Singing and eating have always been foremost for me. Growing up, not getting to open our presents until we’d finished breakfast and stood lined up in kitchen, oldest to youngest, (youngest to oldest in alternating years) to stampede the living room, pounce the stockings and cannibalize our milk chocolate Santas. We spent evenings listening and singing along to our parents holiday albums on the phonograph record player. Perry Como was one, and comedian Allan Sherman who did a sendup of the Twelve days of Christmas, that to this day, has me belting out “…and a Japanese transistor ra-dee-oh!”
Still singing, a newer holiday tradition is a mashup for Halloween and Christmas. We have an annual viewing of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Tim Burtons’ stop-motion wonderworld of Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king, stealing, then returning the sleigh reigns (Santa hat, actually) in Christmas Town. “Kidnap Mister Sandy Claws? I wanna do it, let’s draw straws.” We nearly wore out our VHS copy. I have the soundtrack recording on my iPod, too.
On a more gentile note, my family and I can be found harmonizing the Hallelujah Chorus at the annual Messiah Sing-in at Old Cabell Hall on the first Tuesday in December. Led by Donald Loach, and in its 44th year, the volunteer orchestra and the enthusiastic voices from the Charlottesville community set a joyous tone for the holidays. I went clutching my vintage, leather-bound score and sang with hundreds. Unforgettable experience (forever and ever, hallelujah, hallelujah.)
I favor dark chocolate now, and in honor of my favorite things at feast, I drafted my own choral offering to the tune of The 12 Days of Christmas. This is in no way a comprehensive song, as I’d need 37 or so verses to capture all the deliciousness that is feast! So, I challenge you to write your own, too. Post it as comment or bring it in to me, Terri, in person, and I’ll personally give you a holiday treat of my choice. If you let me sing it along with you, bonus for us both!
Warmed up? Sing with me!
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a passport for a Year of Cheese.
(Skipping now to the final verse)
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
a case of local wine,
Pimento cheese & crackers,
nine Pippin apples,
eight Effie’s oatcakes,
6-pack Blue Mountain,
PRALINE MUSTARD GLAZE,
Almonds & Cherries,
Greek Olive Oil,
and a passport for a Year of Cheese.
Sincere wishes to all for a peaceful, joyous, delicious holiday season.