We haven’t made Christmas cookies yet. (Which reminds me to call and ask if it’s happening this year.) But everything else in this repost is true.
So Christmas has officially arrived for me: today was Christmas cookie day. We get together with my aunt and make sugar cookies from my Grandma’s recipe, cut into various holiday related shapes and decorated with sugar, sprinkles, and icing. (This year, I found a cookie cutter shaped like the leg lamp from A Christmas Story, so we had to try that one; it came out okay, although the cookies were a little puffy this year, so it looked like the lamp was retaining water.) I’ve taken part in this tradition since I was a tiny person, although my brother has long since quit. My sister-in-law joined my aunt, niece and nephew, and me this year. There was much baking and many bad jokes, along with a little wine. A good time was had by all.
I’m not generally a big fan of Christmas music; I tend to be very selective. But the songs I like, I really like. I mean, I tend to get weepy listening to them. “Frosty the Snowman” is one of those tunes for me. Now I grew up listening to the Jimmy Durante version of the song from the Rankin-Bass cartoon, and that’s generally the version that gets me a little choked up. (I keep seeing poor little Karen crying over the puddle that used to be Frosty, and the joy when Santa used his magic to bring Frosty back. Yeah, I am a total marshmallow.) “But he waved good-bye, saying ‘Don’t you cry. I’ll be back again someday.'”
This version is almost as awesome as Jimmy Durante’s. Leon Redbone and Dr. John are two of the most distinctive voices in popular music. They were both more popular in the 70s, although neither one was exactly mainstream. They were niche artists, playing well to a certain kind of audience. My family has always fit nicely into that niche, so I’ve always known who they both were. I actually bought Redbone’s Christmas Island just for this song, although I don’t know if it’s still available.
I won’t be inundating y’all with Christmas music between now and the big day, but I’ll probably do a few more songs that I think are pretty special. And considering the news lately, we could all do with a little Christmas cheer.