05 January 2009

"On the Twelfth Day of Christmas..."

...it's time to watch the holidays come to a close. As I drove through downtown Smyrna this morning, all the decorations were down except for the tree, and I knew it would be gone, or mostly gone, by this evening. Sure enough, by five o'clock all traces of the Christmas tree were gone.

They should have a counter-song to Andy Williams' "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"—maybe "It's the Most Sorrowful Time of the Year," watching the tinsel and the glitter fade away to be replaced by plainness.

Of course if we had the tinsel and the glitter all year long, at Christmas it wouldn't be special, just as in the William Dean Howells' story "Christmas Every Day." Still, maybe this song from Rudolph's Shiny New Year is the most appropriate:
The moving finger writes,
And having writ, moves on.
You can't hold back the clock;
It just ticks on and on.

The moving finger writes
And having writ, moves on,
So treasure memories,
For what is gone, is gone.

And, oh, you may
Sweat and strive—
Don't you know it's great
Just to be alive?

So...make every moment count,
Rejoice with every dawn,
The moving finger writes
And having writ, moves on.
After I arrived home and took Willow for her "airing," I settled down to watch The History of Christmas DVD that I purchased at Borders. This is a compilation of four documentaries, the first being Christmas Unwrapped, originally appearing on the History Channel. This is a brief history of the holiday, featuring writers Stephen Nissenbaum and Penne Restad, authors of two of the definitive Christmas histories, The Battle for Christmas and Christmas in America. Jean Shepherd (A Christmas Story) also appears.

The second piece is the "Santa Claus" biography that was originally shown on A&E's Biography series hosted and narrated by Jack Perkins (before Biography begat its own channel). I saw this when it was originally broadcast, but haven't seen it for years. Lovely to hear Jack Perkins' voice again! I see he is now retired and a nature photographer.

As I watch, I keep glancing over my shoulder at the Christmas tree. It will look very blank there in a few days. We'll also have to find places for the gifts! One will go in the car—we were given a second Entertainment Book! Very cool, since later in the year there is an Abraham Lincoln exhibition at the Atlanta History Center. This also means we have another Mountasia coupon, too! Let's hear it for mini-golf...PUTT!:-)

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