‘The Snow’s Coming Down . . .’

Originally posted December 23, 2009

We may be snowed in for Christmas.

For the past few days, the National Weather Service has been warning of a winter storm heading our direction, and this morning’s forecast predicts snow accumulations of fifteen to eighteen inches between tonight and Friday evening, with – says the weather service – accumulations of twenty or more inches becoming likely in some locations.

It seems to me that it’s been a while since we had a good-sized winter storm and blizzard around here. We’ve had a few heavy snows in the past few years, but the one heading our way sounds like the biggest in a while. We’ll see as things develop if it rivals the Super Bowl Blizzard of January 1975 or the series of storms we call the Halloween Storm of 1991.

In any event, if the forecast is correct, we’re likely not going to my sister’s on Friday for Christmas. She’s talked about postponing the family celebration until Saturday, and that might work, if the fellow who plows our driveway – I’m going to guess it’s about two hundred feet long – gets around to our place in time. If he doesn’t, well, we’ll hunker down and make the best of it.

That would make this Christmas a rarity, though. From many annual celebrations down on the farm at Lamberton and then at my grandparents’ new home in town through years of gatherings at the house on Kilian Boulevard in St. Cloud and recently at my sister’s home in Maple Grove, I’ve been away from my family for Christmas only a very few times. One was in 1973, when I celebrated the holiday with my Danish family in Fredericia. Another was in 1999, when I was dealing with an illness and was unable to travel. And then last year, for health reasons, the Texas Gal and I stayed in St. Cloud for the holiday.

It won’t be a tragedy if we’re unable to leave St. Cloud or even leave our home on Friday morning. It will be an unhappy inconvenience. Life intrudes on our plans every once in a while, and as long as we have warm shelter and our health, a snowstorm is a mild intrusion. And just in case it happens, we’re making a few plans: Soon after I finish this post, I’ll head out to the nearby grocery and pick up some treats and the makings of a modest holiday dinner for the two of us.

Those who’ve read this blog for some time know that I’m not big on Christmas music. In fact, there are only three holiday recordings I ever share here, and I do so every year. One of those has been the video of Darlene Love’s annual performance of the Wall of Sound classic “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” on David Letterman’s television show.

I decided this year to go back to the original. So this morning, I pulled out my copy of the Phil Spector box set, Back to Mono, which includes a copy of his 1963 album, A Christmas Gift For You. Here then, from near-mint vinyl, is the first of three Christmas songs I’ll offer this season: “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Darlene Love from A Christmas Gift For You [1963]

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