The new Fair Isle got to the 7th row before I frogged it back to the ribbing. This yarn has now been a couple of inches into two different Alice Starmore designs before I decided I disliked it and took it out. So I am starting again, with a traditional Fair Isle plan instead. I am hoping that this stuff just isn’t suited to Starmore designs (well, maybe because I have five colors of it, not fifteen), and not that I flat out don’t like the yarn. It is my first venture with variegated yarns…

This is not a serious problem, I admit, but let’s face it, I have no serious problems. So I will take this opportunity to sing a good Christmas blues song, “Please Come Home for Christmas,” by Charles Brown and Gene Redd.

http://www.jamesness.com/pleasecomehome.html

I find it amusing that this song was written by Redd and Brown, but I am notoriously easily amused. It has been recorded by the Eagles, Mariah Carey, U2, Fiona Apple, Vonda Shephard, Pat Benetar, and all manner of other people. This song was written in 1960, but it can’t really be counted as a good modern carol. For one thing, it isn’t a carol. For another, the words are extremely cheesy. They cannot be appreciated as poetry, because as poetry they are rotten.

Don’t let this bother you! Look around — do you not have some distinctly cheesy decorations up? Come on — some silver lame? Red shaggy things with white fur on them?  I myself have a floppy stuffed reindeer leaning over the music stand on the organ. And are you not wearing, or planning to wear, a sparkly sweater or one with a silly intarsia snowman or something? Sweatpants with “Ho Ho Ho” imprinted on your bottom? Have you not eaten, or are you not planning to eat, some odd food in a holiday shape? Jello, perhaps?

Maybe someone out there is always restrained and elegant in their holiday celebrations, but for most of us there is a little over-the-top element somewhere in the holiday preparations. Let it show in your music, too! “Please Come Home,” like all blues songs, benefits from good singing, but is fun to sing badly as well, and has the advantage of being a good choice to play on the harmonica.

About a week ago, I saw a little trampoline by the curb, where people put things in hopes that someone else will pick it up and give it a home. I obliged, and tucked it into my trunk with a good deal of satisfaction. Several of my sons’ friends have trampolines, and the boys really enjoy jumping on them, so I thought I would clean it up and give it to them for Christmas.

By the time I got to work, it had occurred to me that a trampoline of the kind I was thinking of would not have fit into my trunk. I asked my colleagues about this curious miniature trampoline, and sure enough, people more informed than I knew that is was a piece of exercise equipment. I was a little disappointed, but I gave it to the kids anyway, figuring that they would still be able to enjoy it. Not a Christmas present, but just a fun gleaning.

They promptly set it up in the living room. It is directly in the path of travel for nearly everyone entering or leaving this room. So naturally, people jump on it. You are walking from the bedroom into the kitchen to make coffee in the morning, so of course you will jump a few times on your way. From the bathroom to the laundry room with dirty towels — a few jumps. From the computer to the couch — do the twist on it for a few minutes, just long enough for Gladys Knight and the Pips to sing “Jesus is Just All Right With Me.”

Obviously, it cannot stay. It doesn’t go well with the decor. It will inconvenience older relatives who come to visit. It is silly. But while it is there, it is keeping us all light-hearted. Jumping on a little trampoline while singing “Please Come Home” is perfect. If there are no witnesses, you could pretend you are holding a microphone. I will not do that. I hate microphones, and only hold them when the director insists, so I’m clearly not going to pretend I have one. But #2 son would. And if you do, it will refresh you before you head out for your exams, or your shopping, or whatever trials your day contains.