“Chill December brings the sleet, Blazing fire, and Christmas treat.”

This time of year even the littlest things seem festive. It’s like the whole world shines and sparkles. When I was a kid, I held this time in awe. As Christmas got closer, the excitement got greater, almost breathtaking. I seldom knew what I was getting. I’d guess and maybe nail a couple, but I loved the surprises the most, the times when the paper was torn enough to see the present underneath, a present I didn’t expect but loved right away. I try to do that for my sisters: find something they would never expect, a perfect surprise worth a yelp. I think I’ve got one for Moe this year, one she’ll never guess. Sheila is getting a gift drawn from a memory we both have. She’ll know right away and laugh. I love finding just the right presents.

Winter comes and goes. One day is in the 50’s and then for the next couple it’s in the 30’s . The nights always feel cold. The dogs help keep me warm, but they hog too much of the bed and sometimes the blankets. Their lives are leisurely.

Last night was cold, and it is still cold though the morning is sunny and pretty. My friends and neighbors have dropped by with goodies. A former student and her husband brought gingerbread and peppermint tea and an evening of memories. With my paper yesterday was a loaf of pumpkin bread. A bag of goodies was dropped off by a friend who was also a former student. I dove straight into that bag last night. My neighbor’s basket which she dropped off even remembered the kitties. One of my uke friends gave our little group of three a great gift, Covid Home Tests. Right now, I’m being ambidextrous: eating a cookie in hand while typing how happy and thrilled by all these thoughtful gifts.

My coffee maker didn’t work this morning. I hit the magic button and no red light. I moaned in anguish. I played with the button, the cord from the coffee maker and the cord in the outlet, all the repair tools at my disposal. One of them worked. I now have freshly brewed coffee, but I wonder if this is a warning.

I like to wrap presents. I try to alternate among different colors and patterns of paper. I have toppers for presents, small things like ornaments or cookies. We don’t use ribbons, not since some of the cats ate them. Most of the cats got old or moved on, but my sister now has kittens, rambunctious kittens, so no ribbons still.

I love Christmas music. When I was a kid, I don’t remember learning the words to the carols, but all of a sudden, I knew them. I think Up on the Housetop was the first one I remember knowing. We sang it enough in school, the first grade I think, that we learned the words. It was a song always sung with what’d I’d now call gusto. We also had spontaneous rhythmic hand movements. I sing it the same way now.

My car radio is on a station playing only Christmas carols. I always, or pretty much always, sing along. At lights, I sometimes notice other singers in the cars beside me. Sometimes we’re singing the same song. When I’m baking and working in the kitchen, I play the carols on TV and sing along with them too. I love the house ready for company, candlelit with soft carols playing. The house has a warm feeling in the flickering light.

I totally understand what Scrooge meant when he said, “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man.” Christmas makes us all of those.

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11 Comments on ““Chill December brings the sleet, Blazing fire, and Christmas treat.””

  1. Rowen Says:

    Maybe the first carols I remember learning, also sort of without thinking about it much, were the ones with old-fashioned words and references like “Deck the Hall(s)” and “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Plenty of trying to puzzle out the sense of them, so memorization was accidental.

    I don’t drink much coffee these days [gasp] but I still have one of those plastic cone deals that holds a paper filter and makes a single mugful for such emergencies.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Rowan,
      We learned songs by repetition before we could read. We’d sing them over and over then realize we knew all the words. It was like magic. I do remember jingle bells. We all thought it was funny with the sound effects.

      I like coffee. I’m a bit of a coffee snob. My latest favorite is from El Salvador. I forget the exact name of the coffee, but I’d remember it I I saw it

    • katry Says:

      I’m not even sure I remember all of the 12 Days of Christmas now.

      We also sang other carols, and I had a book of carols and we had a record. It was sing-a-long time.

      I had one of those plastic cones for if I was running late in the morning.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Yep. Up on the Rooftop is the first Christmas song I knew. First grade. I wondered why it said “reindeer paws”. Reindeer don’t have paws. Reindeer have hooves. Very much later in life it occurred to me that it might have said “reindeer pause”. I am certain that I have never seen the lyrics to that song in written form. 🙂

    If you have to intermittently jiggle things in order to get something to work, it’s probably a warning that total failure is imminent. Time for a new coffee pot. If that doesn’t work, maybe time for the electrician to check the outlet?

    It’s sunny and cold here. I’m going to finish knitting a sweater and maybe bake a date nut cake. That combination of warm wooly stuff and baking smells will cozy up the place beautifully. Add two warm dogs glued to either side of me and all will be perfect.

    Have a great day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      It was also later in my life when I realized it wasn’t paws which, for the longer time, had made perfect sense to me. You could hear the paws on the rooftop, and it rhymed perfectly with Claus, and the two words together made sense. I was totally wrong.

      It is the the machine. My toaster oven is attached to the same outlet with no problems. I even switched the piugs, up to down and down to up and the toaster oven worked each time, on both plugs.

      Today was cold and tonight is even colder than that. Right now it is 29˚. It will maybe get a bit colder. I’m not liking it. I have been spoiled by the warm weather. Now I get to be one for a while.

      The one good recipe we got from my grandmother was her date-nut bread. It is delicious. I made it most years but haven’t the last two. I ought to think about it.

  3. Christer. Says:

    The radio in my car is set on a station only playing christmas music, not only carols but all kinds of it. It’s almost the only time of the year I listen to the radion in my car 🙂

    Winter here with new snow, not a lot but the world is once again white.

    Isn’t it one of Your sisters that can shake a christmas present and tell what’s in it? That’s an amazing power 🙂

    Tomorrow is our big christmas day when the kids get their presents from the Yule gnome 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Christer,
      My favorite radio station is even playing traditional songs like Away in a Manger and Joy to the World. I like hearing them.

      We hd a dusting one day in November and nothing since.That is unusual for us. We even had a late frost.

      I hope today has been a joy fun holiday for you!! I love the gnomes!.

      God Jul!

  4. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Well, only one more day to go until the big day. Today the sun has been shining and it was 55° this morning when I left for work and now it’s 76°. The weather will remain warm through the weekend and they are predicting a record high 80° tomorrow and 83° on Saturday. This will be the warmest December on record if the forecasted temperatures persist through New Year’s Eve. Take that you evil climate change deniers. 🙂

    My daughter has control of the radio in the car and we have been listening to Christmas music most of the past few weeks. She switches to Rock whenever they play a slow Christmas Carol or talk for more than five seconds. She has no patience. My favorite Christmas song is, “The Christmas Song”, written by that chubby Jewish boy from Chicago, Mel Torme. I never liked roasted chestnuts and Jack Frost won’t be nipping at my ears this year. 🙂
    White Christmas was also written by a Jewish guy named Irving Berlin. Here’s the list of the rest of the Christmas music tribesmen.

    https://www.kveller.com/11-iconic-christmas-songs-that-were-written-by-jews/

    Everyone is gone from the office and we’re off from tomorrow through January 3rd. I’m coming in tomorrow to get some more work done before having to spend nine days off with my family. 🙁

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      My station gave a weather break-down and mentioned the near record-breaking heat in the southwest. We have finally started to settled into our usual winters though without snow so far for us.

      I chuckled. Misheard lyrics is a great web site. When my sister sang in Winter Wonderland ,”Later on, we’ll conspire
      As we dream by the fire,” she changed conspire to perspire.That made perfect sense to her-that you’d be hot sitting by the fire. Well,I mention this because Jack Frost will actually nip at you nose.

      What a list of great Christmas songs!

      I loved the longer Christmas vacation, but it didn’t happen often. It depended on which day of the week the 23rd fell on in December. The longest was two weeks. Sometimes I’d work during the last half of the shorter vacation or the middle of the longer one. It was so quiet I got a lot done.


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