Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm tired

I actually slept until 9:30 this morning.

That has to be a new record for me. I can't remember the last time I've slept that late and it was WONDERFUL!

Today I hope will be a lazy day, but already my mind is racing with all of the things I should be doing.

I should clean up my office.

I should make Christmas cookies.

I should take my film to be developed.

I should clean off the pool table that has become the repository of crap that I haven't felt like putting away.

I should go out and buy a new mailbox since the stoned pizza delivery boy last night took it out and then totally denied it. jerk

Eh, maybe later.

Right now I'm trying to figure out which song to post next. Looking at my list of songs I realized that most of them are just "holiday" songs and don't really say anything about "Christmas". Not that there is anything wrong with that I suppose, but Christmastime is very symboloic.

Throw away the marketing and the BIG sales offered by all of the retailers, the blow up Nativity sets on your neighbors lawns next to the blow up Santa on a Harely and all of the houses that are decorated with way too many flashing blinking lights and it's like the very end of the Dr. Suess Book: "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".

“PoohPooh to the Whos!” he was grinchishly humming.
“They’re finding out now that no Christmas is coming!”
“They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!”
“Their mouths will hang open a minute or two,
Then the Whos down in Whoville will all cry BooHoo!”
“That’s a noise,” grinned the Grinch, “That I simply MUST hear!”

So he paused. And the Grinch put his hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low. Then it started to grow.
But the sound wasn’t sad! Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn’t be so! But it WAS merry! VERY!
He stared down at Whoville! The Grinch popped his eyes!
Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise!
Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small,Was singing!
Without any presents at all!

He HADN’T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?”
“It came with out ribbons! It came without tags!”
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.”
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

And what happened then? Well…in Whoville they say,
That the Grinch’s small heart Grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his heart didn’t feel quite so tight,
He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light,
And he brought back the toys! And the food for the feast!
And he, HE HIMSELF! The Grinch carved the roast beast!

Whatever your beliefs, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist or just plain ol' grumpy and miserable there is something about this time of the year that changes your heart just a little.

At least it does mine anyway.

I don't like the commercialism, I'm not a religious person, but I like the spirit of this time of year. Even if you're worried about the financial mess the whole world is in or if you can't buy your kids that gift they really wanted because you just got laid off, there is still this glimmer of hope in people you just don't really see any other time of the year.

So I was thinking about one of the last times I attended church for Christmas. A woman named Dorothy was a sort of seregate "Grandmother" to a small group of us who were all of the same age. Young, starting new families and we all helped each other along. Dorothy would invite us all to her home for dinner occasionally and we would have her in our homes as well. She had her own family, but many of them have moved far away and her husband passed away and I think she just was one of those people that loved to be around young people. It kept her young as well.

She was a Christian woman, but not a regular church goer. Christmas and Easter like many people who feel that they need to make some kind of appearance.

Everyone knew her and she knew everyone. One of those warm hearted people.

She sat next to me during a Christmas day service we attended. This was when I was very active in the Methodist church. Much to the chagrin of my Irish Catholic parents. the church played a very important part in my life back then.

Anyway, one of the songs for the service that day was "Go Tell it On the Mountain". I was a bit puzzled, I just never thought of it as a Christmas song. Spiritual song, but not a Christmas song. Then I read the lyrics:

"Go tell it on the mountain. Go tell it on the mountain. Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ was born."

Well duh, that makes sense!

Just as the organ fired up the intro Dorothy turned to me and said that this was one of her favorite songs.

Standing next to me singing out of the top of her lungs was one of the few times I got tearful in church. She wasn't the best singer in the world, but she sang it with all her heart and soul and with the most beautiful peaceful smile on her face.

I sang louder that day than I think I ever did any other time in church.

That is one of those moments that I reflect upon during the holidays. That feeling of being connected to other people for some reason. All wishing each other peace and health and happiness. That is what this time of year means to me.

Looking around on You Tube for a version of this song I finally found one that I thought is the way that the song should be sang. It's an Afro-American Spiritual that is sung slowly and with all it's meaning put behind it. Plain and simple - just listen to the words and enjoy it!

Go Tell it On the Mountain by Mahalia Jackson


the only daughter said...

"Go Tell it.." and Mahalia were staples in my household growing up.

And you've hit the nail on the head.


the only daughter said...

9:30? Oh. The. Joy. ~I imagine.~ :)

Shazza said...

Deb - Thanks! Peace to you and your family as well!
(yes, was heavenly!)

Presbyfruit said...

I LOVE Mahalia Jackson. And Dolly Parton also does a great version of "Go Tell It."

I'm with you about the connection with other people. I love it when that happens.

Lulubelle B said...

I'm a total slacker - dragged my butt out of bed at 1230. All I have to do today is take Mom to the hairdresser and the grocery store, go to the dry cleaner for myself, get some Hanukah presents for the niece for tomorrow night, clean the house, do a bunch of laundry, do my own grocery shopping...

Lovely song. Merry Christmas Shazza! Best wishes to you and the family for a happy,healthy New Year.

dive said...

You should definitely take your film to be developed, Shazza. We need to see what's on there.
Poo Poo to the Whos but Woohoo for Mahalia Jackson. An excellent choice!

Shazza said...

Hey Presby - Dolly is OK. Sometimes I like her voice sometimes it's like nails on a chalkboard to me.

Hi LuLu - There are days when I wish I could be a total slacker. It's just my mind won't let me.
Happy Holidays to you and your family as well. Here's wishing you a peaceful and healthy New Year.

Dive - 5 rolls are at the store now. I should get them back tomoorrow. Stay tuned!

neetzy said...

Yay to Mahalia. I had the honor and privilege of being a guest at a few black congregations. I was caught up in the emotion. The best gospel music ever!

Tammy said...

Loved the song and congrats to you for getting the old job done and the excitement of a new endeavor. You'll be great, just try not to be nervous - easier said than done. Loved your song choice, good for the holidays and any time of year!!