Posted tagged ‘Death of a Salesman’

“Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart…filled it, too, with melody that would last forever.”

December 19, 2015

Today is as close to winter as we’ve gotten. I felt the cold when I went out front to get the papers. The wind is strong enough to blow the chimes in my backyard. It is jacket weather.

Every year my mother took my sister and me to a play at Christmas then out to dinner. One year it was Death of a Salesman with Brian Dennehy who had won a Tony for the role. We joked with my mother afterwards about such an uplifting Christmas play. I have kept the tradition. Today my sister and I have a play, Christmas on the Air, and a dinner reservation afterwards. We’ll exchange gifts but save them to open at Christmas. I made her favorite fudge last night. She doesn’t have to wait until Christmas to munch on that.

Yesterday would have been the last school day before Christmas. That was always cause for excitement, but Christmas Eve, five long days away, was the magical day for us. I never thought I’d survive the wait. Every day dragged on and on. I’d go outside to play if the weather was good. I’d ride my bike or take the sled if we had snow. I’d watch for the mailman who came twice a day at Christmas bringing all those cards. My mother would let me open a couple, and if I were really lucky, they’d be a card for me usually from my aunt.

At night I’d sit and look at the tree. All the lights and ornaments were mesmerizing. I’d watch whatever Christmas programs were on TV. On weekdays I’d watch Santa in his workshop. He was also in countdown mode until his big night.

My mother played her Christmas albums on the hifi when she’d cook or work around the house. My favorites were the albums with lots of singers. We had Guy Lombardo, Andy Williams and Bing, the album where he is wearing a Santa cap. We also had albums from Grants who put out a new one every year and one from Goodyear. I have no idea the history of the last one.

Okay, I’m starting the countdown: five days until Christmas Eve.

“Christmas cookies without sprinkles are like raisins without wrinkles, and like sleigh bells without tinkles.”

December 8, 2011

My heat is blasting, a sure sign colder weather is here, but it’s the wind which is making the day feel so much colder than the 41° on the thermometer. It reaches right down to the bones and is strong enough to sway the trunks of pine trees. Gracie is staying closer to home and the couch. The outside hasn’t the same appeal it did for the last few weeks.

Yesterday it poured all day. I went off cape to a Christmas play and then to a really late lunch. The play and lunch or dinner are a tradition we’ve had for a long time. It would be the three of us: my mother, my sister and me. One year my mother treated us to The Death of a Salesman with Brian Dennehy. Afterwards we thanked her for the cheery choice of a play for the holidays. Now my sister and I go to a play. It’s one of my Christmas presents to her and it keeps the tradition alive. Before I dropped her home, we did a mini-light ride. It’s amazing how many houses are bright with lights this year. We oohed and ahhed as we rode up and down the streets. I got home around 8:30. It was a long but fun day.

I have my schedule all set up for Christmas. It starts tonight with Christmas card night. The cards came in the mail the other day, and I vowed they’d back in the mail by Friday. My list of ingredients for Christmas goodies is all set, and I have plenty of wrapping paper and ribbon for the gifts. I have a few more gifts to buy; some are for my friends but others will be sent right to Colorado. I need some stocking stuffers so I’ll take a day to do that then treat myself to lunch, in commemoration of the season of course.

My sister still makes sugar cookies. I used to but haven’t in a long while. Her grandson helps her to decorate them. We used to do that: spend a whole afternoon decorating the ones my mother had made. She’d cut them out using her old aluminum cookies cutters:  Santa, an angel, a bell, a reindeer and a tree. Both my sister and I have found those same figures in the old aluminum. They are the connection to our childhood and my mother.

I remember heavy cookies laden with frosting, and I remember green frosting the most. We were creative frosters. The trees had lights and ornaments, sprinkles mostly. Santa was tricky to decorate with his red suit, white beard and dark boots. Actually, there were no boots; we just iced them in as we couldn’t imagine a Santa without his boots.

Even when I was an adult with my own house, my mother and I would spend a day baking together. When the cookies were cooled, we’d put on the Christmas music and sit around the table to decorate them and to chat. It was always one of my favorite parts of Christmas and is still a cherished memory.

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