Ask me what is my favorite Christmas anything and the answer will probably start with the word “traditional” – traditional music, traditional decorations, traditional wrappings, traditional foods. The overall look of Christmas should be Victorian. Why? Because it just should be that way. Because I say so.
Christmas food – all of them, but a special mention for the unfairly maligned fruitcake. Fruitcake is one of my favorite Christmas traditions from my childhood. A little love and respect for fruitcake, please.
Another favorite of our family is country ham. When I was a kid we always had turkey for Christmas dinner and for a while I continued that tradition as an adult but then we lived in Virginia for a little over a decade, where you could walk into any grocery store at Christmas or Easter times and buy a whole dry cured country ham. And so we started a new and better tradition, which lasted until we moved to Oklahoma where you can’t get dry cured hams. But there’s the Internet where you can buy them for three times what they cost in the grocery stores back in Virginia so with a little angst over the cost, the tradition is back.
Movies – I’m not a big fan of most Christmas movies but I don’t hate them either. I neither love nor hate the big three: It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and A Christmas Story. I’ve seen them, thought they were nice but have no particular desire to see them again. There aren’t any modern Christmas movies that I’m especially fond of either, except for one: Polar Express. I do want to see that one again. Every year would be okay.
Music – Traditional performances of traditional music. I love all the classic Christmas songs: Silent Night, Deck the Halls, Oh Come All Ye Faithful, The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and many more. Sometimes I do hear a slightly unusual arrangement of a traditional Christmas song that rocks my world. I can’t resist the new agey versions by Mannheim Steamroller. And a new favorite for the last couple of years has been Loreena McKinnett’s performance of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. She has a beautiful voice and the instrumentation is unusual – lots of percussion and some kind of wind instrument I can’t identify.
Okay, I think that’s all I have to say until after Christmas. The few of you who are still reading, go on, get out of here. Go have a Merry Christmas.