Making A List


Making a list

     You remember the Christmas song about Santa making a list, checking it twice, and finding out who is naughty or nice. I am sure the melody dances through your mind now. It did for me as Gayle King interviewed  BJ Novak, well-known television writer of the show “The Office” and discussed his new app, “The List.” Novak believes since we think in lists, the app is a fun way to express and entertain each other. He is right.

      Gayle King wanted to play and came up with a list of “When Hell Freezes Over.” On the list was to start wearing flats, a cooking segment on CBS, and for Charlie, Norah and herself to test their survival skills on Celebrity Naked and Afraid. I am not familiar with the show. Novak commented,  the app has grown into a form of self-expression and lets us peek into someone’s mind.

My mind jumped in with a list of:

Questions to ask Donald Trump

• How long does it take to do your hairdo?
• What hair spray do you use and do you own the company?
• How would you describe nincompoop?
• What other adjectives can you add to the statement, “Hilary  Clinton was the worst, the worst Secretary of State ever,” to convince voters it is true?

     Then I became bored, started to feel nostalgic and instead opted to make a list of:

Things I miss about Christmas

• Decorating the tree on Christmas Eve
• Moving the tree so missing branches are in the back
• Stringing popcorn and cranberry into garland
• Hanging candy canes on the tree
• The threat of coal in the toe of my stocking
• Taping Christmas Cards around doorways
• Little Christmas
• A Glockenspiel or Angel Carousel
• Carolers singing outside your door
• Retail, and every other store being closed

      Our family decorated the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve singing Christmas Carols. My father secured the tree lights on the branches than all the children selected glass ornaments carefully laid out on the couch to hang on the tree. The final touch, tinsel arranged one strand at a time by Dad with the Glockenspiel spinning in the background. The heat from lit candles produced a single chime as the angles circulated it’s base. I was taken with the sparkle and filled with glee by the bell like sound.31LpBWCtecL

     We did not attend midnight mass because it was at midnight. We went to bed excited about Santa’s visit.

     In the morning, or rather the middle of the night, my brother, Victor, would wake us to report on what Santa had left. He was the one brave enough to risk sneaking downstairs hoping not to be caught by Santa or our parents.

     There were no million flashing lights or hundred dollar gifts under the tree.

. . .  just saying Novak



17 thoughts on “Making A List

  1. Thanks, Claudia, this post is a great gift for me! Lots of memories in common here. My dad always waited until Christmas Eve to go buy the tree and mom always complained that it was spindly and dropping needles, but we always loved it. The train set under the tree was another treat, a favorite memory of mine, and I was sad when my dad gave the train set to the historical society rather than to one of us. Chris V


  2. We decorated the tree on Christmas Eve when I was growing up too. Actually, Santa decorated it and when I no longer believed, I was able to stay up and decorate it.


  3. A Christmas of Many Wonderful Thoughts.. Thanks for the memories, but I don’t want Trumpy in any of them.. Merry Christmas to you, Bob and the family!!


  4. OMG, do I remember those days. Great stuff Claude, thanks for the memories. Those days seem so innocent and peaceful, unlike the seemingly hateful me first atmosphere that fills the air lately.



  5. Thank you for the memories. My list does not need to include memories of ginger bread men; I received “my men” promptly before Christmas. A surprise and the delicious smell of ginger filled my heart with love of your friendship and traditions……. Once again lucky me! As Jerry and I sit alone watching jeopardy, your post brought me to life. Thank you for your baking and writing skills. (I believe the men were the best ones yet.) xo


  6. Lovely piece!

    Made me laugh and then made me nostalgic. although my family did not celebrate Christmas, being Jewish and all, we lived in an Irish-Catholic neighborhood and I got to celebrate many Christmases with my neighbors. In those houses in which my playmates lived, I had my own stockings. I shopped for gifts and helped trim the trees. I particularly loved one home that had a train running around the tree base. And, of course, the nativity scenes…I think that is where my lifelong love of religious art began. Lastly, the magnificent Neapolitan Christmas tree at the
    Metropolitan Museum of Art. My parents took me to see that every year. Debra


  7. I thought my “follow” was broken, because I wasn’t getting anything from your blog, so I pressed “follow” again. Looks like you’ve been taking a blog break. Glad you are back.


  8. I too remember mom & dad decorating the tree and the house on Christmas Eve! Now it’s a momth’s worth of preparations. But it’s all worth it. Merry Christmas to you, Bob and the family!


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