Sunday, December 18, 2016
The Sound of Christmas
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
TL and I were talking the other night in how much Christmas music made a difference in our childhoods growing up, to make things better. It is an odd thing, because in TL's world Bing Crosby were the old albums which TL's parent's had as that meant Christmas to them I suppose in their generation, so we listen to Bing a great deal.
I mentioned that Bing Crosby is so baritone and happy, and TL said, "Exactly, that is why I liked listening to him as it made me happy".
I never explained the following in what was going through my head in TL saying that, but am going to put it in writing here. As a small child in a very unhappy household, I learned from watching my older siblings cringe, the art of not ever being seen or heard by our dad. Existing with him was like having a chainsaw on your soul as it was not comfortable. I never really considered that in Christmas music as to why I liked what I did until now, because it was not like we had a choice. There was the one Spiritual album, the one Cowboy album and the one Christmas album.
I have no idea where that old thing came from, if it was some supermarket display, some gold stamp trade in or where it came from, and Mom does not know, but it is the album pictured above. Over the years, I have looked for that album, and it literally does not exist in getting in a CD. That is of course until I happened upon it, in the business above has reproduced it for people who have albums, and if you do not, you can order an album and get a copy that way for 39 bucks.
It is not about the price of things which has me posting this, but the memory of those songs. Bing Crosby belts out White Christmas all happy, but the singer who is not listed in the Irving Berlin song which I grew up, always had a hint of sadness and a quietness in him, which matched a great deal of my childhood in my not being alone. It was that singer's resonance which matched my resonance of being isolated in this world.
Most Christmas' we never had a tree until they were marked down, and they were all fire hazards as you could set them down hard and the needles would sprinkle the floor. One Christmas we never had a tree until the 24th, and that was decorated from about 5 pm to the time we went to the Christmas program at 8 pm. I can still remember the cold, as dad of course would never warm the car up as it wasted gas, and we had Church clothes on and froze to death the first 2 miles.
We had an old string of big non blinking lights which probably almost set the tree on fire......as Mom had a loud rule NO ONE HAS THE LIGHTS ON THE TREE UNLESS THEY ARE THERE. Old used tinsel, and those damned old Christmas ornaments which made me feel like a second hatch after the white trash.
Life was shitty. It was cold in the house, cold outside, and cold on the school bus which I rode for two hours a day to school I hated for 5 days a week, so I could have a few moments Saturday to waste as Sunday was bright and early again, for more Church torture as I had some allergy to the musty in that building and got a headache every week.....and then Christmas eve program practice for a month before Christmas.
That damned superintendent at school, Gestapo Elementary always made us go to the 24th too, as he never wanted his own children home.
I still feel bad as in Second Grade, when the teacher asked if anyone did not have a Christmas tree, she would give hers to the child. I raised my hand in thinking I would get one for my grandparents and another girl raised her hand right after. I could not take it back and won the thing. Being a stupid child is no excuse in life, but my Grandparents were thrilled and I was top on the list for years after that with Gram who always made me feel like trash as she would buy marked down clothes and give them to me once in a awhile at Christmas. The last was a sweater that was marked down THREE times on the tag, which she always left on.
I loved Christmas though, because of the way it made me feel. It seemed there was hope in that one day, and I hoped on it all year long. I still remember the Mr. Potato Head my sister got me the year before she died and I tossed it as a kids toy as I was grown up 8 years old....feel bad about that too, and feel bad the one year I got a Tonka Truck which we could not afford.......still feel bad about that too, but I still loved Christmas.
It is why that above album has been on mind for years. I think about it every year before Christmas and look at it sometimes as I have no turntable, and I doubt it would play anyway as it looks like a well worn coin. It is nice though to know it does exist and is not a figment of my imagination. I listen to the songs in my head yet as the child in me wraps herself in them like a blanket and I hear the soft gentleness in the songs, the quiet in them, like watching Christmas tree lights with the lights off at night.
I look to Christmas to just have some peace, as the memories are quite somber, but in them I hear the songs from that album and that is what I hear when I think of Christmas.
There is always tomorrow for dreams to come true.