By Irving Berlin
The sun is shining, the grass is green
The orange and palm trees sway
There's never been such a day
In Beverly Hills, L.A.
But it's December the twenty-fourth
And I am longing to be up north.
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
"May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white."
From Sunday's Poet's Choice by Robert Pinsky in The Washington Post Book World, a note on Irving Berlin, "the Jewish immigrant songwriter of 'Easter Parade' and 'White Christmas.' In the verse that precedes the well-known chorus of 'White Christmas,' Berlin contrasts winter and warm sunshine in his own, secular way."
We did not have a white Christmas here in Pennsylvania -- in fact we had above-freezing drizzle on and off most of the day, which created fog in areas that still have a lot of snow on the ground, though here it had mostly melted before we arrived. We took the dog for a walk in the morning, ran out to get my parents a Blockbuster gift card in the afternoon after discovering that my husband had left their Chanukah presents at home, and otherwise spent the day working on food, games and relaxing. Younger son wanted to play penguin with me, which mostly consisted of me lying on the floor while the two stuffed penguins he had brought with him took turns standing on me. This is not one of the more sophisticated games I have ever played but it was definitely not overtaxing. *g*
My parents arrived in the late afternoon, and my father and father-in-law watched football while my mother, mother-in-law and husband worked on the latkes. We had those, Swedish meatballs, baked chicken, herring, several different kinds of bread, cheeses, fruit and nuts, Jello, carrot souffle and I can't even remember what else because I am too full; we also had a chocolate mint yule log, snickerdoodles, cinnamon fingers, snowballs, peppermint bark and See's candy. My mother gave me a box of Pre-Raphaelite cards from the Birmingham Museum of Art; my husband gave me the Celtic Woman CD; my in-laws gave me an enamel pin with three cats on it. My father gave me a complaint that they never go to Blockbuster anymore now that they have a DVR and made comments to my father-in-law about how he had started college funds for my children because he didn't trust me to save enough. That's me, the fuck-up child...we can't all be the one who married the New York millionaire who won't even give them the time of day (but does sometimes give them first row Knicks tickets) after all.
Overall it was quite a nice, day, though, and I am betting every single person on my flist has some similar gripe concerning some relative or other. *G* From very brief skim -- I can't stay online, as they have only dial-up here and a great deal of of the day has been spent on the phone to the many relatives on the West Coast, including the always-too-busy middle brother who has not yet been tracked down -- it sounds like lots more people have issues with their in-laws than their parents, so I wonder how weird I am that I utterly adore my in-laws and find it much easier to spend extended periods of time with them than with my parents. No one cares in the least, for instance, that I am sitting here cropping photos and writing this instead of "being social" by feigning interest in a football game in which I have no interest.
My husband's parents' tabletop Christmas tree.
In the afternoon we are going to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at the IMAX in the science center, which also has dinosaurs and other cool things! Yay!