieties of Christmas songs I love … Nat King Cole’s, The Christmas Song, tops the list …
My favorite activity the last week
Obviously, I do not have the self-discipline to control this ‘Rockin Christmas list … because I also love baking cookies, wrapping presents, visiting friends, arguing with the kids, sending out those last minute cards and of course, since I’m Italian … I round out the list with eating everything Italian … or Chinese take-out on a few rare occasions.
My favorite Christmas movie …
I watch at least seventeen of them every year like a compulsive ritual. But Santa and all his elves, and every angel in heaven knows … my all time favorite will always be … It’s a Wonderful Life.
My Favorite Christmas Present of all time …
A pair of roller skates from the big guy. The best presents were always from the big guy.
For each of them … them being the original four: my mother, father and two older brothers … there is a Christmas song that stirs my memory and calls up the ghosts of Christmas past.
For my dad, it is always Perry Como, singing There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays. It’s fruit bowls and Christmas trees, and my father as the biggest kid in the house at least one day a year. For my mother it’s White Christmas, because we were together at the Music Hall the first time I heard it.
The year I turned twelve the middle one left home. Each Christmas since, one song has both haunted and given me joy. Some years he would come home with a flourish and a fanfare, other years he was merely a voice on the phone. Yes, the song for the middle one will always be: I’ll Be Home For Christmas.
For the big one? What can I say about the big one? Grown up now and the big guy of his own brood.
I don’t have a song for the big guy. The song master of the house, the musician extraordinaire and I have no song for him … unless you count the hundreds of times he did Five Feet Two while he learned to play the guitar.
However, there is a movie that came out when we were all grown that reminds me of the big one.
A Christmas Story. I hear him when Darren McGavin fights with the furnace and stops to change the tire. Also, he is the type of dad who would knew what gift the kids really wanted. It was like that when we were little. He was the one who always bought what you wanted, not what my mom thought was more practical.
Also, the big guy is the only one that doesn’t cause me to get a tear in my eye. When I think about him, I laugh. No matter when I think about him for some silly reason, I laugh.
Because the gift he brought into our home, was the gift of laughter, of music and the best darn Christmas presents a kid could get.
Yes, those two-sizes-too-big, high top, white leather, indoor roller skates were my best damn present ever and he got them for me against all her warnings! Thanks for never listening to her, Big Guy.
It is difficult to think of the four of them at this time. A time when Dad shopped for weeks to get just the right ingredients for our Christmas dinner. A time when even my mother walked around humming, a silly smile plastered on her face. A time when the big one and the middle one called a truce and but for one major Midnight Mass disaster, peace on earth reigned at home.
In the last ten years one song has taken on a new meaning, as I am the one who is missing in action. For those I’ve loved and laughed with, for those who I keep in my heart even if I never pick up the phone … this wish is for you.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas and think of me.
It’s your turn …
Tell me your favorite things about this time of year?
Is there one holiday song you associate with a loved one .. near or far?
fOIS In The City