Do you ever feel like singing? Just busting out some tune so loud, so emotional that the very vibrations of said blast could stop a train?
Perhaps you fancy yourself a caroler. You know, those people who bundle up against the cold, head outdoors and go from house to house (or hang out at the mall or grocery stores – anywhere a likely audience would be found) and sing, spreading holiday cheer to one and all?
I have this image in my brain that won’t go away, and where some of it is pure fantasy, the possibility is still there, and for an author, well, things begin to happen… Let me break it down: My Christmas Fantasy involves sleigh rides in the snow, hot chocolate, groups of people singing Christmas carols like they wrote them, and Christopher Walken.
Now, it rarely snows on Christmas Day in the Pacific Northwest – at least not where I live and not enough for a horse to pull a sleigh through, anyway. What does happen out here is cold. We sometimes get clear skies and super cold weather. The sun’s out, but the thermostat only reaches 31º F, or like the other day, 24º F.
But if it did snow on Christmas Day where I live, it would be amazing… I imagine strong horses decked out in their winter gear, bells on their harnesses pulling my friends and family along a wooded road, to Grandma’s house. She’s been waiting for us with spiked fruitcake and hot chocolate. Because hot chocolate is good for the soul and fruitcake is proportionally edible only by the amount of booze it has soaked up.
We arrive in front of a grand house, a large wreath on the front door welcomes up the steps. We’re cold, but excited, because as soon as the door opens, Grandma and Christopher Walken welcome us in! Who knew Grandma and Chris were friends? Anyway, we all spill into the house, shedding our coats and scarves, boots and mittens while the sleigh driver leads the team around back to the cozy stable.
The parlor is decorated within an inch of its life. Everywhere you look, you see some reminder of the holiday, whether it’s evergreen boughs over the entry and gracefully set above the windows, or holly decorating the mantle, Mistletoe hanging in doorways, and little angels set in miniature snow-covered towns. The candles are lit and the fire is crackling merrily in the hearth. It’s a festive setting for a festive time.
Grandma sits down at her baby grand and begins playing Christmas songs, and soon we’re all gathered around singing to her accompaniment. We feel at peace with each other, we feel the deep connection and love of family that we have, and those we have made. It is a very special time.
When Christopher enters the room, he’s carrying a tray of full mugs of hot chocolate and the spiked fruitcake. The aroma of alcohol pierces our noses and we know it’s going to be good. He sets the tray down and passes around the mugs and little plates of the cake and we settle in.
He and Grandma raise their mugs to one another and Grandma starts playing White Christmas on the piano. We’re all surprised and delighted when Chris starts singing.
This is my vision of Christmas.
I don’t know why Christopher Walken is in my vision – and I have no idea if he loves the holidays as much as I – and I cannot find any evidence that he ever recorded the song, White Christmas.
But I’ve been hearing him sing it in my head for the past 3 weeks.
Just think about that for a moment…
In any case, whether you are snowbound, or beach bound, riding in a horse-drawn sleigh or on a jet ski, I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and the happiest holiday season you’ve ever experienced.
May your days be merry and bright,
and may all your days be filled with
those you love and those who love you.