The time between Thanksgiving and New Years was the best time of the year when I was young. Everything seemed perfect. Even though there were problems in the world, they did not impose any worries on us. Even when we didn’t have much, we had plenty to eat and too many presents for our own good.
Now this season for me is what some people call “bitter-sweet,” a time of joyful thanksgiving edged with a layer of melancholy. So many loved-ones, friends and family, gone now or scattered far and wide, the kids all grown, and the grandsons growing up too fast.
Some Christmas songs are hard to listen to for long, like Johnny Mathis singing “The Christmas Song” or “Sleigh Ride.” He was one of my mother’s favorite singers. She played his Christmas records throughout December. Hearing his voice and those songs takes me back 50 years to foggy Christmases in Huntington Beach, CA. She has been gone for ten years, and I still miss her. My dad at age 90 thinks she is still around.
Other seasonal songs I love but can’t listen to very much are “The Christmas Waltz,” by Peggy Lee, one of my dad’s favorites, and Bing Crosby’s “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” I haven’t the faintest notion of why they inspire melancholy in my little brain, but they certainly do. I just must have a morbid temperament. Or it could be my annual fall-winter light deprivation depression kicking in. Oh well, Happy Thanksgiving.