Mix & Mingle in the Jingling Beat

bgs windowWhen you hate change as much as I do, things that remain constant are a necessary comfort. Holiday traditions that recur year after year, such as Randolph’s caroling with Santa’s arrival on the green, Woodstock’s horsey Wassail Parade, the Holly Jolly project, and mitten trees provide the longboard I need to surf life’s erratic vicissitudes.

 

Wrapping presents while watching treacly movies on Lifetime (theme: buff, middle-aged guy new to town chooses charmingly disorganized single mother over outfit-wearing sports-car/golfing lady) or the Hallmark Channel (title: A Bride for Christmas) soothes my holiday prep time no matter what’s going in real life. Which might not be all that good. I’m not mocking these shows. Christmas in Conway enchants, and The Christmas Hope is a bawler. I’m a sap. Akin to treacle.

hitched

 

Another lifesaver is the expressionless decorative light-up pilgrim I bought years ago at Rite-Aid. plastic fanny About three feet high, he gets dusty after a year in storage and I have a good hoot washing him off every November when I get to his little plastic fanny. Should have purchased the whole expressionless family (stalwart group!). And when Grandma Al and her granddaughter make magic cookies (not the Grateful Dead kind) in their aprons, or I look up Alex Hanson’s gravy recipe online yet again, all is right in the world.

Everything changes so fast now we can’t keep up. My fairly new TV is apparently already a “dino” (cable installer guy didn’t think I’d understand this high-tech lexicon on phone call to his mother ship in front of me—get a less obvious code word, pally!), and suddenly we don’t need to connect our computers to a cable for internet connectivity at home, even without a router (what?). My shiny, year-old TV remote is archaic, outmoded, useless; my router obsolete. Cableboy won’t take any of it away with him.

gift wrapWhat do I do with these antiquated accoutrements? The remote, the cables, the router…are others pouring same into landfill? Je refuse! I’ll find a home for them if it kills me. When I said to the Comcast guy and the TV wall-mounter guy in my living room, “Wow, I didn’t know you could tilt the TV like that on its brackets, there should be a remote for that,” they looked at me like I was some kind of sci-fi future-predicting genius. “I’ve never seen that!” one said. But I don’t want another damn remote. All I need is a sled, snow pants, hot cocoa with marshmallows, gift wrap, Jingle Bell Rock, and some people. That stuff doesn’t need upgrading. It never gets old.

Change: no! I like when people do their lights the exact same way every year. There is a little blue-lit tree outside somewhere (Tunbridge?) that, unlike nieces, never seems to grow up. That’s good. It’s bgs xmasdistressing when houses change hands and the usual trimmings change or disappear. Driving by my parents’ empty house is saddening. It’s been empty in winter in recent years, but this time it’s permanent – and no change is worse than permanent change. When the Barnard General store quit selling penny candy 30 years ago, I never recovered. It’s all still there, right where it belongs, the little wax bottles filled with colored ick, the caramels and the Smarties®, in my mind.

Some change is not so awful. That I moved from my beloved Bethel — not great. But I stay over a friend’s house (whom I used to live so close to that staying over never occurred to us) and we have spiked nog by the Christmas tree after her cat punches me repeatedly while I write (love the Siamese—naugh-ty) and, well, maybe a new tradition is in the making. When the old traditions fall off, due to death or dismemberment or some horrible new technology, they need replacing or we’re left with nothing.

I’ll start one now. Something you can see and think, “Oh good, there’s that thing again. A constant!”

You may enjoy what autofills in Google’s search box before you finish typing … endlessly amusing. Monthly, I might post the winners. For December:

Does a…” autofills with

-root canal hurt

-straight beat a flush     does a

-duck’s quack echo

-photon have mass?

Et voila. Your inaugural autofill of the month. Little gift fer ya there, as you jingle around the clock. Good day.

Bumper Sticker Suggested by Harry One Year Ago when I Wrote we Were Told as Children (by the Catholics?) That Writing “Xmas” Instead of Christmas was Literally a Sin:

Let’s keep the X in Xmas!

About uppervalleygirl

Columnist, bloggist, short storyist, essayist, novel-in-progressist.

Posted on January 1, 2015, in christmas, humor, nostalgia, personal, photos, rural, sociology, Technology, Vermont and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. flush beats a straight love, and 3 0f a kind beat two pair…….happy new year xo

  2. Treacly movies is all par for the course! And the pilgrim is insane 🙂 But surely you must be happy to be without cables for internet. No one can be attached to cables, surely…

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