The wee snow-lady above is called Snow Belle. She was designed by Susan Fuquay and made by me way back in 2005, so she isn’t one of my newer quilts – on the contrary she’s a retread. But aren’t many of our holiday traditions and decorations retreads? We haul them down out of the attic, or from a high shelf in a closet or garage year after year. The season would seem a little off kilter if I didn’t bring out the well used, and in some cases, the tired and faded components of what constitutes Christmas in our home.
Would it really be Christmas without the tawdry little yarn snowmen I made for our Christmas tree the year we were married? And the egg ornaments, decoupaged with brightly colored calicoes, from that same year? Christmas traditions come in many forms; the cinnamon apples at dinner when a certain brother-in-law comes to visit, peanut butter cookies and peanut brittle for my sisters, and let’s not forget the Christmas movies – they’re the gravy on the mashed potatoes, the ice cream on the apple pie, the melty marshmallows on the candied yams, the aristocracy of retreads… or at least they are in my world.
It doesn’t matter how much decorating goes on around the house, the holiday season hasn’t officially begun until I screen the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol starring Alastair Sim.
What in particular do I love about this movie? For one, the soundtrack is exceptional. How about the music played by the fiddlers at Mr. Fezziwig’s Christmas Party? The name of that ditty is Sir Roger de Coverley, and I dare you not to tap your toes when you hear it played. There isn’t a better musical introduction for the Ghost of Christmas Present than Oranges and Lemons to convey a child’s sense of wonder and plenty. Then the hauntingly beautiful song, Barbara Allen. It was played as background throughout the movie, and sung as a duet at Fred’s Christmas party.
Oohoohooh – and what about Mrs. Dilber’s happy shout, “Bob’s yer uncle!” when Scrooge, for the first time, gives his charwoman a Christmas present? (Niagara Falls, Frankie Angel)
Is this way more about A Christmas Carol than you ever wanted to know? Okay… moving along.
After that, it’s Katie, bar the door… the evenings leading up to the big day are filled, in no particular order, with Scrooged (1988), A Christmas Story (1983), White Christmas (1954), Christmas In Connecticut (1945), Holiday Inn (1942) which happens to be the Mister’s least favorite, Penny Serenade (1941), and How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966).
One last thought: It’s odd, but Snow Belle has never made it out of the sewing room. Oh, she gets moved to the front of the stack of little quilts so I can spy her whenever I walk past, but perhaps this year will finally be her year to shine.
Well Begun, But Not Quite Finished
Clue #4 of Bonnie Hunter’s mystery, Celtic Solstice was published last Friday. All the strip sets have been joined and cut, but sadly, only 80 of the required 120 4-patches have been finished. My excuse? …..Christmas! Hopefully, I’ll get the remaining 40 finished before next Friday. Then again? Maybe not.
One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly. ~ Andy Rooney