Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas! - "Christmas Night in Harlem" by Louis Armstrong

Fall and winter are my favorite times of the year.  In the fall, as I said in my last post, I love the changing color of the leaves, warm sweaters, mulled wine, and pumpkin patches.  Believe it or not, I actually don't mind snow -I just can't stand driving around in it!  (Lol!)  Growing up in the midwest, I have fond memories of making snow angels, snowball fights, and riding sleds down steep, snow covered, hills.  I moved to the Pacific Northwest, because I can 'visit' the snow almost anytime I like....but, I don't have to dwell with it for five or six months!

Some people view fall and winter as the time when everything dies or goes dormant.  They don't like the stark landscape or cool weather.  I, on the other hand, view it as a time for renewal.  It is the rest before the rebirth of spring and active summer.

For my family, this time of year represents a return to our normal routine.  My parents were school teachers, so long summer days were replaced with course planning and homework.

We also paused to  assess the past year, while setting goals for the new year.  We took the time to slowdown and catch up, cook amazing food, and reconnect with our community.

My holiday wish for this year is that we all hug the children in our lives a little tighter, be fearless with the phrase 'I love you', and fully enjoy what these last few days of 2012 have in store for us.

"Christmas Night in Harlem" by Louis Armstrong

When I lived in Pittsburgh, I found a jazz compilation Christmas CD in the bargain bin, during an after Christmas sale, at the record store around the corner from my studio apartment.  (Yes, it was indeed a RECORD store.)  This CD is titled "Hipsters' Holiday: Vocal Jazz & R&B Classics."  I'll be honest and say that I didn't recognize the jewel that I'd found.  This collection includes a copy of Eartha Kitt's version of "Santa Baby", Pearl Bailey's "Five Pound Box of Money", and three songs by Louis Armstrong: "Cool Yule", "'Zat You, Santa Claus", and "Christmas Night in Harlem."

"Christmas Night in Harlem" is my favorite song on the album.  It makes me think of our annual Christmas journey to downtown Cleveland to look at all the buildings decorated for the season.  My favorite part was taking in the window decorations at Higbees - our version of Macy's.  Then we'd drive over to General Electric's Nela Park to see all the light displays and the replica of the White House Christmas tree. Oh, the memories!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

"People out feelin' mighty good, in that good ol' neighborhood..."

I love decorating my Christmas tree!

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