Door to December 1st, 2022
Welcome to a month of merriment and mirth. A period of looking backward, looking forward, and every now and then just staying within the moment. I am happy to share my thoughts and feelings with all of you during this special time. I encourage you to poke around the site to see what treasures might be waiting for those of you so inclined to seek out nostalgia, irreverence, mischief, and the very gladdest of tidings.
Each day this month I want you to pass through a door and see what is on the other side. Doors are interesting things, aren’t they? They serve as points of entry, they keep out the terrors of ordinary life, and they preserve the many comforts of a home. You simply have to make the choice to open the door and step over the threshold to learn what is inside.
My hearth is warm and waiting for all to come sit nearby and share in the stories, the conversations, and the music of the season during our month of merriment and mirth.
Doing something tonight that I haven’t done in a while.
There, all the lights are out.
Except the Christmas Tree.
Magic lights, blinking dreams. Heart flutters and sugarplum fairies goading me to remember the short past or long past. It depends entirely on your perspective.
As a matter of convenience, I’ve located an app on my smart tv that plays Christmas Ditties. Years ago, it was cassette tapes, then it was CDs, then digital downloads. Now live streaming. Buffing along song to song, being carried down the stream of memories that connects me to this holiday season and all the holiday seasons that I’ve made my stake and found my joy within.
This is a truly magical time of year in my heart and in all of my actions. It always has been, as far back as I can remember.
I grew up in a standard household of four. Dad, Mom, Son, and Daughter. There was a dog (an Irish Setter, named Katie), multiple hamsters and goldfish which never lasted, and a two-bedroom second floor flat that held sway over my imagination over the formative years of my life.
We were poor but didn’t realize we were. That might have been the greatest gift of our childhood (of which we had many gifts). Running a house in today’s world gives me a respect for all that my parents sacrificed in order to provide so many good times, and great Christmases.
My Mom, after her mom, was the Major General of the production. It all started with her desire to create a happy holiday home. My cheeks turn red when thinking about all the things she lavished upon us. We were spoiled in these holiday moments, and graciously gifted many times over by two sets of grandparents and three doting uncles. We all lived within a square mile in those days, and the traipsing back and forth from home to home allowed for us to grow keen of different types of cooking at each home. as well as a nose for our favorites.
288 Bunker Hill was a home away from home. It was a respite from the limits of our second-floor apartment. It conveyed to us the idea that people did in fact live in structures of their own, with multiple rooms on multiple floors.
My cousin, Christy Merullo, once remarked after she purchased her first home, “I never knew what it was like to live in a house that wasn’t attached to someone else’s house.”
An idea I could definitely relate to but couldn’t articulate as well.
As I said, 288 Bunker Hill was a terrific fantasy and reality within the world of my childhood. We enjoyed my Grandmother Mary, in her glowing love, and we sat enraptured by the narrative voice of our Grandfather Al, as he held court. This was all punctuated by the mystery of our uncles moving in and out of the house filling their lives with the possibility of living. Visits from the Pearl Street Connolly’s widened our sphere and allowed us to understand that there were those that loved us outside of our immediate circle.
I’d be remiss if I forgot to mention how important the church was in our lives, our parish life.
All good things contained within the wilds of zip code 02129, “Chawles’town” to the locals. God, school, family, friends. Life! Holiday life!
My father, a fine accomplice in achieving my mother’s designs, was satisfied to use his artistic talents to create elaborate decorating schemes and turn our apartment into a Winter Wonderland. One year he used tin foil attached to the wall around the Christmas Tree to give the blinking lights an infinity effect, another year he made an entire village out of balsa wood to surround the train beneath the tree, and in yet another year he painstakingly carved snowflakes out of glossy white paper with an Exacto Knife and affixed glitter to them so they could be hung from our suspended ceiling by paper clips.
The magic was real. When the lights went out and the tree came on, we were transported to another world.
This was our normal. We didn’t know any better. We never knew of the amount of time and effort that was dedicated to achieving the proper effect. Halls decked.
Mom and Dad, a formidable Christmas Duo, raising bars and setting precedents that I still aspire to each and every Christmas.
The music continues to play, and each verse and chorus puts me in the frame of a wonderful memory.
Recounting is fun but remembering past warmth in the grinning comfort of a glowing Christmas Tree room is sublime.
I look forward to some deep dives back in time and to bringing some gems to the forefront. Keep measure in coming days, as I plan to elaborate on all that I found good, curious, and magical.
…soon it will be Christmas Day
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Check out one of my recent Poems here: “The Pages Between” – ProCrasstheNation
Also, for those looking for gift ideas for family and friends alike, please check out my brand new holiday writing service…
Seasoned Greetings 25