“Christmas is coming the goose is getting fat — please put a penny in the old man’s hat.” With those words my mother would herald the season of gift-giving which usually started a few weeks before the 25th of December.
Hearing Christmas music right after Halloween simply did not occur. Nowadays we have ads for summer wear right after Christmas and I think that this is regulated by the depth of snow and wishful thinking.
In our house, the Christmas season is dictated by our daughter Kathleen who, as the Christmas fever starts to take hold, begins playing Christmas DVDs over and over and over. After a while New Years Eve can’t come soon enough.
Katie starts with “White Christmas,” both the black-and-white version and the one in color. Bing Crosby will sing “White Christmas” until he starts losing his voice, Vera Ellen will dance her long legs off and the smiling face of Rosemary Clooney will be burned forever on the retinas of your eyes.
Things have changed slightly over the past few years. “White Christmas” has been replaced with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s rendition of “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve.”
The first time we played it we were stunned — the music was traditional but it had a new beat. We sat mesmerized until the end where yes, we had tears in our eyes.
The second time we played it we really cranked up the volume loud enough to shake the fillings out of your teeth. Magnificent! This is the way Christmas music should be played — heralding the new-born King.
When we lived near Philadelphia the Wanamaker’s Department Store would have a “Christmas Show” which showcased a huge pipe organ with some pipes two stories high.
We took the kids shopping for Christmas gifts and ended up in time for the show. The mezzanine was packed with bodies waiting for the show to start. If you passed out there was no room to fall.