Saturday Single No. 767

It’s early, just a little before 7 a.m. as I write this. I heard cats slinking about the house and instead of mushing up my pillow and trying to go back to sleep, I decided to go ahead and give them their breakfast.

As they ate and I made a cup of coffee, I recalled that on Christmas mornings long ago, it was about this time that I’d awake at my grandfather’s house and quietly make my way downstairs to see what Santa – I never really believed in Santa, but it was a nice story – had left in my Christmas stocking.

And I thought about the passage of time, as I often do anyway, remembering the eight-year-old me who found a Danish troll in his stocking sixty years ago and the slightly older me who found a copy of Ian Fleming’s Dr. No in that same stocking about five years later. That decorated stocking – along with the one my sister made for the Texas Gal about twenty years ago – is in one of the boxes in the garage; for about fifteen years now, the Texas Gal and I have found gift bags at my sister’s fireplace instead of stockings.

There were none last year, when we sheltered in place. This year, our gift bags are waiting for us on our living room table; leery of the larger gathering my sister has planned for today, we made a masked midweek trip to drop off gifts and brought back this year’s gift bags from Santa.

So, for the second year in a row, the Texas Gal and I will be spending Christmas by ourselves, That’s okay. Yeah, I’ll miss seeing my niece and her family, but I’ve been battling an (non-Covid) infection for about a month, and there’s no point in risking my health or the health of the others. So when the Texas Gal gets up in a little while, we’ll go through our “stockings,” scratch off the lottery tickets that are sure to be part of our booty, then have a late breakfast and prepare for a quiet day.

We have only two things planned. We’ll have a dinner of King Ranch casserole, a favorite dish of mine since the Texas Gal brought it along with her when she came into my life almost twenty-two years ago. And we’ll find a streaming service that’s showing the 1969 film Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid. I mentioned to her yesterday that I’ve never seen the whole thing, having fallen asleep in a theater in Winnipeg, Manitoba, during a long-ago high school choir trip and having never bothered to find the movie to see what I missed. She said she wouldn’t mind seeing the movie again.

It’s not the holiday we had planned, but – like many around the world – it’s the holiday we’ve got. I imagine it’s the same for whoever stops by here: For the second holiday season in a row, things are out of whack.

All I can say is that, whatever holiday you celebrate, I hope you can celebrate it with people you love in a place you call home.

And here’s Darlene Love with the original version of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” from Phil Spector’s 1963 album A Christmas Gift For You. It’s today’s Saturday Single.


One Response to “Saturday Single No. 767”

  1. David Says:

    Contrast this with the sight of Phil Spector testifying on TV last month at his most recent murder trial. Now, his only Wall of Sound is of his fellow inmates screaming into the night. Still, I would have liked to have seen Darlene belt it out one more time @11:30 p.m. on CBS’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert to keep up the David Letterman Xmas tradition. It’s been a Topsy-Turvy couple of years with Letterman morphing into a Santa Clause clone & Spector in prison for multiple murders. Happy New Years to you and yours from a loyal lurker. Appreciated by many, rewarded by few.

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